Exforge HCT

Pronunciation

Generic Name: amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan (am LOE di peen, HYE droe klor oh THYE a zide, val SAR tan)
Brand Names: Exforge HCT

What is Exforge HCT?

Exforge HCT contains a combination of amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan. Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker that relaxes (widens) blood vessels and improves blood flow.

Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic (water pill) that helps prevent your body from absorbing too much salt, which can cause fluid retention.

Valsartan is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist that keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.

Exforge HCT is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

ThExforge HCT is usually given after other blood pressure medications have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.

Exforge HCT may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not take Exforge HCT if you are allergic to sulfa drugs, or if you are unable to urinate.

Do not use if you are pregnant. Stop using and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

Slideshow: 2014 Update - First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

If you have diabetes, do not use Exforge HCT together with any medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo, Valturna).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Exforge HCT if you are allergic to amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, or valsartan, or:

  • if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to another blood pressure medication;

  • if you are allergic to any sulfa drug; or

  • if you are unable to urinate.

If you have diabetes, do not use Exforge HCT together with any medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo, Valturna).

You may also need to avoid taking Exforge HCT with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.

To make sure Exforge HCT is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);

  • liver disease;

  • congestive heart failure;

  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as high levels of calcium, or low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood);

  • low blood pressure;

  • glaucoma;

  • lupus;

  • a history of gallstones;

  • gout;

  • diabetes; or

  • a penicillin allergy.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use if you are pregnant. Stop using and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Exforge HCT can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester. Use effective birth control.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

It is not known whether amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using Exforge HCT.

How should I take Exforge HCT?

Take Exforge HCT exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

You may take Exforge HCT with or without food.

Your chest pain may become worse when you first start taking Exforge HCT or when your dose is increased. Call your doctor if your chest pain is severe or ongoing.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

Vomiting, diarrhea, or heavy sweating can cause you to become dehydrated. This can lead to very low blood pressure, electrolyte disorders, or kidney failure while you are taking Exforge HCT. Drink plenty of water each day while you are taking this medication.

Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual.

If you need surgery or dental work, tell the surgeon or dentist ahead of time that you are using Exforge HCT.

It may take up to 2 weeks before your blood pressure improves. Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid?

Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking this medicine, unless your doctor has told you to.

Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may increase certain side effects of this medicine.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Exforge HCT side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Exforge HCT: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • swelling in your hands or feet;

  • joint pain or swelling with fever, headaches, chest pain, shortness of breath;

  • skin sores, butterfly-shaped skin rash on your cheeks and nose (worsens in sunlight);

  • numbness, cold feeling, or pale appearance of your fingers or toes;

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;

  • low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or

  • high potassium (slow heart rate, weak pulse, muscle weakness, tingly feeling).

Common Exforge HCT side effects may include:

  • mild dizziness;

  • headache, tired feeling;

  • nausea, upset stomach;

  • back pain, muscle spasms; or

  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Exforge HCT?

Many drugs can interact with this medicine. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with Exforge HCT, especially:

  • any other blood pressure medicines;

  • cyclosporine;

  • a diuretic or "water pill";

  • lithium;

  • ritonavir;

  • vitamin or mineral supplements that contain potassium;

  • an antibiotic - clarithromycin, telithromycin;

  • antifungal medicine - itraconazole, ketoconazole;

  • a barbiturate - butabarbital, phenobarbital, secobarbital;

  • cancer medicine - cyclophosphamide, methotrexate;

  • cholesterol-lowering medicines - simvastatin, Zocor, and others;

  • heart medication - digoxin (digitalis), and others;

  • narcotic pain medicine - OxyContin, Vicodin, and others;

  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) - aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and others; or

  • tuberculosis medication - rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine.

This list is not complete and other drugs can interact with Exforge HCT. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Give a list of all medicines you are taking to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Exforge HCT.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Exforge HCT only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.01. Revision Date: 2014-10-17, 3:46:09 PM.

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