Skip to main content

Exforge HCT

Generic name: amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan (am LOE di peen, HYE droe klor oh THYE a zide, val SAR tan)
Brand name: Exforge HCT
Drug class: Miscellaneous antihypertensive combinations

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Mar 4, 2021.

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 (sometimes called an ARB) that 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 medicines have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.

Warnings

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 the medicine and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

If you have diabetes, do not use Exforge HCT together with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

Before taking this medicine

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

  • 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 (a blood pressure medicine).

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 ever had::

  • heart problems;

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

  • high blood levels of calcium;

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

  • liver disease;

  • glaucoma;

  • gout, or increased uric acid in your blood;

  • lupus;

  • gallstones; or

  • a penicillin allergy.

Do not use if you are pregnant. Stop using the 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.

You should not breastfeed while using Exforge HCT.

How should I take this medicine?

Take Exforge HCT exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

You may take Exforge HCT exactly with or without food.

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

You can easily become dehydrated while taking Exforge HCT. Drink plenty of water each day.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

Some things can cause your blood pressure to get too low. This includes vomiting, diarrhea, or heavy sweating. Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea.

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.

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

Initial dose: 1 tablet orally once a day (The dosage may be increased after 2 weeks of therapy. The full blood pressure lowering effect was achieved 2 weeks after being on the maximal dose)

Maximum dose: Amlodipine/hydrochlorothiazide/valsartan 10 mg/25 mg/320 mg orally once a day

Comment:
-Indicated for patients whose blood pressure is adequately controlled on amlodipine, valsartan, and hydrochlorothiazide (as single component formulations or a dual component formulation with a single component formulation). Individual dose titration with each component is recommended before administering the fixed dose combination.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

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 this medicine?

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

Drinking alcohol with Exforge HCT can cause side effects.

Hydrochlorothiazide may increase your risk of skin cancer. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors. Your doctor may want you to have skin examinations on a regular basis.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have 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;

  • an unusual skin rash;

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

  • high or low potassium levels - leg cramps, nausea, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling;

  • kidney problems - little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath;

  • low magnesium level - dizziness, feeling jittery, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, cough or choking feeling; or

  • low sodium level - headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady.

Common Exforge HCT side effects may include:

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.

What other drugs will affect Exforge HCT?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can affect Exforge HCT, especially:

  • another a diuretic or "water pill";

  • any other blood pressure medicines;

  • insulin or oral diabetes medicine;

  • steroid medicine;

  • vitamin or mineral supplements that contain potassium;

  • a sedative or opioid medicine;

  • cholesterol-lowering medicine;

  • an antibiotic, antifungal, or antiviral medicine; or

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

This list is not complete and many other drugs may interact with amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and valsartan. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.