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Consumer Medicine Information
This leaflet answers some common questions about Karvea.
It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have benefits and risks. Your doctor has weighed the benefits of you taking this medicine against the risks it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with your medicine. You may need to read it again.
Karvea is used to lower high blood pressure, which doctors call hypertension.
Everyone has blood pressure. This pressure helps get your blood all around your body. Your blood pressure may be different at different times of the day, depending on how busy or worried you are. You have hypertension (high blood pressure) when your blood pressure stays higher than is needed, even when you are calm and relaxed.
There are often no symptoms of high blood pressure. The only way of knowing that you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. If high blood pressure is not treated it can lead to serious health problems, such as stroke, heart disease and kidney failure. Karvea is also used in the treatment of kidney disease in patients with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Karvea belongs to a group of medicines known as angiotensin-II receptor antagonists. Angiotensin II is a substance produced in the body that causes blood vessels to narrow. Karvea blocks angiotensin-II and therefore widens your blood vessels, making it easier for your heart to pump blood throughout your body. This helps to lower your blood pressure.
Karvea also slows the decrease of kidney function in patients with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Your doctor may have prescribed Karvea for another reason. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Karvea has been prescribed for you.
This medicine is only available with a doctor's prescription.
There is no evidence that this medicine is addictive.
Do not take Karvea if:
If you are not sure if you should start taking Karvea, talk to your doctor.
Karvea should not be given to children.
Tell your doctor if you have any allergies to:
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.
Tell your doctor if you are breast feeding or plan to breastfeed.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
Tell your doctor if you plan to have surgery (even at the dentist) that needs a general anaesthetic.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you take Karvea.
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. Some medicines may affect the way others work. Also, some other medicines used to treat high blood pressure may have an additive effect with Karvea in lowering blood pressure. This may happen with diuretics (fluid tablets). As a result you may need different amounts of your medicines.
It is important to tell your doctor if you are taking or plan to take any of the following:
potassium supplements, potassium-containing salt substitutes (you may need to have blood tests done regularly)
diuretics (fluid tablets)
medicines containing lithium (you may need to have blood tests done regularly).
anti-inflammatory medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (for example diclofenac, ibuprofen) and COX-2 inhibitors (for example celecoxib) used to relieve pain, swelling and other symptoms of inflammation including arthritis. Taking Karvea and an anti-inflammatory medicine alone or with a thiazide diuretic (fluid tablet) may damage your kidneys. It may also reduce the effect Karvea has on lowering blood pressure.
a medicine containing aliskiren. Taking Karvea with aliskiren may affect your blood pressure, electrolyte balance and your kidney function.
Your doctor and pharmacist may have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking Karvea.
Your doctor will tell you how many tablets to take each day.
Usually patients start with one 150 mg tablet once a day. However, some patients may need a lower starting dose. Your doctor will tell you if this is necessary. The full blood pressure lowering effect of Karvea should be reached about 4-6 weeks after starting treatment.
Depending on how your blood pressure responds, your daily dose of Karvea may need to be increased. Most patients take either 150 mg or 300 mg each day.
In patients with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, 300 mg once daily is the preferred maintenance dose for slowing the progression of associated kidney disease.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure of the correct dose for you. They will tell you exactly how much to take.
Follow the instructions they give you.
Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. It does not matter whether you take Karvea tablets before or after food.
Take Karvea at about the same time each day. Taking your tablets at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you remember when to take the tablets.
Continue taking Karvea until your doctor tells you to stop. Karvea helps to control your high blood pressure, but it does not cure it. Therefore Karvea must be taken every day.
To help you remember to take your tablets each day, Karvea tablets are supplied in a Calendar pack with the foil backing marked with the days of the week. This is just a way to help you to remember to take your tablets. All of the tablets in the pack are the same.
When you start a new strip of tablets, take the tablet marked "START" at the end of the blister strip. On the next day, take the tablet marked with the relevant day of the week.
Continue taking your tablets each day until all of the tablets are taken. Commence the next strip at "START" and continue as before.
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and go back to taking your tablets as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose you missed. This may increase the chance of you getting any unwanted side effects.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering to take your tablets, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone: 13 11 26) or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Karvea. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
If you take too many Karvea tablets you will probably feel light-headed or dizzy.
Tell any other doctors, dentists, and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Karvea.
If you become pregnant while taking Karvea tell your doctor immediately.
Have your blood pressure checked when your doctor tells you to, to make sure Karvea is working.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, tell your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking Karvea.
If you plan to have surgery that needs a general anaesthetic, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Karvea. Your blood pressure may drop suddenly.
Make sure you drink enough water during exercise and hot weather when you are taking Karvea, especially if you sweat a lot. If you do not drink enough water while taking Karvea, you may faint or feel light-headed or sick. This is because your body does not have enough fluid and your blood pressure is low. If you continue to feel unwell, tell your doctor.
If you have excessive vomiting and/or diarrhoea while taking Karvea, tell your doctor. You may lose too much water and salt and your blood pressure may drop too much.
If you feel light headed or dizzy after taking your first dose of Karvea, or when your dose is increased, tell your doctor immediately.
Do not give Karvea tablets to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not take Karvea to treat any other complaints unless your doctor or pharmacist tells you to.
Do not stop taking Karvea, or lower the dosage, without checking with your doctor.
If you feel light-headed, dizzy or faint when getting out of bed or standing up, get up slowly. Standing up slowly, especially when you get up from bed or chairs, will help your body get used to the change in position and blood pressure. If this problem continues or gets worse, talk to your doctor.
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Karvea affects you. As with many other medicines used to treat high blood pressure, Karvea may cause dizziness or light-headedness in some people.
If this occurs do not drive. Make sure you know how you react to Karvea before you drive a car, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or light-headed.
If you drink alcohol, dizziness or light-headedness may be worse.
Some self help measures suggested below may help your condition. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about these measures and for more information.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Karvea. Karvea helps most people with high blood pressure, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
These are common side effects. They are generally mild and do not normally require treatment to be interrupted.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:
These are serious side effects. Skin rash and itchiness may be symptoms of an allergic reaction. You may need medical attention.
These side effects are not common.
If any of the following happen, stop taking Karvea and either tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency Department at your nearest hospital:
These are very serious side effects.
You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
These side effects are very rare.
Other side effects not listed above may occur in some patients. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell.
Keep your Karvea tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them. If you take the tablets out of the blister pack they may not keep well.
Keep Karvea tablets in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.
Do not store Karvea or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave them near a radiator, in a car on hot days or on a window sill. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep all medicines out of the reach of children. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking Karvea or the tablets have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any tablets that are left over.
* presentations currently not marketed.
Karvea tablets also contain
Karvea is supplied in Australia by:
Sanofi-Aventis Australia Pty Ltd
12-24 Talavera Road
Macquarie Park, NSW 2113.
This leaflet was prepared on 5 June 2013
Karvea is a registered trademark of sanofi-aventis.
Published by MIMS/myDr August 2013