What is this medication?
Valsartan+Hydrochlorothiazide, Diovan HCT
Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker; Thiazide Diuretic; Antihypertensive Agents
Diovan HCT is indicated for the treatment of hypertension
“Alert: Black Box Warning
Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and death to the developing fetus. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue valsartan as soon as possible.”
How does this medication work?
Valsartan blocks the action of angiotensin II which acts as a vasoconstrictor and activator of aldosterone release. Hence, the displacement of angiotensin II by Valsartan is responsible for its blood pressure lowering effect.
Hydrochlorothiazide lowers blood pressure by inhibiting sodium reabsorption in the distal tubules which causes increased loss of sodium, water, potassium, and hydrogen ions (lower blood volume results in decreased pressure). It is also believed to lower peripheral vascular resistance (by relaxing blood vessels).
How should I take this medication?
Oral: Valsartan 160 mg/hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg once daily to a maximum of Valsartan 320 mg/hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg per day.
How to Take: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, take consistently at same times each day with or without food unless otherwise directed, store at room temperature. If dosing once daily the morning is preferred to avoid nocturnal awakenings for urination
You Need to Avoid: Careful standing up too quickly as you may get dizzy, and avoid excessive sun exposure or tanning bed usage
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting Valsartan+Hydrochlorothiazide, Diovan HCT make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have kidney disease, an electrolyte imbalance, adrenal insufficiency, diabetes, liver disease, hypercalcemia, hypokalemia, hyperuricemia (gout). As with any other angiotensin II receptor antagonist, there is are risks of hyperkalemia, hypotension, deterioration in renal function. Valsartan, Diovan should be used with caution in patients who have ascites, heart failure, hepatic and renal impairment, and renal artery stenosis.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How should I store this medication?
Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Dizziness, hypotension, orthostatic hypotension, fatigue, headache, hyperkalemia, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, joint pain, dry cough, hypokalemia (low potassium), worsening of hyperuricemia (can result in gout attacks), skin photosensitivity
Note this is not a complete list of side effects for Valsartan+Hydrochlorothiazide, Diovan HCT only the most common ones.
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