contains the active ingredient (irbesartan)
CONSUMER MEDICINE INFORMATION
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about ABISART.
It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have benefits and risks. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking ABISART against the benefits expected for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with your medicine.
You may need to read it again.
What ABISART is used for
ABISART is a trade name (manufacturer's name) for the medicine, irbesartan.
ABISART is used to lower high blood pressure (i.e. hypertension).
Your doctor measured your blood pressure and found it to be too high. Everyone has blood pressure. This pressure helps get your blood all around your body. Your blood pressure may be different at different times of the day, depending on how busy or worried you are. You have hypertension (high blood pressure) which means your blood pressure stays high, even when you are calm and relaxed.
There are usually no symptoms of high blood pressure. The only way of knowing that you have hypertension is to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. High blood pressure, if not treated, can damage blood vessels in several organs such as the heart, the kidneys, the brain and the eyes. This may lead to heart attacks, heart or kidney failure, strokes, or blindness. There are usually no symptoms of high blood pressure before damage occurs, so your doctor needs to measure your blood pressure to see if it is too high.
High blood pressure can be treated and controlled with medicines such as ABISART. Your doctor may also have recommended that you adjust your lifestyle to help to lower your high blood pressure (losing weight, avoiding smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and restricting the amount of salt in the diet). Your doctor may also have encouraged the practice of regular, mild (not strenuous) exercise such as walking, swimming, etc.
ABISART is also used in the treatment of kidney disease in patients with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
What ABISART does and how it works
ABISART belongs to a group of medicines called angiotensin-II receptor antagonists. Angiotensin II is a substance produced in the body which causes blood vessels to tighten.
ABISART works by blocking angiotensin-II and therefore relaxes your blood vessels. This helps to lower your blood pressure.
ABISART slows the decrease of kidney function in patients with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Your doctor may also have recommended that you adjust your life style to help to lower your high blood pressure (losing weight, avoiding smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and restricting the amount of salt in the diet).
Your doctor may also have encouraged the practice of regular, mild (not strenuous) exercise such as walking, swimming, etc.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you.
Your doctor may have prescribed ABISART for another reason.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
Before you take ABISART
When you must not take it
Do not take ABISART if you are:
allergic to any medicine containing irbesartan
allergic to any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include
shortness of breath
wheezing or difficulty breathing
swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
rash, itching or hives on the skin
Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant (or think you may be pregnant) or are planning to become pregnant.
Your baby may absorb this medicine in the womb and there is a possibility of harm to the baby.
It may affect your developing baby if you take it during pregnancy.
Do not breast-feed if you are taking this medicine.
It is not known if ABISART passes into breast milk, therefore it is not recommended to be taken while you are breast-feeding.
Do not give this medicine to children.
Safety and effectiveness in children have not been established.
Do not take ABISART if you are taking medicine containing aliskiren and either have diabetes or moderate to severe kidney impairment.
Do not take this medicine after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
you have recently had excessive vomiting or diarrhoea
you suffer from any medical conditions especially -
kidney problems, or you have had a kidney transplant or dialysis
liver problems, or have had liver problems in the past
high levels of potassium in your blood
you are strictly restricting your salt intake
you are lactose intolerant or have had any allergies to any other medicine or any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and benefits involved.
ABISART should not be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you start taking ABISART.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or intend to take any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and ABISART may interfere with each other. It is especially important that you tell your doctor if you are taking, or plan to take any of the following:
other tablets for high blood pressure
fluid tablets or diuretics
lithium or lithium containing medicines (e.g. Lithicarb)
potassium tablets (e.g. Span-K, Slow-K, Mag-K)
potassium containing salt substitutes (e.g.Pressor-K)
anti-inflammatory medicines (these are used to relieve pain, swelling and other symptoms of inflammation, including arthritis) and include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents - NSAIDs (e.g.Voltaren, Indocid, Nurofen) and COX-2 inhibitors (e.g. Celebrex)
Taking a combination of ABISART with an anti-inflammatory medicine, alone or with a thiazide diuretic (fluid tablet) may damage your kidneys. It may also reduce the effect ABISART has on reducing blood pressure.
a medicine containing aliskiren. Taking ABISART with aliskiren may affect your blood pressure, electrolyte balance and your kidney function.
These medicines may be affected by ABISART or may affect how well it works. Your doctor will decide if you need different amounts of your medicines, if your treatment needs to be altered or whether you should have check-ups or blood test more frequently.
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking this medicine.
How to take ABISART
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully.
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the box, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How much to take
Your doctor will tell you how many tablets to take each day.
Usually patients start with one 150 mg tablet once a day, however some patients may need a lower starting dose. Your doctor will tell you if this is necessary. The full blood pressure lowering effect of ABISART should be reached about 4-6 weeks after starting treatments.
Depending on how your blood pressure responds, your daily dose of ABISART may need to be increased.
Most patients take either 150 mg or 300 mg each day.
In patients with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, 300 mg once daily is the preferred maintenance dose for the treatment of associated kidney disease.
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor carefully. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the box, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How to take it
Swallow the tablets whole with a full glass of water.
Do not crush or chew the tablets.
When to take it
Take your medicine at about the same time each day.
Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you remember when to take it.
It does not matter if you take this medicine before or after food.
It does not matter whether you take ABISART tablets before or after food.
How long to take it
Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you to.
ABISART helps to control your high blood pressure, but it does not cure it. Therefore ABISART must be taken every day. It is important to keep taking your medicine even if you feel well. Continue taking ABISART until your doctor tells you to stop.
If you forget to take it
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to.
Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your medicine as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose you missed.
