If you have high blood pressure, your healthcare provider may prescribe Avalide. The medication contains two blood pressure drugs and works by removing excess salt and water from the blood and by blocking a certain enzyme that constricts the blood vessels. There are no universally accepted off-label uses for Avalide at this time, nor is the medication approved for children.
What Is Avalide Used For?Avalide® (irbesartan/HCTZ) is a combination prescription medication used in the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension). It combines two high blood pressure drugs: irbesartan (Avapro®) and hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide®, Oretic®), or HCTZ for short.
Avalide may be a good option for people who have high blood pressure that is not adequately controlled with other blood pressure medications, or for people who are just starting high blood pressure treatment and will likely need more than one medication to achieve their goal blood pressure. This medicine may also be a good choice for people who are already taking irbesartan and HCTZ as two separate pills and want to take one pill instead of two.
Using Avalide for High Blood PressureBlood pressure is a measure of the force inside your blood vessels -- both while the heart is beating and while it is relaxed. High blood pressure, known medically as hypertension, is when that force is too high. When you have high blood pressure, your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body.
Your healthcare provider determines if you have high blood pressure by taking blood pressure readings. There are two numbers in a blood pressure reading. The top number, or the systolic number, is a measure of blood pressure when the heart is beating. The bottom number, or the diastolic number, is a measure of blood pressure when the heart is relaxed.
High blood pressure is usually defined as an average blood pressure higher than 140/90, over multiple blood pressure readings. However, in some cases, your healthcare provide may consider a lower blood pressure reading to be too high, as might be the case if you have certain medical conditions such as diabetes.
Most people with high blood pressure will not experience any symptoms. However, over time, high blood pressure can damage many of the body's vital organs, including the eyes, heart, brain, and kidneys. Because of this damage, untreated high blood pressure may lead to serious health problems, such as:
(Click Effects of High Blood Pressure for more information.)
Because Avalide combines two different blood pressure medications, it will typically cause a greater decrease in blood pressure than if either of the medications is used alone. In fact, in clinical trials, people who received Avalide were more likely to reach their goal blood pressure than people who received only irbesartan or only hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ).
Although Avalide lowers blood pressure, it is not a cure for high blood pressure. If you stop taking this medication, it is likely that your blood pressure will increase. Most people with high blood pressure need to take medication their entire lives.