Micardis (telmisartan) is an angiotensin receptor blocker medication that is prescribed for the treatment of hypertension in adult patients above the age of 18 years old. It may also be used for reducing a patient’s risk of heart-related events such as heart attack or stroke. Micardis may be used for treatment alongside additional medications or solely by itself.
How is Micardis Used?
Micardis is a tablet that should be taken orally once per day. This medication should be taken at the same time each day for maximum efficacy, and patients may require two to four weeks before noticing improvement in their condition.
It may be consumed with or without food, and patients should take this medication exactly as instructed by their prescribing physician.
In addition to using Micardis, some patients may be able to improve their condition further by making changes to their diet and exercise habits, avoiding smoking, managing their diabetes, and lowering their cholesterol. Most patients that require the use of Micardis remain on the medication for life.
While using Micardis for treatment, patients will also require regular checks of their kidney function, liver function, and blood pressure.
Micardis tablets should be stored at room temperature. Ideally, these tablets should remain at a constant temperature of 77°F (25°C). It may be temporarily exposed to temperatures as low as 59°F (15°C) and as high as 86°F (30°C).
Keep this medication out of the reach of children at all times.
As Micardis is a hygroscopic medication, it should not be exposed to moisture. It is recommended to keep Micardis in its original packaging to avoid exposure to any damaging elements.
Micardis is prescribed for a variety of cardiovascular conditions, including but not limited to:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Hypertensive congestive heart failure
- Hypertensive encephalopathy
- Hypertensive heart disease
- Hypertensive renal disease
- Hypertensive retinopathy
- Reduction of cardiovascular risks
- Renovascular hypertension
How Does Micardis Work?
As an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB), Micardis functions by improving a patient’s blood flow within the body by relaxing the blood vessels. Angiotensin II proteins are those that bind to receptors within a person’s blood and result in the narrowing of the blood vessels. This causes hypertension and an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events.
By reducing the action of these proteins, ARB medications like Micardis are able to reduce this narrowing of the affected vessels, improve blood flow, and reduce the likelihood of certain cardiovascular events while improving an individual’s overall blood pressure levels.
Micardis is available as a tablet in the following strengths:
- 20 mg
- 40 mg
- 80 mg
Patients using Micardis for the treatment of high blood pressure will most commonly take between 40 mg to 80 mg per day to manage their condition. These individuals will often begin with a starting dose of 40 mg until it can be determined how well the medication impacts their hypertension, and their physician will then make adjustments to the dosage as needed.
When used for the purpose of reducing a patient’s risks of stroke or heart attack, individuals taking Micardis will typically start with the maximum dose of 80 mg once per day and continue taking this same dosage for the duration of treatment.
Individuals that have somehow taken too much Micardis or have intentionally overdosed on this medication may experience overdose symptoms such as fainting, extreme dizziness, or a rapid heart rate.
If an overdose has occurred or is suspected, the patient’s prescribing physician or the individual’s local Poison Control Center should be contacted. If severe reactions such as difficulty breathing or unconsciousness occur, emergency medical attention should be sought right away.
Micardis is associated with a variety of side effects, with some being more common in most patients using the medication and others indicating a serious reaction to taking this medication. Please discuss any unusual symptoms or concerns regarding any side effects of the medication with your prescribing physician.
The most common side effects include:
- back pain
- sinus pain
- stuffy nose
Some of the following side effects may occur and should be reported to your doctor immediately. These side effects are considered serious and indicate a significant health event taking place that requires emergency medical attention:
- chest pain
- difficulty moving
- feeling lightheaded
- rapid weight gain
- reduction in or lack of urination
- skin ulcers
- symptoms of high potassium
- tightness or pain in the lower body
- tingly sensations
Please seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction while using Micardis:
- difficulty breathing
- swelling of the throat, tongue, lips, or face
Warnings & Precautions
The use of Micardis in certain individuals is associated with a number of different risks. Please be sure to discuss any current medication, medical conditions, or relevant medical history with your physician before beginning treatment.
The safety and efficacy of Micardis have not been studied or determined in patients below the age of 18 years.
Impaired Liver Function
As Micardis is processed through the patient’s liver before excretion, patients using this medication that also have hepatic insufficiency or certain biliary obstructive disorders are at risk of not being able to properly and sufficiently eliminate Micardis from their systems as intended. If a patient has a history of liver problems or is currently diagnosed with a related condition that may impact liver function, a lower dose may be required in these individuals, and other dosage modifications may be necessary to safely use the medication.
