Renovascular hypertension: There is an increased risk of severe hypotension and renal insufficiency when patients with bilateral renal artery stenosis or stenosis of the artery to a single functioning kidney are treated with medicinal products that affect the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.
Intravascular volume depletion: Symptomatic hypotension, especially after the first dose, may occur in patients who are volume and/or sodium depleted by vigorous diuretic therapy, dietary salt restriction, diarrhoea or vomiting. Such conditions should be corrected before the administration of MICARDIS PLUS.
Dual blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system: As a consequence of inhibiting the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system changes in renal function (including acute renal failure) have been reported in susceptible individuals, especially if combining medicinal products that affect this system. Dual blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (e.g. by adding an ACE-inhibitor or the direct renin-inhibitor aliskiren to an angiotensin II receptor antagonist) should therefore be limited to individually defined cases with close monitoring of renal function (see Contraindications).
Other conditions with stimulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system: In patients whose vascular tone and renal function depend predominantly on the activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (e.g. patients with severe congestive heart failure or underlying renal disease, including renal artery stenosis), treatment with other medicinal products that affect this system has been associated with acute hypotension, hyperazotaemia, oliguria, or rarely acute renal failure.
Primary aldosteronism: Patients with primary aldosteronism generally will not respond to antihypertensive medicinal products acting through inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system. Therefore, the use of MICARDIS PLUS is not recommended.
Aortic and mitral valve stenosis, obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: As with other vasodilators, special caution is indicated in patients suffering from aortic or mitral stenosis, or obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Metabolic and endocrine effects: Thiazide therapy may impair glucose tolerance. In diabetic patients dosage adjustments of insulin or oral hypoglycaemic agents may be required. Latent diabetes mellitus may become manifest during thiazide therapy.
An increase in cholesterol and triglyceride levels has been associated with thiazide diuretic therapy; however, at the 12.5 mg dose contained in MICARDIS PLUS, minimal or no effects were reported. Hyperuricaemia may occur or frank gout may be precipitated in some patients receiving thiazide therapy.
Electrolyte imbalance: As for any patient receiving diuretic therapy, periodic determination of serum electrolytes should be performed at appropriate intervals.
Thiazides, including hydrochlorothiazide, can cause fluid or electrolyte imbalance (hypokalaemia, hyponatraemia, and hypochloraemic alkalosis). Warning signs of fluid or electrolyte imbalance are dryness of mouth, thirst, weakness, lethargy, drowsiness, restlessness, muscle pain or cramps, muscular fatigue, hypotension, oliguria, tachycardia, and gastro-intestinal disturbances such as nausea or vomiting.
Although hypokalaemia may develop with the use of thiazide diuretics, concurrent therapy with telmisartan may reduce diuretic-induced hypokalaemia. The risk of hypokalaemia is greatest in patients with cirrhosis of liver, in patients experiencing brisk diuresis, in patients who are receiving inadequate oral intake of electrolytes and in patients receiving concomitant therapy with corticosteroids or ACTH. Conversely, due to the antagonism of the angiotensin II (AT1) receptors by the telmisartan component of MICARDIS PLUS, hyperkalaemia might occur. Although clinically significant hyperkalaemia has not been documented with MICARDIS PLUS, risk factors for the development of hyperkalaemia include renal insufficiency and/or heart failure, and diabetes mellitus.
Potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements or potassium-containing salt substitutes should be co-administered cautiously with MICARDIS PLUS.
There is no evidence that MICARDIS PLUS would reduce or prevent diuretic-induced hyponatraemia. Chloride deficit is generally mild and usually does not require treatment.
Thiazides may decrease urinary calcium excretion and cause an intermittent and slight elevation of serum calcium in the absence of known disorders of calcium metabolism. Marked hypercalcaemia may be evidence of hidden hyperparathyroidism. Thiazides should be discontinued before carrying out tests for parathyroid function.
Thiazides have been shown to increase the urinary excretion of magnesium, which may result in hypomagnesaemia.
Sorbitol: The maximum recommended daily dose of MICARDIS PLUS contains 169 mg sorbitol in the dose strength 40/12.5 mg and 338 mg sorbitol in the dose strengths 80/12.5 mg.
Patients with the rare hereditary condition of fructose intolerance should not take this medicine.
