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. Amlodipine 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 antagonists. Valsartan keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.
Exforge HCT is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).
Exforge 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 about Exforge HCT
Before taking Exforge HCT, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, congestive heart failure, glaucoma, asthma or allergies, low or high blood levels of potassium, gout, lupus, diabetes, or a penicillin allergy.
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. You should not take this medication if you are allergic to amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Hyzaar, Vaseretic, Zestoretic and others), valsartan (Diovan), or sulfa drugs, or if you are unable to urinate.
Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. Exforge HCT may cause injury and even death to the unborn baby if you take it during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Use an effective form of birth control. Stop using Exforge HCT and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may increase certain side effects of Exforge HCT. Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking Exforge HCT, unless your doctor has told you to.
Before taking Exforge HCT
You should not take Exforge HCT if you are allergic to amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Hyzaar, Vaseretic, Zestoretic and others), valsartan (Diovan), or sulfa drugs, or if you are unable to urinate.
To make sure you can safely take Exforge HCT, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- kidney disease;
- liver disease;
congestive heart failure;
asthma or allergies;
low or high levels of magnesium or potassium in your blood;
a penicillin allergy.
FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use Exforge HCT if you are pregnant. Stop using this medication 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 while taking Exforge HCT. Amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Exforge HCT.
See also: Exforge HCT pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
How should I take Exforge HCT?
Take Exforge HCT exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Take Exforge HCT with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. Call your doctor if you have ongoing vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual. You can easily become dehydrated while taking this medication, which can lead to severely low blood pressure or a serious electrolyte imbalance. 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. Visit your doctor regularly.
It may take up to 2 weeks of using Exforge HCT before your blood pressure improves. For best results, keep using the medication as directed.
If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the doctor ahead of time that you are taking medication that contains hydrochlorothiazide. You may need to stop using Exforge HCT for a short time.
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 Exforge HCT at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
See also: Exforge HCT dosage (in more detail)
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.
Overdose symptoms may include fast or slow heartbeat, confusion, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling; feeling light-headed, and fainting.
What should I avoid while taking Exforge HCT?
Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may increase certain side effects of Exforge HCT. Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking Exforge HCT, unless your doctor has told you to.
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 serious side effect such as:
eye pain, vision problems;
feeling like you might pass out;
swelling, rapid weight gain;
chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
slow, fast, or pounding heartbeats;
urinating less than usual, or not at all;
easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
numbness, tingling, or burning pain;
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
dry mouth, increased thirst, drowsiness, restless feeling, confusion, increased urination, fast heart rate, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).
Less serious Exforge HCT side effects may include:
headache, tired feeling;
nausea, upset stomach;
muscle spasms, back pain; or
stuffy nose, sore throat.
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: Exforge HCT side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Exforge HCT?
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
any other blood pressure medications;
steroids (prednisone and others);
carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol);
lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid);
cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran) or colestipol (Colestid);
insulin or oral diabetes medication;
simvastatin (Zocor, Simcor, Vytorin);
a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);
any other diuretics (water pills);
aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others;
a muscle relaxer such as baclofen (Lioresal), carisoprodol (Soma), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), dantrolene (Dantrium), metaxalone (Skelaxin), or methocarbamol (Robaxin), orphenadrine (Norflex), or tizanidine (Zanaflex);
a narcotic medication such as hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin), meperidine (Demerol), methadone (Methadose), morphine (Kadian, MS Contin), oxycodone (OxyContin), and others.
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Exforge HCT. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More Exforge HCT resources
Compare Exforge HCT with other medications
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 by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. 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. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.03. Revision Date: 2012-03-15, 1:07:44 AM.