This may increase the chance of you getting an unwanted side effect.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much ABISART. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
You may need urgent medical attention.
Symptoms of an overdose may include feeling lightheaded or dizzy.
While you are taking ABISART
Things you must do
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking ABISART.
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who treat you that you are taking this medicine.
If you are going to have surgery, tell the surgeon or anaesthetist that you are taking this medicine.
It may affect other medicines used during surgery.
If you become pregnant while taking this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.
If you are about to have any blood tests, tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine.
It may interfere with the results of some tests.
Keep all of your doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked.
Get your blood pressure checked when your doctor tells you to, to make sure ABISART is working for you.
Get up slowly when getting out of bed or standing up.
You may feel light-headed or dizzy while taking ABISART, especially if you are also taking a diuretic (fluid tablet). This may become worse if you stand up quickly as your blood pressure may fall. Standing up slowly, especially when you get up from bed or chairs, will help your body get used to the change in position and blood pressure. This problem is not common. If it occurs talk to your doctor.
Make sure you drink enough water during exercise and hot weather when you are taking ABISART, especially if you sweat a lot.
If you do not drink enough water while taking ABISART, you may faint or feel lightheaded or sick. This is because your body does not have enough fluid and your blood pressure is low. If you continue to feel unwell, tell your doctor.
If you have excessive vomiting and/or diarrhoea while taking ABISART, tell your doctor.
This can also mean that you are losing too much water and your blood pressure may become too low.
Things you must not do
Do not take ABISART to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give your medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not stop taking your medicine or change the dosage without checking with your doctor.
If you stop taking it suddenly, your condition may worsen.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how ABISART affects you.
As with many other medicines used to treat high blood pressure, ABISART may cause dizziness or light-headedness in some people. Make sure you know how you react to ABISART before you drive a car, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or lightheaded.
Be careful when drinking alcohol while you are taking this medicine.
If you drink alcohol, dizziness or light-headedness may be worse.
If you feel light-headed, dizzy or faint when getting out of bed or standing up, get up slowly.
Standing up slowly, especially when you get up from bed or chairs, will help your body get used to the change in position and blood pressure. If this problem continues or gets worse, talk to your doctor.
Lifestyle measures that help reduce heart disease risk
By following these simple measures, you can further reduce the risk from heart disease.
Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke.
Limit alcohol intake.
Enjoy healthy eating by:
eating plenty of vegetables and fruit;
reducing your saturated fat intake (eat less fatty meats, full fat dairy products, butter, coconut and palm oils, most take-away foods, commercially-baked products).
Be active. Progress, over time, to at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on 5 or more days each week. Can be accumulated in shorter bouts of 10 minutes duration. If you have been prescribed anti-angina medicine, carry it with you when being physically active.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Discuss your lifestyle and lifestyle plans with your doctor.
For more information and tools to improve your heart health, call Heartline, the Heart Foundation's national telephone information service, on 1300 36 27 87 (local call cost).
Know warning signs of heart attack and what to do:
Tightness, fullness, pressure, squeezing, heaviness or pain in your chest, neck, jaw, throat, shoulders, arms or back.
You may also have difficulty breathing, or have a cold sweat or feel dizzy or light headed or feel like vomiting (or actually vomit).
If you have heart attack warning signs that are severe, get worse or last for 10 minutes even if they are mild, call triple zero (000). Every minute counts.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking ABISART.
This medicine helps most people with high blood pressure, but it may have unwanted side effects in some people.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by the following list of side effects.
You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you -
dizziness or light-headedness (vertigo)
unusual tiredness or weakness, fatigue
The above list includes the more common side effects of your medicine. They are usually mild and do not normally require treatment to be interrupted.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
skin rash or itchiness (possible signs of an allergic reaction)
aching muscles or aching joints, not caused by exercise
buzzing, ringing or other persistent noise in the ears
yellowing of the skin and/or eyes, also called jaundice
symptoms that may indicate kidney disease, such as passing little or no urine, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, breathlessness, loss of appetite and weakness
symptoms that may indicate high potassium levels in the blood such as nausea, diarrhoea, muscle weakness and change in heart rhythm
symptoms that may indicate low platelet count such as easy or excessive bruising, bleeding from gums or nose, prolonged bleeding from cuts and blood in urine or stools.
The above list includes serious side effects that may require medical attention. Serious side are rare.
If any of the following happen, stop taking ABISART and tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
swelling to the face, lips, tongue or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing
severe and sudden onset of pinkish, itchy swellings on the skin, also called hives or nettle rash.
The above list includes very serious side effects to ABISART. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. These side effects are very rare.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people
After taking ABISART
Keep your tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them.
If you take the tablets out of the pack they may not keep well.
Keep your tablets in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.
Do not store ABISART or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a window sill or in the car.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking this medicine or the expiry date has passed, ask your pharmacist what to do with any medicine that is left over.
What it looks like
ABISART 75 mg tablet contains 75 mg of irbesartan -
White to off white, film-coated, round, biconvex, bevelled edge tablet debossed with "M" on one side and "IN1" on the other side.
ABISART 150 mg tablet contains 150 mg of irbesartan -
White to off white, film-coated, round, biconvex, bevelled edge tablet debossed with "M" on one side and "IN2" on the other side.
ABISART 300 mg tablet contains 300 mg of irbesartan -
White to off white, film-coated, oval, biconvex, bevelled edge tablet debossed with "M" on one side and "IN3" on the other side.
Available in a blister packs of 30 for all strengths.
ABISART contains irbesartan as the active ingredient.
It also contains the following inactive ingredients:
colloidal anhydrous silica
OPADRY II Complete Film Coating System OY-LS-28908 White (ARTG no. 12435)