MONDAY, Oct. 19, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- Micardis (telmisartan) has received expanded approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke in people 55 or older who cannot take a class of cardiovascular drugs called ACE inhibitors, maker Boehringer Ingelheim said Monday.
Micardis belongs to its own class called angiotensin II receptor blockers. It's been available in the United States since 1998 to treat high blood pressure.
The FDA also granted new approval for a drug called Twynsta, which combines the active ingredient in Micardis with the calcium channel blocker amlodipine. The combination drug is meant to prevent high blood pressure when used alone, or in tandem with other anti-hypertension drugs, Boehringer said in a news release.
Some studies estimate that as many as 20 percent of people taking ACE inhibitors have side effects, which could prevent the drugs' use as prescribed, the company said. Micardis has possible side effects of its own, including upper respiratory infection, back pain, sinusitis and diarrhea. The drug shouldn't be used by pregnant women, Boehringer said.
To learn more about this drug, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.