Patients with any history of or current kidney-related impairments or disease are at an increased risk of changes in their renal function when using Micardis. This medication is capable of altering the levels of creatinine, albumin, and potassium in those using it, and this may result in impacts on a patient’s kidney health. Patients with concerns associated with renal function may require regular testing to monitor the impact on the kidneys.
Patients using Micardis are advised to avoid supplements, medications, and salt substitutes that may increase their potassium levels, as hyperkalemia is a common risk associated with using an ARB medication. Individuals with heart failure or advanced renal impairment are at an increased risk of developing this condition while using it.
Micardis is not safe for use during pregnancy and may result in serious injury or death occurring in a developing child, especially if the medication is used during the last two trimesters of pregnancy. Patients that are wanting to become pregnant or may become pregnant while using Micardis are advised to discuss the risks and appropriate measures to be taken regarding treating the condition for which Micardis may be prescribed as well as ensuring a healthy pregnancy.
Additional Medical Conditions
If you have any of the following medical conditions, exercise caution when taking Micardis and discuss your medical history with your doctor before beginning this medication:
- if you are currently on dialysis
- if you are currently on a low-sodium diet
- if you have any additional heart-related health conditions aside from what is currently being treated with Micardis
- if you have a history of kidney disease
- if you have a history of liver disease
Speak to your doctor about any medications or herbal supplements you are currently taking before beginning treatment with Micardis. Discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor or a trusted pharmacist.
The following medications are known to interact with Micardis and may increase your chances of experiencing adverse side effects, impaired absorption of medications, and reduced efficacy of treatment:
- ACE inhibitors
- birth control pills that contain drospirenone
- cold and cough medications
- COX-2 inhibitors
- diet aids
- digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps)
- diuretics (water pills)
- lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Additional Substances That Should Not Be Used with Micardis
The following additional substances should not be used alongside Micardis unless otherwise instructed or approved by your prescribing physician:
- potassium supplements
- salt substitutes
For patients who are unable to take Micardis or experiencing significant adverse side effects, alternative medications may be used to treat some of the associated conditions for which this medication is commonly prescribed:
- acebutolol (Sectral)
- amlodipine (Norvasc)
- atenolol (Tenormin)
- azilsartan (Edarbi)
- benazepril (Lotensin)
- betaxolol (Kerlone)
- bisoprolol fumarate (Zeneta)
- bumetanide (Bumex)
- candesartan (Atacand)
- captopril (Capoten)
- carvedilol (Coreg)
- chlorothiazide (Diuril)
- clonidine (Catapres)
- diltiazem (Dilt-XR)
- doxazosin mesylate (Cardura)
- enalapril (Vasotec)
- eplerenone (Inspra)
- eprosartan (Teveten)
- fosinopril (Monopril)
- furosemide (Lasix)
- guanfacine (Tenex)
- indapamide (Lozol)
- irbesartan (Avapro)
- irbesartan + hydrochlorothiazide (Avalide)
- labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate)
- lisinopril (Zestril)
- losartan (Cozaar)
- losartan + hydrochlorothiazide (Hyzaar)
- methyldopa (Aldomet)
- metolazone (Zaroxolyn)
- metoprolol succinate (Toprol XL)
- metoprolol tartrate (Lopressor)
- moexipril (Univasc)
- nadolol (Corgard)
- nicardipine (Cardene)
- nebivolol (Bystolic)
- nifedipine (Procardia)
- nisoldipine (Sular)
- olmesartan (Benicar)
- olmesartan + amlodipine (Azor)
- olmesartan + hydrochlorothiazide (Benicar HCT)
- perindopril (Aceon)
- pindolol (Visken)
- prazosin (Minipress)
- propranolol (Inderal)
- quinapril (Accupril)
- ramipril (Altace)
- sotalol (Betapace)
- spironolactone (Aldactone)
- telmisartan + amlodipine (Twynsta)
- telmisartan + hydrochlorothiazide (Micardis HCT)
- terazosin (Hytrin)
- torsemide (Demadex)
- trandolapril (Mavik)
- valsartan (Diovan)
- valsartan + amlodipine (Exforge)
- valsartan + hydrochlorothiazide (Diovan HCT)
- verapamil (Verelan)