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Precautions and Warnings With Irbesartan

There are several important precautions and warnings with irbesartan to be aware of before starting treatment. You should not take the medication if you are allergic to any components of irbesartan. Certain side effects may occur with use of the drug, including extreme low blood pressure, decreased kidney function, or high levels of potassium. Precautions and warnings with irbesartan also extend to women who are pregnant or nursing.

Irbesartan: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking irbesartan (Avapro®) if you have:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or trying to become pregnant
  • On dialysis
  • Breastfeeding.
Tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Irbesartan

Irbesartan warnings and precautions to be aware of include the following:
  • Irbesartan can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Irbesartan).
  • Irbesartan may cause extreme low blood pressure in some people. This is more likely to happen in people who are taking a diuretic, are on dialysis, have diarrhea or vomiting, sweat a lot, or have congestive heart failure. This is why it is important to drink fluids regularly while taking irbesartan. If you have any possible symptoms of low blood pressure, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting, contact your healthcare provider. If you have fainted, stop taking irbesartan until you have talked to your healthcare provider.
  • Make sure not to drive, operate any heavy machinery, or perform any other tasks that require alertness before you know how irbesartan affects you.
  • Irbesartan is a pregnancy Category C medicine for the first trimester and a pregnancy Category D medicine for the second and third trimesters, meaning that irbesartan can present health risks to your unborn child. If you become pregnant while taking irbesartan, contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Avapro and Pregnancy).
  • While taking irbesartan, do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes with potassium, unless you have discussed this with your doctor. In some people taking the drug, potassium in the blood can increase to dangerous levels.


  • This medication may cause a decrease in kidney function, especially in people who are elderly, have kidney disease, have severe congestive heart failure (CHF), or are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or diuretics (water pills). Your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your kidney function with a blood test while you are taking it. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice a decrease in urination or swelling in your hands, legs, ankles, or feet, which can be signs of kidney problems. 


  • If you are nursing, it is not known whether irbesartan passes through your milk. Therefore, if you are nursing, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should stop irbesartan or discontinue breastfeeding.
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