Description: Avapro (sold generically as irbesartan) is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure (e.g., an antihypertensive agent). Specifically, it is in a category of medications called “angiotensin II receptor antagonist.” Avapro works by preventing the blood vessels from constricting too much, which is what leads to elevated blood pressure.
Serious Side Effects of Avapro
Avapro carries some side effects that depend on your genetically modulated metabolism, including dangerous adverse reactions and allergic reactions. Specially, Avapro/irbesartan can cause extremely low blood pressure, known as hypotension, according to the Avapro drug label as reported by the FDA (April 2011).
Common Side Effects of Avapro
According to the Avapro drug labelas reported by the FDA (April 2011), other common side effects include: mood changes, increased thirst, drowsiness, confusion, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, swelling, weight gain, and feeling short of breath.
Less Common Side Effects of Avapro
Other less common and rare side effects according to the Avapro drug label as reported by the FDA (April 2011), include:
Understand Your Risks with the Rxight® Genetic Test
MD Labs offers a comprehensive CLIA-certified PGx testing program, Rxight®. The Rxight® panel covers over two hundred prescription and over-the-counter medications across nearly 50 clinically significant medication classes, including common blood pressure medications such as Avapro. Gene variants (called “polymorphisms”) on genes are analyzed in the Rxight® panel. PGx testing is designed to identify your genetic variations that impact how well your body absorbs and processes medications, and thus helps clinicians determine the liklihood of a patient developing side effects or not deriving therapeutic benefit – preferably before treatment begins – instead of relying on trial and error, which can be a protracted and potentially unsafe process. A simple DNA cheek swab is all that is required, and it can be performed at any pharmacy participating in the Rxight® program.
How Does Pharmacogenetic Testing Work?
Pharmacogenetics is a burgeoning new field that looks at how specific gene variations affect the body’s ability to metabolize medications. As a specific liver enzyme is involved in the metabolism of irbesartan, individuals with low activity of this enzyme tend to have higher blood concentration of this medicine in their body, thus making them prone to the side effects. Hence, pharmacogenetic testing of variations that encode for this enzyme can help healthcare providers to identify such individuals and avoid adverse effects, or medication inefficacy. So-called slow metabolizers of a particular medication due to differences in the liver enzyme activity are at greater risk for side effects and toxicity, while fast metabolizers will not benefit from a standard dose.
Contributors to this Article:
Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry
Read more about Rxight® pharmacogenetics