Generic Name: amlodipine and valsartan (am LOE de peen val SAR tan)
Brand Names: Exforge

What is Exforge?

Exforge contains a combination of amlodipine and valsartan. Amlodipine) is a calcium channel blocker. It works by relaxing the muscles of your heart and blood vessels.

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

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

Exforge is usually given after others have been tried without successful treatment of hypertension.

Important information

Do not use Exforge if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Stop using Exforge and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

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

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

In rare cases, Exforge can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking Exforge, 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.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to amlodipine (Norvasc) or valsartan (Diovan).

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

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

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

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

  • liver disease;

  • congestive heart failure;

  • diabetes;

  • angina (chest pain), severe coronary artery disease;

  • if you take lithium;

  • if you are vomiting or having diarrhea; or

  • if you have recently had a heart attack.

If you are also taking a beta-blocker (such as Betapace, Coreg, Corgard, Dutoprol, Inderal, InnoPran, Lopressor, Normodyne, Tenormin, Tenoretic, Toprol, Trandate, and others), do not suddenly stop using the beta blocker without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medicine completely. Stopping a beta blocker too quickly can cause serious heart problems that will not be prevented by Exforge.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use Exforge if you are pregnant. Stop using this medicine and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Valsartan 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 this medicine.

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

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

How should I take Exforge?

Take Exforge 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.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water (8 ounces).

Exforge may be taken with or without food.

You may have very low blood pressure while taking this medicine. Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual.

Conditions that may cause very low blood pressure include: vomiting, diarrhea, heavy sweating, heart disease, dialysis, a low-salt diet, or taking diuretics (water pills).

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Your kidney function may also need to be checked.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Exforge.

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.

Exforge dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

Initial dose: Individualize based on the effectiveness and tolerance for each individual component. In clinical trials, the dose for each component is amlodipine 5 mg to 10 mg orally once daily and valsartan 160 mg to 320 mg orally once daily.

In general, the antihypertensive effectiveness increases with increasing doses.

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 while taking Exforge?

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.

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

Exforge side effects

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

In rare cases, Exforge can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

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

  • swelling in your hands or feet, rapid weight gain;

  • fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling.

Common Exforge side effects may include:

  • dizziness, spinning sensation; or

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, 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: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Exforge?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Exforge, especially:

  • any other blood pressure medicines;

  • cyclosporine;

  • a diuretic or "water pill";

  • heart medication;

  • lithium;

  • ritonavir;

  • vitamin or mineral supplements that contain potassium;

  • an antibiotic - clarithromycin, rifabutin, rifapentine, rifampin, telithromycin;

  • antifungal medicine - itraconazole, ketoconazole;

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

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

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with amlodipine and valsartan, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Exforge.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication 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 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.03. Revision Date: 2014-10-17, 2:52:43 PM.

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