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Telmisartan oral

Updated 2 Feb 2023 | Angiotensin-II antagonists


Oral formulations of telmisartan

Drugs List

  • MICARDIS 40mg tablets
  • MICARDIS 80mg tablets
  • telmisartan 20mg tablets
  • telmisartan 40mg tablets
  • telmisartan 80mg tablets
  • TOLURA 20mg tablets
  • TOLURA 40mg tablets
  • TOLURA 80mg tablets
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Risk reduction of cardiovascular events
    Treatment of essential hypertension

    Treatment of essential hypertension

    Cardiovascular prevention: reduction of cardiovascular morbidity in patients with:
    Manifest atherothrombotic cardiovascular disease (history of coronary heart disease, stroke or peripheral arterial disease)
    Type 2 diabetes mellitus with documented target organ damage



    The usual effective dose is 40 mg once daily. Some patients may already benefit at a daily dose of 20 mg. In cases where the target blood pressure is not achieved, this dose may be increased after at least 4 weeks to a maximum dose of 80 mg once daily.

    May be used in combination with thiazide-type diuretics.

    When considering raising the dose, it must be borne in mind that the maximum antihypertensive effect is attained 4 to 8 weeks after the start of treatment.

    Cardiovascular prevention
    The recommended dose is 80 mg once daily.

    It is unknown if lower doses are effective in reducing cardiovascular morbidity.


    (See Dosage; Adults)

    Patients with Renal Impairment

    Limited experience is available in patients with severe renal impairment or haemodialysis. The manufacturer recommends a lower starting dose of 20 mg once daily in these patients.

    The Renal Drug Handbook gives the following dosage recommendations:
    GFR 20 to 50 ml/minute: Dose as in normal renal function.
    GFR 10 to 20 ml/minute: Dose as in normal renal function.
    GFR less that 10 ml/minute: Start with 20 mg once daily and adjust dose according to response.

    Patients with Hepatic Impairment

    In patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment dosage should not exceed 40 mg once daily.


    Children under 18 years
    Biliary obstruction
    Hereditary fructose intolerance
    Severe bilateral renal artery stenosis
    Severe hepatic impairment
    Severe unilateral stenosis of solitary functioning kidney

    Precautions and Warnings

    Patients over 70 years
    Aortic stenosis
    Bilateral renal artery stenosis
    Diabetes mellitus
    Glucose-galactose malabsorption syndrome
    Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy
    Ischaemic heart disease
    Kidney transplantation
    Lactose intolerance
    Mild hepatic impairment
    Mitral stenosis
    Peripheral vascular disease
    Renal impairment - glomerular filtration rate below 10ml/minute
    Renovascular disorder
    Severe congestive cardiac failure
    Severe generalised atherosclerosis
    Unilateral stenosis of solitary functioning kidney

    Patients with primary aldosteronism may not benefit from this treatment
    Reduce dose in patients with a glomerular filtration rate below 10ml/min
    Switch to more suitable alternative before planned pregnancy
    Advise ability to drive/operate machinery may be affected by side effects
    Advise patient that first dose hypotension may occur
    Afro-Caribbean or black patients may show reduced response
    Correct volume and/or salt depletion before initiating therapy
    Presentations with sorbitol unsuitable in hereditary fructose intolerance
    Some formulations contain lactose
    Evaluate renal function before and during treatment
    Monitor serum electrolytes before and during treatment
    Diabetic control may need adjustment
    Monitor serum potassium regularly
    Increased risk of hyperkalaemia with K+ suppl. and K+ sparing diuretic
    Advise patient to seek advice at first indications of pregnancy
    Advise patient not to take NSAIDs unless advised by clinician
    Advise on problems of salt substitutes/high intake of potassium-rich food
    Female: Ensure adequate contraception during treatment

    Renal function and electrolytes should be checked before starting treatment and monitored during therapy, especially in patients with post myocardial infarction and those with heart failure. Side effects (such as hyperkalaemia) are more common in patients with renal impairment, the dose may need to be reduced. A specialist should be involved if renal function is significantly reduced.

    Monitor plasma potassium, particularly in the elderly, patients with renal impairment, in the presence of other conditions (fever, dehydration) which affect renal function and patients in whom potassium supplements / retaining medication is essential.

    In patients whose renal function may depend on the activity of the renin-angiotensin system (e.g. patients with severe congestive heart failure), treatment with ACE inhibitors has been associated with oliguria and/ or progressive azotaemia and in rare cases with acute renal failure and/ or death. As telmisartan is an angiotensin II antagonist, it cannot be excluded that the use of this medication may be associated with impairment of the renal function.

    Avoid use in patients with known or suspected renovascular disease, unless the blood pressure cannot be controlled with other drugs. Use with particular precaution in patients who have undiagnosed and clinically silent renovascular disease.

    Co-administration of NSAIDS may reduce the antihypertensive effect of angiotensin II receptor antagonists, increase serum potassium and exacerbate renal impairment.

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Telmisartan is contraindicated in pregnancy. When pregnancy is diagnosed, treatment should be immediately discontinued and if possible an alternative treatment started.

