Side Effects of Edarbi (Azilsartan)

High blood pressure medication such as Edarbi may have side effects


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Among the medications to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), Edarbi (azilsartan) is categorized as an angiotensin II receptor antagonist (ARB) and is used alone or concurrently with other medications to treat high blood pressure. It is used for adults 18 years or older. 

High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In the United States, it affects at least 1 in 3 adults and can lead to the death of 1 in every 7 individuals.

If your doctor has prescribed azilsartan to manage your high blood pressure, note there are a number of potential side effects that may require medical attention, especially if you are on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) treatment or you are pregnant.

Mild to Moderate Side Effects

Azilsartan functions by blocking the effects of the angiotensin II hormone that narrows the blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow with greater ease so that the heart is able to pump in a more efficient manner. 

A 2011 study examined the use of azilsartan to treat high blood pressure. Among the side effects noticed in clinical trials with 4,814 patients, diarrhea was the most common occurring in patients who were taking an 80-milligram dose of the medication.

Other symptoms that don’t necessarily require medical attention, unless they continue to be ongoing symptoms, include: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Physical weakness (asthenia)
  • Cough
  • Muscle spasm

Report any side effects, even mild ones, to your doctor.

Serious Side Effects

Among the reported serious side effects that require immediate medical attention are the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

Your doctor may note these abnormal findings in blood tests:

  • Increased levels of creatinine (a waste product produced by muscles)
  • Increased uric acid levels
  • Elevated blood urea nitrogen

For incidents of these adverse side effects, your doctor or you should send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s FDA MedWatch Adverse Reporting Program online or call 1-800-332-1088.

Azilasartan and Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, azilsartan can harm the fetus. Discontinue taking azilsartan immediately.

Medications that affect the renin-angiotensin system reduces the fetus’s renal function, resulting in oligohydramnios (too little amniotic fluid around the fetus) that can lead to lung underdevelopment (hypoplasia), skeletal deformation including underdevelopment of the skull, and low blood pressure (hypotension) during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, which may increase the risk of fetal and neonatal death.

Frequent ultrasound examinations are recommended throughout the pregnancy to evaluate the intra-amniotic fluid along with testing of the fetus based on the trimester of the pregnancy.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

There are certain conditions and medications that may increase the risk of side effects if azilsartan has been prescribed. For example, azilsartan can not be administered to patients with diabetes who are being treated with aliskiren-containing products.

Elderly patients who are currently treated with diuretic therapy and are volume-depleted (a deficit of extracellular fluid volume), have compromised kidney function, and are taking NSAIDs, (including COX-2 inhibitors) with azilsartan may experience side effects resulting in worsening kidney function that can lead to acute kidney failure.

These side effects typically can be reversed. However, patients will need to be monitored more frequently to check their kidney function.

Other concerns include: 

  • Patients who have been prescribed azilsartan (or any other ARBs), combined with the consumption of alcoholic beverages will experience a dramatic drop in blood pressure that can cause dizziness or fainting.
  • If you previously experienced side effects with ACE inhibitors, alert your physician. 
  • Azilsartan and other ARBs may interact with antacids, drugs, vitamins, or salt substitutes containing potassium and over-the-counter drugs for cold, flu, or hay fever. 

Be sure to always consult with your doctor which prescription and over-the-counter drugs you are taking for specific conditions to minimize the risk of side effects.

Many people with high blood pressure will need to take more than one medication to control it to reach a healthy goal and reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. Azilsartan is an ARB, but other types of drugs are used for the treatment of high blood pressure. Other medications include:

Treating hypertension is a component of managing potential cardiovascular risk. Other measures, when deemed relevant, include lipid control, diabetes management, antithrombotic therapy (treating blood clots), cigarette smoking termination, exercise, and reducing sodium consumption.

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