Telmisartan belongs to Angiotensin Receptor Inhibitors, also called Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists (ARAs). It keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which then lowers the blood pressure and improves blood flow.
Uses of Telmisartan
- Chronic heart failure
- Heart attack (myocardial infarction) causing dysfunction of the left lower chamber of the heart
- High blood pressure
- Diabetic kidney disease
Contraindications of Telmisartan
When should one not use Telmisartan
- Allergic reaction to Telmisartan
- Liver or kidney disease
- Renal Artery Stenosis (a condition where a blood vessel in the kidney is narrow)
Side effects of Telmisartan
Common side effects of this drug are:
- A drop in blood pressure
- Rash, swelling of the face, lips and throat (serious)
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infection
- Can cause deranged kidney function
- Increased in white blood cells
- Spinning of head
- Swelling, dry mouth
- Decreased hemoglobin
- Muscle pain
Precautions and Warnings of Telmisartan
Can I take Telmisartan during pregnancy?
Telmisartan can harm the fetus seriously. Do not take Telmisartan if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
Can I take Telmisartan while breastfeeding?
Telmisartan is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers. There is no sufficient data available to say whether Telmisartan can be harmful to the nursing infant if breastfed by a mother who is on the medication of Telmisartan. But it is advisable to seek a physician’s help to find a safer alternative.
Can I drive if I have consumed Telmisartan?
Telmisartan is not known to affect your driving ability. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness with Telmisartan, avoid driving.
Can I consume alcohol with Telmisartan?
Caution is advised as alcohol can decrease your blood pressure and can increase side effects like sedation or drowsiness.
Other General Warnings
Talk to your doctor if
- Have a history of angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, throat, tongue)
- Have excessive vomiting or diarrhea
- You are known to have narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels leading to your kidneys or had a kidney transplant recently
- Have liver disease
- You suffer from heart failure with or without renal impairment or concomitant severe life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias
- You have high blood pressure and diabetes-related kidney problems. Your doctor shall regularly ask you to do kidney tests and test for electrolytes (e.g. potassium)
Mode of Action of Telmisartan
How Does It Work?
Angiotensin-II is a substance produced in the body which causes constriction of blood vessels. This leads to an increase in blood pressure. Telmisartan prevents the binding of Angiotensin-II to its receptors, thus causing the blood vessels to relax and lowers the blood pressure.
Interactions of Telmisartan
Interactions with other medicines
- Aspirin and NSAIDs reduce the action of Telmisartan on blood pressure
- All ACE inhibitors, Azathioprine, Lithium, Aspirin and Aliskiren, should be avoided
- Medicines which are known to increase potassium levels like Diuretics
Interactions with food items
- Avoid high potassium-containing food
- Low-salt diet preferred
- High levels of potassium can cause irregular heartbeat, confusion, weakness, feelings of heaviness in the legs or tingling of the extremities
Dosage of Telmisartan
Overdose symptoms can include increased heart rate, extremely low blood pressure, dizziness, increased levels of potassium in the blood, kidney failure, loss of consciousness. Seek immediate emergency medical help if you suspect overdose.
Missed a Dose
If you missed any dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose of medicine to compensate for a missed one.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What should I inform my healthcare expert before I start treatment with Telmisartan?
A: You must give an account of your past and present diseases, especially diabetes, and all the ongoing medications, supplements and herbal medicines that you are taking. If you take anti-diabetic medication or insulin, track your blood sugar carefully while taking Losartan, particularly during the first month of its use. The combination of anti-diabetic medicines when on Telmisartan, may cause significant changes in your blood sugar levels owing to drug interactions. Aspirin and painkillers also diminish the positive effect on blood pressure of Losartan. Hence, sharing complete history is of utmost importance.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)
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