Frequently asked questions about high blood pressure

Select a question below.

Frequently asked questions about Micardis® (telmisartan) tablets

Select a question below.

  1. What is high blood pressure (hypertension)? High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious condition that can lead to health problems like coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure. Usually, there are no symptoms, so you can have it for years without knowing. Unfortunately, serious damage to your body may take place during that time. That's why high blood pressure is sometimes called the "silent killer."

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  2. How do I know if I have high blood pressure? High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can cause serious health problems. For some patients, blood pressure is a condition that can be controlled with adequate lifestyle changes, but many patients also need prescription medicine. It is important for your doctor to get an accurate measurement of your blood pressure.

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  3. Is there a cure for high blood pressure? In many cases, the exact cause of high blood pressure is not known. Factors such as lifestyle, heredity, age, and race may all play a part. For 5% to 10% of patients, their high blood pressure has a specific underlying cause (such as kidney abnormalities, hormonal imbalances, or certain drugs).

    In cases where the cause is not known, high blood pressure may be controlled with diet, exercise, and medication. But in cases where there is an underlying cause, high blood pressure may be managed by treating the specific condition. If the cause is a drug, treatment may include stopping the drug.

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  4. What is a "normal" blood pressure and what do the numbers mean? A blood pressure reading has 2 measurements. Systolic, the top number, is the pressure that occurs during a heartbeat; diastolic, the bottom number, is the pressure that occurs between heartbeats. A normal blood pressure is less than 120 systolic and 80 diastolic (120/80). Generally, blood pressure is too high if it stays over 140 systolic and 90 diastolic (140/90) after 2 or more visits to the doctor's office.

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  5. What causes hypertension? In 5% to 10% of cases, there is an underlying cause, such as another medical condition or certain drugs. In many cases, the cause of hypertension is not known, but risk factors for the disease include the following:

    What you CANNOT control

    • Family: a family history of high blood pressure
    • Race: high blood pressure affects more than 40% of African Americans
    • Age: 70% of US adults 65 years or older have high blood pressure

    What you CAN control

    • Smoking
    • Drinking too much alcohol
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Eating foods that are high in salt or sodium
    • Inactivity
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  6. What can I do to help lower my blood pressure? Here are some of the ways you can help control the risks related to high blood pressure:

    • Quit smoking
    • Limit drinking
    • Lose weight if you are above your ideal weight
    • Eat more fruits and vegetables
    • Get more exercise
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  1. Can I take MICARDIS if I am pregnant? No. You must not take MICARDIS if you are pregnant. When used in pregnancy during the second and third trimesters, drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury, and even death to the developing fetus. When pregnancy is detected, MICARDIS tablets should be discontinued and you should call your doctor as soon as possible.

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  2. What is the most important information I should know about MICARDIS tablets? MICARDIS can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. Talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your blood pressure if you plan to become pregnant. If you get pregnant while taking MICARDIS, tell your doctor right away.

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  3. What is MICARDIS? MICARDIS is a once-daily medication for hypertension that works 24 hours a day to control blood pressure.

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  4. How does MICARDIS lower my blood pressure? MICARDIS lowers your blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessels, making it easier for your heart to pump blood. It is a type of medicine called an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB).

    Angiotensin II is a hormone your body makes that constricts blood vessels. And constricted blood vessels can make your blood pressure go up. Angiotensin II causes your body to retain more salt and water, which can cause your blood pressure to go up. Plus, it can make the walls of your blood vessels and heart thicken and get stiffer. All of this can raise your blood pressure.

    MICARDIS blocks the action of angiotensin II. As a result, your blood vessels relax and widen. And that helps your blood pressure to go down.

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  5. Why is 24-hour blood pressure control important? Your blood pressure can go up and down during the day. MICARDIS has been shown to maintain its effectiveness in lowering blood pressure for a full 24 hours.

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  6. How do I take MICARDIS tablets? It is important to take your MICARDIS at the same time every day, as instructed by your healthcare provider.

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  7. How do I know if MICARDIS is working? High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, so you may not be able to tell if your medication is working. That is why it is so important to follow up with you doctor regularly when taking MICARDIS.

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  8. What important safety information should I know about MICARDIS?

