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Avapro (generic: irbesartan) is a brand of medication designed by Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company for treating hypertension and kidney problems of non-insulin dependent (Type II) diabetic patients. It is part of a group of drugs referred to as angiotensin II receptor antagonists, which prevents the narrowing of blood vessels that impedes blood flow, which in turn raises the blood pressure of the patient. The chemical angiotensin II when released causes the blood pathways to constrict and is referred to as a vasoconstrictor. It is unclear what the role of angiotensin is although three types have been identified, although it seems established that the oleopeptide is implicated in the development of some cardiac conditions. Irbesartan serves to block the effect of angiotensin II and results are usually seen within four weeks of treatment.
Contraindicated for the use of Avapro is the presence of kidney disease other than as a complication of diabetes, liver disease, hyperkalemia (or high potassium levels) and congestive heart failure. Pregnancy is also considered a contraindicated event as the drug may have adverse effects on the fetus if taken during the last two trimesters of a pregnancy. If pregnancy occurs during treatment, discontinue the use of Avapro immediately.
Avapro impedes thought processes and reaction times, so driving and other activities that require full alertness should be avoided. Alcohol intake, which depresses the blood pressure, may amplify the side effects of Avapro and should
be avoided as well.
Avapro use and function
Avapro is a prescriptive drug, and should be taken in accordance to a physician’s instructions. Inform the physician of any other blood pressure medication currently being taken, or if potassium supplements or salt substitutes, or diuretics have been previously prescribed. The regimen should be followed to the letter even if asymptomatic, until the physician signifies an end of the treatment. In case of a forgotten dose, do not double the next dosage to make up for it. In case of an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Regular monitoring of the blood pressure, kidney and liver function should be taken to ensure that the drug is having the desired effect.
Some unacceptable side effects to Avapro are: allergic reactions such as swelling of the face, lips or tongue and difficulty in breathing; rapid gain weight; chest pain or fast heart rate; dark, painful or infrequent urine, clay-colored stool, jaundice and nausea. Other side effects include diarrhea, tiredness, headaches and
dizziness, flu symptoms, dry cough and joint or muscle pain.