Diabetes mellitus: In diabetic patients with an additional cardiovascular risk, i.e. patients with diabetes mellitus and coexistent coronary artery disease (CAD), the risk of fatal myocardial infarction and unexpected cardiovascular death may be increased when treated with blood pressure lowering agents such as ARBs or ACE-inhibitors. In patients with diabetes mellitus CAD may be asymptomatic and therefore undiagnosed. Patients with diabetes mellitus should undergo appropriate diagnostic evaluation, e.g. exercise stress testing, to detect and to treat CAD accordingly before initiating treatment with MICARDIS PLUS.
Lactose: The maximum recommended daily dose of MICARDIS PLUS contains 112 mg of lactose monohydrate in the dose strengths 40/12.5 mg and 80/12.5 mg.
Patients with the rare hereditary conditions of galactose intolerance e.g. galactosaemia should not take this medicine.
Other: As with any antihypertensive agent, excessive reduction of blood pressure in patients with ischaemic cardiopathy or ischaemic cardiovascular disease could result in a myocardial infarction or stroke.
General: Hypersensitivity reactions to hydrochlorothiazide may occur in patients with or without a history of allergy or bronchial asthma, but are more likely in patients with such a history.
Exacerbation or activation of systemic lupus erythematosus has been reported with the use of thiazide diuretics.
Acute Myopia and Secondary Angle-Closure Glaucoma: Hydrochlorothiazide, a sulfonamide, can cause an idiosyncratic reaction, resulting in acute transient myopia and acute angle-closure glaucoma. Symptoms include acute onset of decreased visual acuity or ocular pain and typically occur within hours to weeks of drug initiation. Untreated acute angle-closure glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. The primary treatment is to discontinue hydrochlorothiazide as rapidly as possible. Prompt medical or surgical treatments may need to be considered if the intraocular pressure remains uncontrolled. Risk factors for developing acute angle-closure glaucoma may include a history of sulfonamide or penicillin allergy.
Non-melanoma skin cancer: An increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) [basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)] with increasing cumulative dose of hydrochlorothiazide exposure has been observed in two epidemiological studies based on the Danish National Cancer Registry (see Side Effects). Photosensitizing actions of hydrochlorothiazide could act as a possible mechanism for NMSC.
Patients taking hydrochlorothiazide should be informed of the risk of NMSC and advised to regularly check their skin for any new lesions and promptly report any suspicious skin lesions.
Suspicious skin lesions should be promptly examined potentially including histological examinations of biopsies.
Possible preventive measures such as limited exposure to sunlight and UV rays and, in case of exposure, adequate protection should be advised to the patients in order to minimize the risk of skin cancer. The use of hydrochlorothiazide may also need to be reconsidered in patients who have experienced previous NMSC.
Effects on ability to drive and use machines: No studies on the effect on the ability to drive and use machines have been performed. However, when driving vehicles or operating machinery, it should be taken into account that dizziness or drowsiness may occur when taking antihypertensive therapy.
Hepatic impairment: MICARDIS
PLUS should not be given to patients with cholestasis, biliary
obstructive disorders or severe hepatic insufficiency since telmisartan
is mostly eliminated with the bile. These patients can be expected to
have reduced hepatic clearance for telmisartan.
MICARDIS PLUS should be used with caution in patients with impaired
hepatic function or progressive liver disease, since minor alterations
of fluid and electrolyte balance may precipitate hepatic coma. There is
no clinical experience with MICARDIS PLUS in patients with hepatic
Renal impairment and kidney transplant:
MICARDIS PLUS must not be used in patients with severe renal impairment
(creatinine clearance < 30 ml/min) (see Contraindications).
There is no experience regarding the administration of MICARDIS PLUS in
patients with severe renal impairment or with a recent kidney
transplant. Experience with MICARDIS PLUS is modest in the patients with
mild to moderate renal impairment, therefore periodic monitoring of
potassium, creatinine and uric acid serum levels is recommended.
Thiazide diuretic-associated azotaemia may occur in patients with
impaired renal function.
Use in Pregnancy: Angiotensin II receptor antagonists should not be initiated during pregnancy.
Unless continued angiotensin II receptor antagonist therapy is considered essential, patients planning pregnancy should be changed to alternative anti-hypertensive treatments which have an established safety profile for use in pregnancy.
When pregnancy is diagnosed, treatment with angiotensin II receptor antagonists should be stopped immediately, and if appropriate, alternative therapy should be started.