    MICARDIS may cause:

    • Injury or death to an unborn baby. Do not take MICARDIS if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
    • Low blood pressure, which is most likely to happen if you also take diuretics (water pills), are on a diet low in salt and sodium, get dialysis treatments, have heart problems, or get sick with vomiting or diarrhea. If you feel faint or dizzy, lie down, and call your doctor right away
    • Kidney problems, which may get worse in people who already have kidney disease. Some people will have changes in kidney function test results and may need a lower dose of MICARDIS. Call your doctor if you get swelling in your feet, ankles, or hands, or unexplained weight gain

    These are not all the possible side effects with MICARDIS. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a complete list. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

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  9. What are the side effects associated with MICARDIS?

    Rare but serious side effects may occur, including:

    • Swelling of the face, tongue, or throat
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Skin rash

    Side effects are generally mild and may include:

    • Upper respiratory tract infections, including sinus pain/infection and sore throat
    • Back pain
    • Diarrhea
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  10. Should I take MICARDIS with food or on an empty stomach? MICARDIS may be taken with or without food.

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  11. If I already have kidney disease, should I take MICARDIS? Kidney problems may get worse in people who already have kidney disease. Some people will have changes in kidney function test results and may need a lower dose of MICARDIS. Call your doctor if you get swelling in your feet, ankles, or hands, or unexplained weight gain.

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INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Micardis® (telmisartan) tablets are a prescription medicine used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

Additionally, MICARDIS 80 mg tablets are used in certain high-risk people aged 55 years and older to help lower their risk of having certain cardiovascular problems such as stroke, heart attack, or death.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

MICARDIS can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. Talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your blood pressure if you plan to become pregnant. If you get pregnant while taking MICARDIS tablets, tell your doctor right away.

If you have diabetes and take MICARDIS, you should not take aliskiren.

Do not take MICARDIS if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to the active ingredient (telmisartan) or any other ingredient in MICARDIS tablets. Tell your doctor about any allergies you may have and all of your medical conditions, including any liver, kidney, heart or visual problems, or lupus. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or if you are breast feeding. You should not take MICARDIS and breast feed.

Tell your doctor about all other medications and supplements you are taking, especially if you are taking lithium, digoxin, diuretics (“water pills”), or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (“NSAIDs”). Tell your doctor if you are taking other medications for blood pressure. You should not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium without consulting your healthcare professional.

MICARDIS can cause serious side effects including harm and death to your unborn child, low blood pressure, and kidney problems. Tell your doctor if you feel faint, dizzy, or light-headed or if you get swelling in your feet, ankles or hands. Your doctor may check your blood for potassium levels and tests of your kidney and liver function.

Serious allergic reactions may occur. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs of allergic reaction such as swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, difficulty breathing, or skin rash.

The most common side effects seen in people taking MICARDIS are sinus pain, back pain, and diarrhea.

These are not all the possible side effects with MICARDIS. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information, for MICARDIS.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

MICARDIS can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. Talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your blood pressure if you plan to become pregnant. If you get pregnant while taking MICARDIS tablets, tell your doctor right away.

If you have diabetes and take MICARDIS, you should not take aliskiren.

Do not take MICARDIS if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to the active ingredient (telmisartan) or any other ingredient in MICARDIS tablets. Tell your doctor about any allergies you may have and all of your medical conditions, including any liver, kidney, heart or visual problems, or lupus. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or if you are breast feeding. You should not take MICARDIS and breast feed.

Tell your doctor about all other medications and supplements you are taking, especially if you are taking lithium, digoxin, diuretics (“water pills”), or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (“NSAIDs”). Tell your doctor if you are taking other medications for blood pressure. You should not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium without consulting your healthcare professional.

MICARDIS can cause serious side effects including harm and death to your unborn child, low blood pressure, and kidney problems. Tell your doctor if you feel faint, dizzy, or light-headed or if you get swelling in your feet, ankles or hands. Your doctor may check your blood for potassium levels and tests of your kidney and liver function.

Serious allergic reactions may occur. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs of allergic reaction such as swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, difficulty breathing, or skin rash.

The most common side effects seen in people taking MICARDIS are sinus pain, back pain, and diarrhea.

These are not all the possible side effects with MICARDIS. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information, for MICARDIS.

Notice and Healthcare Provider Information

The following information is intended only for healthcare professionals licensed and practicing in the United States and is designed to be an educational aid that supplements and draws upon the professional training, experience, and knowledge of such healthcare professionals.

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