Irbesartan is a nonpeptide tetrazole derivative and an angiotensin II antagonist that selectively blocks the binding of angiotensin II to the AT_ receptor. In the renin-angiotensin system, angiotensin I is converted by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) to form angiotensin II. Angiotensin II stimulates the adrenal cortex to synthesize and secrete aldosterone, which decreases the excretion of sodium and increases the excretion of potassium. Angiotensin II also acts as a vasoconstrictor in vascular smooth muscle. Irbesartan, by blocking the binding of angiotensin II to the AT_ receptor, promotes vasodilation and decreases the effects of aldosterone. The negative feedback regulation of angiotensin II on renin secretion is also inhibited, but the resulting rise in plasma renin concentrations and consequent rise in angiotensin II plasma concentrations do not counteract the blood pressure_lowering effect that occurs. The action of ARBs is different from ACE inhibitors, which block the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II, meaning that the production of angiotensin II is not completely inhibited, as the hormone can be formed via other enzymes. Also, unlike ACE inhibitors, irbesartan and other ARBs do not interfere with response to bradykinins and substance P, which allows for the absence of adverse effects that are present in ACE inhibitors (eg. dry cough).
Angiotensin II, the principal pressor agent of the renin-angiotensin system, is responsible for effects such as vasoconstriction, stimulation of synthesis and release of aldosterone, cardiac stimulation, and renal reabsorption of sodium. Irbesartan is a specific competitive antagonist of AT1 receptors with a much greater affinity (more than 8500-fold) for the AT1 receptor than for the AT2 receptor and no agonist activity. Irbesartan's inhibition of angiotensin II binding to the AT1 receptor leads to multiple effects including vasodilation, a reduction in the secretion of vasopressin, and reduction in the production and secretion of aldosterone. The resulting effect is a decrease in blood pressure.
Hepatic. Irbesartan is metabolized via glucuronide conjugation and oxidation. In vitro studies of irbesartan oxidation by cytochrome P450 isoenzymes indicated irbesartan was oxidized primarily by 2C9; metabolism by 3A4 was negligible.
Hypotension and tachycardia; bradycardia might also occur from overdose, LD50=mg/kg(orally in rat)