This drug is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). This drug works by blocking the hormone angiotensin thereby relaxing blood vessels, causing them to widen. High blood pressure reduction helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.
How to take
Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily or as directed by your doctor. You may take this drug with or without food. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day. Do not take potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium without talking to your doctor or pharmacist first. This medicine can raise your potassium levels, which rarely can cause serious side effects such as muscle weakness or very slow heartbeats. Tell your doctor immediately if these effects occur. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take 4 weeks before the full benefit of this drug occurs. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Micardis is a member of a family of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), which includes losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), irbesartan (Avapro), and candesartan (Atacand). ARBs block the ability of the chemical angiotensin II to constrict or squeeze arteries and veins. As a result, the arteries and veins enlarge and blood pressure falls. The reduced pressure in the arteries also makes it easier for the heart to pump blood. Micardis was approved by the FDA in November of 2000.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Store at room temperature (77 degrees F or 25 degrees C) away from light. This drug is sensitive to moisture. Therefore keep each dose in the manufacturer's original packaging until right before taking it. Brief storage between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 to 30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
This drug can cause serious fetal harm (possibly death) if used during the last six months of pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor immediately. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, high blood levels of potassium, heart problems, severe dehydration (and loss of electrolytes such as sodium), diabetes (poorly controlled), any allergies (especially to ACE inhibitors such as captopril, lisinopril). This drug may make you dizzy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the dizziness effect. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during the first three months of pregnancy. It is not recommended for use during the last six months of the pregnancy due to the risk for fetal harm. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. See also the Warning section. It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Breast-feeding is not recommended due to the potential harm to the nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Possible Side Effects
You may experience dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, or back pain as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fainting, decreased sexual ability. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: change in the amount of urine. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling (especially of the face, lips, tongue, or throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not share this medication with others. Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction programs, exercise and dietary changes may increase the effectiveness of this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., kidney function, potassium blood level) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details. Have your blood pressure checked regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to monitor your own blood pressure at home. Discuss this with your doctor.