Generic Name: valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide (val-SAR-tan/HYE-droe-KLOR-oh-THYE-a-zide)
Brand Name: Diovan HCT
Diovan HCT may cause birth defects or fetal death if you take it while you are pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. If you are planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about other treatment options.
Diovan HCT is used for:
Treating high blood pressure. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Diovan HCT is an angiotensin II receptor blocker and diuretic combination. The angiotensin II receptor blocker works by relaxing the blood vessels. Exactly how the diuretic works to decrease blood pressure is not known, but it helps the kidneys to eliminate fluid and sodium from the body.
Do NOT use Diovan HCT if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Diovan HCT or to any other sulfonamide medicine (eg, sulfamethoxazole)
- you are pregnant
- you are unable to urinate
- you are also taking aliskiren and you have either diabetes or kidney problems
- you are taking dofetilide or ketanserin
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Diovan HCT:
Some medical conditions may interact with Diovan HCT. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are able to become pregnant
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of angioedema (eg, swelling of the hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; trouble swallowing or breathing; hoarseness), including angioedema caused by treatment with any other angiotensin II receptor blocker (eg, losartan) or an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor (eg, captopril)
- if you are dehydrated; have low blood volume; have swelling or fluid retention; have severe diarrhea or vomiting; have low blood sodium, chloride, potassium, or magnesium levels; or have high blood calcium levels
- if you have asthma; gout or high blood uric acid levels; heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure); liver, gallbladder, or kidney problems; parathyroid gland problems; high blood cholesterol or lipid levels; diabetes; or systemic lupus erythematosus
- if you are on a low-salt (sodium) diet or you drink alcohol
- if you are on dialysis or you have recently had a certain type of nerve surgery (sympathectomy)
- if you take other medicines for high blood pressure or heart problems
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Diovan HCT. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Dofetilide or ketanserin because the risk of irregular heartbeat may be increased
- Potassium-sparing diuretics (eg, spironolactone) or potassium supplements because the risk of high blood potassium levels may be increased
- ACE inhibitors (eg, lisinopril) or aliskiren because the risk of certain side effects (eg, kidney problems, high blood potassium levels, low blood pressure) may be increased
- Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), carbamazepine, corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), cyclosporine, diuretics (eg, furosemide), narcotic pain medicines (eg, morphine), rifamycins (eg, rifampin), ritonavir, or other medicines for high blood pressure because they may increase the risk of Diovan HCT's side effects
- Aspirin, cholestyramine, or colestipol because they may decrease Diovan HCT's effectiveness
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, celecoxib, ibuprofen) because they may decrease Diovan HCT's effectiveness and the risk of serious kidney problems may be increased
- Certain cancer medicines (eg, cyclophosphamide), diazoxide, digoxin, lithium, or methotrexate because the risk of their side effects and toxic effects may be increased by Diovan HCT
- Insulin or other diabetes medicines (eg, glipizide, metformin) because their effectiveness may be decreased by Diovan HCT
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Diovan HCT may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use Diovan HCT:
Use Diovan HCT as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with Diovan HCT. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- Take Diovan HCT by mouth with or without food.
- Drinking extra fluids while you are taking Diovan HCT is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
- Diovan HCT may increase the amount of urine or cause you to urinate more often when you first start taking it. To keep this from disturbing your sleep, try to take your dose before 6 pm.
- If you take cholestyramine or colestipol, ask your doctor or pharmacist how to take it with Diovan HCT.
- Continue to take Diovan HCT even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- If you miss a dose of Diovan HCT, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Diovan HCT.
Important safety information:
- Diovan HCT may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or light-headedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Diovan HCT with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Diovan HCT may cause dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
- Report any light-headedness or fainting to your doctor immediately. Your risk of light-headedness or fainting may be increased if you experience diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating, if you do not drink enough fluids, or if you are on a low-salt (sodium) diet.
- It may take 2 to 4 weeks for Diovan HCT to work fully. Do not stop using Diovan HCT or change your dose of Diovan HCT without checking with your doctor.
- Diovan HCT contains a sulfonamide called hydrochlorothiazide, which can cause certain eye problems (myopia, angle-closure glaucoma). Your risk may be increased if you are allergic to sulfonamide medicines (eg, sulfamethoxazole) or to penicillin antibiotics (eg, amoxicillin). Untreated angle-closure glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. If these eye problems occur, symptoms usually occur within hours to weeks of starting Diovan HCT. Contact your doctor right away if you experience symptoms such as vision changes (eg, decreased vision clearness) or eye pain.
- Patients who take medicine for high blood pressure often feel tired or run down for a few weeks after starting treatment. Be sure to take your medicine even if you may not feel "normal." Tell your doctor if you develop any new symptoms.
- Diovan HCT may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Diovan HCT. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Diovan HCT before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- If you have high blood pressure, do not use nonprescription products that contain stimulants. These products may include diet pills or cold medicines. Contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
- Your doctor may have also prescribed a potassium supplement for you. If so, follow the dosing carefully. Do not start taking additional potassium on your own, use a salt substitute, or change your diet to include more potassium without first checking with your doctor.
- Diovan HCT may raise your blood sugar. High blood sugar may make you feel confused, drowsy, or thirsty. It can also make you flush, breathe faster, or have a fruit-like breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away.
- Diabetes patients - Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Diovan HCT may interfere with certain lab tests, including parathyroid function. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking Diovan HCT.
- Lab tests, including kidney function, blood pressure, and blood electrolytes, may be performed while you use Diovan HCT. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use Diovan HCT with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Diovan HCT should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Diovan HCT may cause birth defects or fetal death if you take it while you are pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. Diovan HCT is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Diovan HCT.
Possible side effects of Diovan HCT:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing or swallowing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); burning, numbness, or tingling; chest pain; confusion; decrease in sexual ability; decreased urination; drowsiness; eye pain; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; hoarseness; joint pain (especially in the big toe); mental or mood changes (eg, depression); muscle pain, tenderness, or cramps; nausea and vomiting; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; restlessness; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness or light-headedness; severe or persistent dry mouth; shortness of breath; sluggishness; swelling of the arms or legs; symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, pale stools, severe or persistent stomach pain, yellowing of the eyes of skin); symptoms of pancreatitis (eg, severe or persistent stomach or back pain, with or without nausea or vomiting); unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual thirst, tiredness, or weakness; unusual weight gain; vision changes (eg, decreased vision clearness).
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include fainting; fast or slow heartbeat; severe or unusual dizziness, drowsiness, or light-headedness; symptoms of blood electrolyte problems (eg, confusion; irregular heartbeat; mental or mood changes; muscle pain, weakness, or cramping; seizures; sluggishness); symptoms of dehydration (eg, decreased urination; dry mouth or eyes; fast heartbeat; unusual thirst, tiredness, or weakness).Proper storage of Diovan HCT:
Store Diovan HCT at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Diovan HCT out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about Diovan HCT, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Diovan HCT is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Diovan HCT or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Diovan HCT. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Diovan HCT. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Diovan HCT.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.