"What are angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and how do they work?
The class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), as the class name suggests, are drugs that block the action of angiotensin. Specifically, ARBs preve"...
Pregnancy Category D
Use of drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy reduces fetal renal function and increases fetal and neonatal morbidity and death. Resulting oligohydramnios can be associated with fetal lung hypoplasia and skeletal deformations. Potential neonatal adverse effects include skull hypoplasia, anuria, hypotension, renal failure, and death. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue MICARDIS as soon as possible [see Use In Specific Populations].
In patients with an activated renin-angiotensin system, such as volume- or salt-depleted patients (e.g., those being treated with high doses of diuretics), symptomatic hypotension may occur after initiation of therapy with MICARDIS. Either correct this condition prior to administration of MICARDIS, or start treatment under close medical supervision with a reduced dose.
If hypotension does occur, the patient should be placed in the supine position and, if necessary, given an intravenous infusion of normal saline. A transient hypotensive response is not a contraindication to further treatment, which usually can be continued without difficulty once the blood pressure has stabilized.
Hyperkalemia may occur in patients on ARBs, particularly in patients with advanced renal impairment, heart failure, on renal replacement therapy, or on potassium supplements, potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium-containing salt substitutes or other drugs that increase potassium levels. Consider periodic determinations of serum electrolytes to detect possible electrolyte imbalances, particularly in patients at risk.
Impaired Hepatic Function
As the majority of telmisartan is eliminated by biliary excretion, patients with biliary obstructive disorders or hepatic insufficiency can be expected to have reduced clearance. Initiate telmisartan at low doses and titrate slowly in these patients [see Use In Specific Populations and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Impaired Renal Function
As a consequence of inhibiting the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, anticipate changes in renal function in susceptible individuals. In patients whose renal function may depend on the activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (e.g., patients with severe congestive heart failure or renal dysfunction), treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor antagonists has been associated with oliguria and/or progressive azotemia and (rarely) with acute renal failure and/or death. Similar results have been reported with MICARDIS [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
In studies of ACE inhibitors in patients with unilateral or bilateral renal artery stenosis, increases in serum creatinine or blood urea nitrogen were observed. There has been no long term use of MICARDIS in patients with unilateral or bilateral renal artery stenosis, but anticipate an effect similar to that seen with ACE inhibitors.
Dual Blockade of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System
As a consequence of inhibiting the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, changes in renal function (including acute renal failure) have been reported. Dual blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (e.g., by adding an ACE-inhibitor to an angiotensin II receptor antagonist) should include close monitoring of renal function.
The ONTARGET trial enrolled 25,620 patients ≥ 55 years old with atherosclerotic disease or diabetes with end-organ damage, randomizing them to telmisartan only, ramipril only, or the combination, and followed them for a median of 56 months. Patients receiving the combination of MICARDIS and ramipril did not obtain any additional benefit compared to monotherapy, but experienced an increased incidence of renal dysfunction (e.g., acute renal failure) compared with groups receiving telmisartan alone or ramipril alone. Concomitant use of MICARDIS and ramipril is not recommended.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-approved Patient Labeling
Female patients of childbearing age should be told about the consequences of exposure to MICARDIS during pregnancy. Discuss treatment options with women planning to become pregnant. Patients should be asked to report pregnancies to their physicians as soon as possible [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
There was no evidence of carcinogenicity when telmisartan was administered in the diet to mice and rats for up to 2 years. The highest doses administered to mice (1000 mg/kg/day) and rats (100 mg/kg/day) are, on a mg/m²basis, about 59 and 13 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of telmisartan. These same doses have been shown to provide average systemic exposures to telmisartan > 100 times and > 25 times, respectively, the systemic exposure in humans receiving the MRHD (80 mg/day).
Genotoxicity assays did not reveal any telmisartan-related effects at either the gene or chromosome level. These assays included bacterial mutagenicity tests with Salmonella and E. coli (Ames), a gene mutation test with Chinese hamster V79 cells, a cytogenetic test with human lymphocytes, and a mouse micronucleus test.
No drug-related effects on the reproductive performance of male and female rats were noted at 100 mg/kg/day (the highest dose administered), about 13 times, on a mg/m²basis, the MRHD of telmisartan. This dose in the rat resulted in an average systemic exposure (telmisartan AUC as determined on day 6 of pregnancy) at least 50 times the average systemic exposure in humans at the MRHD (80 mg/day).
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category D
[See WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Use of drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy reduces fetal renal function and increases fetal and neonatal morbidity and death. Resulting oligohydramnios can be associated with fetal lung hypoplasia and skeletal deformations. Potential neonatal adverse effects include skull hypoplasia, anuria, hypotension, renal failure, and death. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue MICARDIS as soon as possible. These adverse outcomes are usually associated with use of these drugs in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Most epidemiologic studies examining fetal abnormalities after exposure to antihypertensive use in the first trimester have not distinguished drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system from other antihypertensive agents. Appropriate management of maternal hypertension during pregnancy is important to optimize outcomes for both mother and fetus.
In the unusual case that there is no appropriate alternative to therapy with drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system for a particular patient, apprise the mother of the potential risk to the fetus. Perform serial ultrasound examinations to assess the intra-amniotic environment. If oligohydramnios is observed, discontinue MICARDIS, unless it is considered lifesaving for the mother. Fetal testing may be appropriate, based on the week of pregnancy. Patients and physicians should be aware, however, that oligohydramnios may not appear until after the fetus has sustained irreversible injury. Closely observe infants with histories of in utero exposure to MICARDIS for hypotension, oliguria, and hyperkalemia [see Use In Specific Populations].
It is not known whether telmisartan is excreted in human milk, but telmisartan was shown to be present in the milk of lactating rats. Because of the potential for adverse effects on the nursing infant, decide whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Neonates with a history of in utero exposure to MICARDIS: If oliguria or hypotension occurs, direct attention toward support of blood pressure and renal perfusion. Exchange transfusions or dialysis may be required as a means of reversing hypotension and/or substituting for disordered renal function.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Of the total number of patients receiving MICARDIS in hypertension clinical studies, 551 (19%) were 65 to 74 years of age and 130 (4%) were 75 years or older. No overall differences in effectiveness and safety were observed in these patients compared to younger patients and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Of the total number of patients receiving MICARDIS in the cardiovascular risk reduction study (ONTARGET), the percentage of patients ≥ 65 to < 75 years of age was 42%; 15% of patients were ≥ 75 years old. No overall differences in effectiveness and safety were observed in these patients compared to younger patients and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Monitor carefully and uptitrate slowly in patients with biliary obstructive disorders or hepatic insufficiency [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Last reviewed on RxList: 11/6/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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