Diabetes Home > Irbesartan

How Does It Work?

As mentioned, irbesartan is part of a class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers. As the name implies, irbesartan blocks angiotensin II receptors. This decreases the effectiveness of a chemical known as angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to narrow (constrict). By blocking the effects of angiotensin II, the medication causes blood vessels to relax, which can lower blood pressure.

Effects of Irbesartan

A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers -- for example, 120/80. The top number is known as the systolic blood pressure, and the bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure. During clinical studies in people taking irbesartan, systolic blood pressure decreased on average by 8 to 12 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) and diastolic blood pressure decreased by 5 to 8 mmHg on average. Certain factors, such as dosage, affected how much the blood pressure dropped.
By lowering blood pressure, irbesartan can decrease the risks that are often seen with long-term high blood pressure (see Effects of High Blood Pressure). The drug has also been shown to slow down the progression of diabetic nephropathy.

When and How Do I Take It?

Some general considerations for when and how to take irbesartan include:
  • The medication comes in tablet form and is taken once a day.
  • It may be taken with or without food.
  • The medication should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level of the medicine in your blood.
  • For irbesartan to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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