Drug vs. Drug

Irbesartan vs Valsartan: Main Differences and Similarities

By | June 25, 2019

Irbesartan and valsartan are medications that can treat high blood pressure. Both medications are grouped into a class of medications known as angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). They work by blocking the activity of angiotensin II, a substance that can cause blood vessels to constrict. Irbesartan can also treat diabetic nephropathy while valsartan can also treat heart failure.

Irbesartan

Irbesartan is the generic name for Avapro. It is approved to treat high blood pressure as well as diabetic nephropathy, a type of kidney damage from type 2 diabetes.

Irbesartan is available as a generic oral tablet in strengths of 75 mg, 150 mg, and 300 mg. It is usually taken once daily with doses dependent on the condition being treated. Irbesartan has a half-life of 11 to 15 hours.

Valsartan

Valsartan is the generic name for Diovan. In addition to high blood pressure, valsartan can also treat heart failure as well as reduce the long-term risk of death after a heart attack.

Valsartan is available as a generic oral tablet in strengths of 40 mg, 80 mg, 160 mg, and 320 mg. Like other ARBs, valsartan is also usually taken once daily for high blood pressure. When treating heart failure, valsartan is taken twice daily. The half-life of valsartan is 6 hours.

Irbesartan vs Valsartan Side by Side Comparison

Irbesartan and valsartan are similar medications belonging to the same class. Although they are similar in many ways, they also have some differences. Their features can be found in the table below.

Irbesartan Valsartan
Prescribed For
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Hypertension
  • Heart failure
  • Cardiovascular mortality after heart attack
Drug Classification
  • Angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB)
  • Antihypertensive
  • Angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB)
  • Antihypertensive
Manufacturer
  • Generic
  • Generic
Common Side Effects
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Viral infection
  • Abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Arthralgia
  • Cough
Is there a generic?
Is it covered by insurance?
  • Varies according to your provider
  • Varies according to your provider
Dosage Forms
  • Oral tablet
  • Oral tablet
Average Cash Price
  • $295 for a supply of 30, 12.5 mg/150 mg tablets.
  • $315 for a supply of 30, 12.5 mg tablets
SingleCare Discount Price
Drug Interactions
  • Agents increasing potassium (potassium supplements, spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride, heparin)
  • Lithium
  • NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen)
  • COX-2 inhibitors (celecoxib, rofecoxib)
  • Other ARBs
  • ACE inhibitors (lisinopril, enalapril, benazepril)
  • Aliskiren
  • Agents increasing potassium (potassium supplements, spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride, heparin)
  • Lithium
  • NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen)
  • COX-2 inhibitors (celecoxib, rofecoxib)
  • Other ARBs
  • ACE inhibitors (lisinopril, enalapril, benazepril)
  • Aliskiren
  • Fluconazole
  • Rifampin
  • Cyclosporine
Can I use while planning pregnancy, pregnant, or breastfeeding?
  • Irbesartan is in Pregnancy Category D. Therefore, it should not be taken during pregnancy. Consult a doctor regarding steps to take while planning pregnancy. Irbesartan should not be taken while breastfeeding
  • Valsartan is in Pregnancy Category D. Therefore, it should not be taken during pregnancy. Consult a doctor regarding steps to take while planning pregnancy. Valsartan should not be taken while breastfeeding

Summary

Irbesartan and Valsartan are two medications that can treat high blood pressure. As ARBs, both medications can dilate the blood vessels to lower blood pressure. Irbesartan may be preferred for someone with high blood pressure and kidney damage from type 2 diabetes. Valsartan, on the other hand, may be preferred for someone with heart failure.

Both medications are available as generic oral tablets. Therefore, they are both relatively easy to purchase without being too expensive. They have similar side effects including low blood pressure, dizziness, and headache. Irbesartan and valsartan also interact with similar medications such as NSAIDs and other blood pressure medications.

Irbesartan and valsartan are effective treatment options. It’s important to discuss these options with a doctor to determine which treatment is best for your condition. This information is only provided as a brief comparison of two different drugs.