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Telmisartan To Lower High Blood Pressure

Telmisartan is a type of medication known as angiotensin II receptor antagonist or ARBs. It’s an effective medication in lowering high blood pressure and is the most studied angiotensin II receptor antagonist in the high-risk patient population.  Patients who are at high risk are those with a history of coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, diabetes with evidence of end-organ damage and transient ischemic attack.

Telmisartan has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration or FDA for the prevention of myocardial infarction, stroke and death from cardiovascular problems among patients who are unable to take angiotensin-converting enzyme or ACE inhibitors.

Its mechanism of action is similar to ACE inhibitors but it doesn’t cause the same side effects as coughing. It is used alone or alongside other medications in treating high blood pressure. Though it is not a first-choice treatment in reducing high blood pressure, this drug is especially useful for patients with mild to moderate kidney disease or diabetes with fewer side effects.

What condition does Telmisartan treat?

Telmisartan is primarily prescribed by doctors for:

  • Treatment and prevention of high blood pressure or hypertension with no known cause
  • Reducing the risk stroke, heart attack or death in people who are at high risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and those who are 55 years of age or older.

Hypertension is a common cardiovascular issue that affects people who are over 35 years of age. It is particularly prevalent among those who are heavy drinkers, obese people, elderly and women who are taking birth control pills. Nearly one-third of those with hypertension are not aware of their condition because there are no symptoms. Hypertension can be deadly if left untreated as it can lead to other serious cardiovascular issues such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure or heart failure.

How do Telmisartan works?

As an angiotensin II receptor antagonist, Telmisartan works by preventing the action of angiotensin II in the body. Angiotensin II acts on the receptor cells in the body with two main results. It causes the peripheral blood vessels to become narrow and by stimulating the production of aldosterone, a hormone that causes salt and water to be retained by the kidney which results in the increase of fluid volume in the blood vessels.

Telmisartan does this by blocking the receptor cell to prevent it from binding with angiotensin II. As a result, the blood vessels widen so there would be more space and less resistance within the blood vessels thereby lowering the blood pressure. Blocking the action of angiotensin also reduces the production of aldosterone in the kidney.

What is the dosage of Telmisartan?

  • The recommended dose in treating high blood pressure in an adult is 40mg a day. However, your doctor may adjust your dose to not more than 80mg a day.
  • The recommended dose in lowering the risk of stroke or heart attack in an adult is 80mg a day.
  • When initiating Telmisartan therapy in lowering stroke or heart disease, monitoring of blood pressure is recommended.
  • For elderly patients with hypertension, no initial dosage adjustment is necessary.

How to take Telmisartan?

  • It’s vital for you to take your medications as directed. Remember that this drug will not cure your condition but will only control it.
  • Take your medications even if you feel well.
  • Take Telmisartan with or without food.
  • The antihypertensive effect of Telmisartan is apparent within 2 weeks. The maximum effect is generally attained after 4 weeks.
  • For a missed dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is time for you to take your dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.

What are the precautions in taking Telmisartan?

  • Do not use Telmisartan if you have:
  • Biliary obstruction or blockage of the bile duct
  • An inherited tolerance to fructose in your diet as this drug contains sorbitol.
  • High blood pressure due to high level of aldosterone that does not generally respond to angiotensin II receptor antagonist.
  • Severely decreased liver function
  • Use Telmisartan with care among patients with:
  • Severe heart failure
  • Diabetes type 2
  • Mild to moderately decreased liver function
  • Kidney disease or decreased kidney function
  • Elderly patients
  • Mitral valve stenosis or heart valve disease
  • Ischaemic heart disease due to inadequate flow of blood to the heart
  • Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, a type of heart disease characterized by thickening of the internal heart muscle or blockage inside the heart
  • Telmisartan can cause the potassium level in your blood to rise. Do not take this drug if you have high levels of potassium in your blood.
  • In addition to taking Telmisartan in treating high blood pressure, lifestyle changes such as controlling your weight, changes in the foods you eat particularly foods high in salt and exercise can help manage your blood pressure.
  • Pregnant women must avoid using Telmisartan. This drug can act directly on the renin-angiotensin system which can cause injury and even death to the developing fetus. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue using this drug right away and contact your doctor.
  • It is very important to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications as they can cause adverse drug interaction such as increasing your risk of certain side effects.
  • Taking Telmisartan can cause your blood pressure to drop too low. This can cause headaches, make you feel lightheaded or dizzy.

Costs of Generic Telmisartan vs Micardis

The brand name version is a moderately priced drug compared with the generic name Telmisartan. Telmisartan 80mg cost $.90 per unit price or $26.99 for 30 tabs. While the brand name Micardis cost $221.23 for 30 tabs or $7.37 per unit price.