    Angiotensin II receptor antagonists may be associated with similar risks as ACE inhibitors. Angiotensin II receptor antagonist exposure during the second and third trimesters is known to induce human foetotoxicity (decreased renal function, oligohydramnios, skull ossification retardation) and neonatal toxicity (renal failure, hypotension, hyperkalaemia).

    The MHRA states that the use of angiotensin II receptor antagonists in late pregnancy has been associated with adverse effects on the foetal kidney and other congenital anomalies, therefore angiotensin II receptor antagonists should not be used at any stage during of pregnancy unless absolutely necessary and only then after the potential risks and benefits have been discussed with the patient.

    Exposure to angiotensin II receptor antagonists during the first trimester has been inconclusive, however, a small increase in risk cannot be excluded and a detailed ultrasound is recommended.

    If pregnancy is detected during therapy, telmisartan should be discontinued as soon as possible and alternative treatment should be offered. Guidelines advise that women who are taking angiotensin II receptor blockers are told that there is an increased risk of congenital abnormalities if these drugs are taken during pregnancy and other antihypertensive treatments should be discussed and offered.

    The use of all medication in pregnancy should be avoided whenever possible; particularly in the first trimester. Non-drug treatments should also be considered. When essential, a medication with the best safety record over time should be chosen, employing the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Polypharmacy should be avoided. Teratogens taken in the pre-embryonic period, often quoted as lasting until 14 to 17 days post-conception, are believed to have an all-or-nothing effect. Where drugs have a short half-life, and when the date of conception is certain, this may allow women to be reassured where drug exposure has occurred within this time frame. Further advice may be available from the UK National Teratology Information Service (NTIS) and through ToxBase, available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).


    Telmisartan is contraindicated during breastfeeding.

    Schaefer (2007) suggests that accidental administration of a single dose does not require weaning, however, therapy should be changed to an antihypertensive which has been better studied in breastfeeding. The MHRA concludes that the use of angiotensin II receptor antagonists in breastfeeding mothers is not recommended. Alternative agents with more established safety profiles during breastfeeding are preferable, especially while nursing a newborn or preterm baby.

    Neonates, infants born prematurely, those with low birth weight, those with an unstable gastrointestinal function or who have serious illnesses may require special consideration. For any infant, if a drug is prescribed to the nursing mother, it should be at the lowest practical dose and for the shortest time. When drug administration is unavoidable and breastfeeding is to continue, minimisation of exposure of the infant to the drug may sometimes be achieved by timing the maternal doses to just after a feeding episode. Infants exposed to drugs via breast milk should be monitored for unusual signs or symptoms. Interactions between the drug received by the infant from the mother's milk and medication prescribed for the infant should also be considered, for example, when the drug given to the infant may prevent metabolism of the drug received via breast milk.
    Specialist advice is available from the UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service at

    Side Effects

    Abdominal pain
    Acute renal failure
    Anaphylactic reaction
    Back pain
    Chest pain
    Creatine phosphokinase increased
    Dry mouth
    Extremity pain
    Fixed drug eruption
    Gastro-intestinal disturbances
    Haemoglobin decrease
    Hepatic disorders
    Hypersensitivity reactions
    Increased sweating
    Increases in hepatic enzymes
    Influenza-like symptoms
    Interstitial lung disease
    Muscle spasm
    Orthostatic hypotension
    Renal impairment
    Serum creatinine increased
    Stomach pain
    Tendinitis like symptoms
    Toxic skin reaction
    Upper respiratory tract infection
    Urinary tract infections
    Visual disturbances


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: June 2014

    Reference Sources

    Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation: Treatment Options and Risk Assessment, 2nd edition (2007) ed. Schaefer, C., Peters, P. and Miller, R. Elsevier, London.

    Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk, 9th edition (2011) ed. Briggs, G., Freeman, R. and Yaffe, S. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.

    Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary (online) London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press Accessed on June 12, 2014.

    Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference, 37th edition (2011) ed. Sweetman, S. Pharmaceutical Press, London.

    Medications and Mothers' Milk, 14th Edition (2010) Hale,T. Hale Publishing, Amarillo, Texas.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Micardis 20mg tablets. Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd. Revised December 2013.
    Summary of Product Characteristics: Micardis 40mg tablets. Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd. Revised December 2013.
    Summary of Product Characteristics: Micardis 80mg tablets. Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd. Revised December 2013.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Tolura 20mg tablets. KRKA. Revised June 2010.
    Summary of Product Characteristics: Tolura 40mg tablets. KRKA. Revised June 2010.
    Summary of Product Characteristics: Tolura 80mg tablets. KRKA. Revised June 2010.

    The Renal Drug Handbook. 3rd edition. (2009) ed. Ashley, C and Currie, Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, Abingdon.

    MHRA Drug Safety Update: Breastfeeding with ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor antagonists (Dated: May 2009)
    Available at:
    Last accessed: June 12, 2014.

    National Institute for Health and Clinical excellence (NICE) clinical guidance 107: Hypertension in pregnancy. Issue date August 2010
    Available at:
    Last accessed: June 12, 2014.

    US National Library of Medicine. Toxicology Data Network. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed).
    Available at:
    Telmisartan. Last revised: September 7, 2013.
    Last accessed: June 12, 2014.

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