High Cholesterol? Learn about treatments

Exforge HCT

Pronunciation

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

What is 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.

Amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan is a combination medicine used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

This medicine is usually given after other blood pressure medicines have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.

Amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan?

You should not take this medicine 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 amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo, Valturna).

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to it, or:

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

  • if you are allergic to any sulfa drug; or

  • if you are unable to urinate.

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

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

To make sure amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan 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. Amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and 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.

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 this medicine.

How should I take amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan?

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 this medicine with or without food.

Your chest pain may become worse when you first start taking this medicine 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 amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan. 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 this medicine.

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 while taking amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan?

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.

Amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: 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 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 amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan, 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. Other drugs may interact with amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, 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 amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan.
  • 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 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.01. Revision Date: 2014-10-17, 3:46:09 PM.

Hide
(web2)