How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Eprosartan belongs to the family of medications known as angiotensin II receptor blockers. This medication is used to lower mild-to-moderate high blood pressure and works by relaxing blood vessels.
Angiotensin II is a chemical that the body releases to cause the tightening of blood vessels. Eprosartan blocks angiotensin II, causing the blood vessels to relax or dilate. This relaxation causes the blood pressure to drop. The full effects of eprosartan are usually seen within about 3 weeks. It may be used alone or in combination with a "water pill" or diuretic to reach target blood pressure.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each pink, oval, film-coated tablet marked with "SOLVAY" on one side and "5044" on the other contains 400 mg of eprosartan. Nonmedicinal ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, pregelatinized starch, and titanium dioxide. The tablets may also have other ingredients, including at least one of iron oxide red, iron oxide yellow, and polsorbate 80.
Each white, capsule-shaped, film-coated tablet marked with "SOLVAY" on one side and "5046" on the other contains 600 mg of eprosartan. Nonmedicinal ingredients: crospovidone, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, pregelatinized starch, and titanium dioxide. The tablets may also have other ingredients, including at least one of iron oxide red, iron oxide yellow, and polsorbate 80.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended starting adult dose of eprosartan is 600 mg once daily taken with or without food. It is best to establish a routine with this medication and take it the same time of day and either take it with or without food. For example, if you take the medication with food in the morning, continue to take it with food in the morning.
Reductions in blood pressure are often seen within 2 to 3 weeks. Your doctor may recommend a dose increase of eprosartan to 800 mg once daily if your blood pressure remains too high. A diuretic ("water pill") may also be added to eprosartan to help reduce the blood pressure.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. Do not take 2 doses within 6 hours of each other. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to eprosartan or any ingredients of this medication
- are taking aliskiren and have diabetes or decreased kidney function
- are taking any medication in the family of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
- are or may be pregnant
- are breast-feeding
- have certain kidney diseases (e.g., diseases that cause narrowing or blockage of the kidney blood vessels)
- have galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency (a rare hereditary condition), or glucose-galactose malabsorption
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- back pain
- dizziness or light-headedness when rising from a sitting or lying position
- joint or muscle pain
- trouble sleeping
- unusual tiredness
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- cold or flu-like symptoms
- signs of infection (e.g., fever, sinus congestion, sore throat, cold or flu-like symptoms)
- signs of kidney problems (e.g., increased urination at night, decreased urine production, blood in the urine, painful urination, swelling, fatigue, abdominal pain)
- signs of liver problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools)
- symptoms of muscle break-down (e.g., unexplained muscle pain, muscle weakness or tenderness, dark brown urine)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY
February 4, 2014
Health Canada has issued new restrictions concerning the use of eprosartan. To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada's web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Dizziness/drowsiness: Eprosartan may cause drowsiness or dizziness, affecting your ability to drive or operate machinery. Avoid these and other hazardous tasks until you have determined how this medication affects you.
Kidney problems: Eprosartan may affect the function of the kidneys, especially in those who already have kidney problems.
Taking diuretics (water pills) or aliskiren may further increase the risk of kidney problems. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.
Low blood pressure: Occasionally, a larger-than-expected decrease in blood pressure occurs after taking eprosartan. In some cases, this can happen after the first dose. It is more likely to occur if you also taking diuretics (water pills), have a reduced salt intake, are on dialysis, or are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting.
Blood pressure should be monitored more often in these situations. If you have low blood pressure or are just starting this medication or increasing the dose, you should move slowly from a reclining to an upright position to reduce the risk of dizziness.
Pregnancy: You should not take eprosartan if you are pregnant because it can cause significant harm to an unborn child. If you discover you are pregnant while taking this medication, stop taking it and tell your doctor at once.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if eprosartan passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: It is not known how safe and effective eprosartan is for children.
Seniors: Seniors may be at increased risk of side effects due to reduced kidney or liver function. A lower starting dose may be prescribed by your doctor to reduce this risk.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between eprosartan and any of the following:
- alpha blockers (e.g., alfuzosin, doxazosin, tamsulosin)
- alpha agonists (e.g., clonidine, methyldopa)
- amphetamines (e.g., dextroamphetamine, lisdexamphetamine)
- angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs; captopril, enalapril, ramipril)
- other angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs; e.g., candasartan, irbesartan, losartan)
- barbiturates (e.g., butalbital, pentobarbital phenobarbital)
- beta-adrenergic blockers (e.g., atenolol, propranolol, sotalol)
- calcium channel blockers (e.g., amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil)
- diuretics (water pills; e.g., furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, triamterene)
- low molecular weight heparins (e.g., dalteparin, enoxaparin, tinzaparin)
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs; e.g., moclobemide, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine)
- nitrates (e.g., nitroglycerin, isosorbide dinitrate, isosorbide mononitrate)
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs; e.g., diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)
- phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors (e.g., sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil)
- potassium supplements
- sodium phosphates
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
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