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Amlodipine and Valsartan

Medically reviewed on September 10, 2018

Pronunciation

(am LOE di peen & val SAR tan)

Index Terms

  • Amlodipine Besylate and Valsartan
  • Amlodipine/Valsartan
  • Valsartan and Amlodipine

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Tablet, Oral:

Exforge:

5/160: Amlodipine 5 mg and valsartan 160 mg

5/320: Amlodipine 5 mg and valsartan 320 mg

10/160: Amlodipine 10 mg and valsartan 160 mg

10/320: Amlodipine 10 mg and valsartan 320 mg

Generic:

5/160: Amlodipine 5 mg and valsartan 160 mg

5/320: Amlodipine 5 mg and valsartan 320 mg

10/160: Amlodipine 10 mg and valsartan 160 mg

10/320: Amlodipine 10 mg and valsartan 320 mg

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Exforge

Pharmacologic Category

  • Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker
  • Antianginal Agent
  • Antihypertensive
  • Calcium Channel Blocker
  • Calcium Channel Blocker, Dihydropyridine

Pharmacology

Amlodipine inhibits calcium ion from entering the “slow channels” or select voltage-sensitive areas of vascular smooth muscle and myocardium during depolarization, producing a relaxation of coronary vascular smooth muscle and coronary vasodilation; increases myocardial oxygen delivery in patients with vasospastic angina. Amlodipine directly acts on vascular smooth muscle to produce peripheral arterial vasodilation reducing peripheral vascular resistance and blood pressure.

Valsartan produces direct antagonism of the angiotensin II (AT2) receptors, unlike the ACE inhibitors. It displaces angiotensin II from the AT1 receptor and produces its blood pressure-lowering effects by antagonizing AT1-induced vasoconstriction, aldosterone release, catecholamine release, arginine vasopressin release, water intake, and hypertrophic responses. This action results in more efficient blockade of the cardiovascular effects of angiotensin II and fewer side effects than the ACE inhibitors.

Use: Labeled Indications

Hypertension: Management of hypertension (monotherapy or in combination with other antihypertensives). See individual monographs.

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to amlodipine, valsartan, or any component of the formulation; concomitant use with aliskiren in patients with diabetes mellitus

Dosing: Adult

Note: Dose must be individualized.

Hypertension: Oral:

Initial therapy: Amlodipine 5 mg/valsartan 160 mg once daily; dose may be titrated after 1 to 2 weeks. Maximum dose: amlodipine 10 mg/valsartan 320 mg once daily

Add-on therapy: Amlodipine 5 to 10 mg/valsartan 160 to 320 mg once daily; dose may be titrated after 3 to 4 weeks of therapy. Maximum dose: amlodipine 10 mg/valsartan 320 mg once daily

Replacement therapy: Substitute for the individually titrated components. Maximum dose: amlodipine 10 mg/valsartan 320 mg once daily

Dosing: Geriatric

Not recommended for initial therapy (recommended initial dose of amlodipine [2.5 mg/day] in these patients is not available in this combination product). Use of lower doses should be considered. Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Renal Impairment

CrCl ≥30 mL/minute: No dosage adjustment necessary.

CrCl <30 mL/minute: There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer's labeling (has not been studied).

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer's labeling. Use with caution; titrate slowly. Not recommended for initial therapy in patients with hepatic impairment (recommended initial dose of amlodipine [2.5 mg/day] in these patients is not available in this combination product).

Administration

Administer with or without food.

Dietary Considerations

Avoid salt substitutes which contain potassium.

Storage

Store at controlled room temperature of 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F). Protect from moisture.

Drug Interactions

Alfuzosin: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Aliskiren: May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Aliskiren may enhance the hypotensive effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Aliskiren may enhance the nephrotoxic effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Management: Aliskiren use with ACEIs or ARBs in patients with diabetes is contraindicated. Combined use in other patients should be avoided, particularly when CrCl is less than 60 mL/min. If combined, monitor potassium, creatinine, and blood pressure closely. Consider therapy modification

Alpha1-Blockers: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Calcium Channel Blockers. Monitor therapy

Amifostine: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Amifostine. Management: When amifostine is used at chemotherapy doses, blood pressure lowering medications should be withheld for 24 hours prior to amifostine administration. If blood pressure lowering therapy cannot be withheld, amifostine should not be administered. Consider therapy modification

Amphetamines: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

Angiotensin II: Receptor Blockers may diminish the therapeutic effect of Angiotensin II. Monitor therapy

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors: Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors. Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors. Management: In US labeling, use of telmisartan and ramipril is not recommended. It is not clear if any other combination of an ACE inhibitor and an ARB would be any safer. Consider alternatives to the combination when possible. Consider therapy modification

Antifungal Agents (Azole Derivatives, Systemic): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Calcium Channel Blockers. Specifically, itraconazole may enhance the negative inotropic effects of verapamil or diltiazem. Antifungal Agents (Azole Derivatives, Systemic) may decrease the metabolism of Calcium Channel Blockers. Fluconazole and isavuconazonium likely exert weaker effects than other azoles and are addressed in separate monographs. Management: Concurrent use of felodipine or nisoldipine with itraconazole is specifically contraindicated. Frequent monitoring is warranted with any such combination; calcium channel blocker dose reductions may be required. Exceptions: Fluconazole; Isavuconazonium Sulfate. Consider therapy modification

Antihepaciviral Combination Products: May increase the serum concentration of AmLODIPine. Management: Reduce amlodipine dose by at least 50% and monitor for increased amlodipine effects (eg, hypotension) if an antihepaciviral combination product is initiated. Consider therapy modification

Antihepaciviral Combination Products: May increase the serum concentration of Valsartan. Management: Per antihepaciviral combination product US prescribing information, consider decreasing the valsartan dose and monitoring for evidence of hypotension and worsening renal function if these agents are used in combination. Consider therapy modification

Antipsychotic Agents (Second Generation [Atypical]): Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Antipsychotic Agents (Second Generation [Atypical]). Monitor therapy

Aprepitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

ARIPiprazole: CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of ARIPiprazole. Management: Monitor for increased aripiprazole pharmacologic effects. Aripiprazole dose adjustments may or may not be required based on concomitant therapy and/or indication. Consult full interaction monograph for specific recommendations. Monitor therapy

Atosiban: Calcium Channel Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Atosiban. Specifically, there may be an increased risk for pulmonary edema and/or dyspnea. Monitor therapy

Barbiturates: May increase the metabolism of Calcium Channel Blockers. Management: Monitor for decreased therapeutic effects of calcium channel blockers with concomitant barbiturate therapy. Calcium channel blocker dose adjustments may be necessary. Nimodipine Canadian labeling contraindicates concomitant use with phenobarbital. Monitor therapy

Barbiturates: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Benperidol: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Bosentan: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Brigatinib: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Brigatinib may enhance the bradycardic effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

Brimonidine (Topical): May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Bromperidol: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Bromperidol. Bromperidol may diminish the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Avoid combination

Calcium Channel Blockers (Nondihydropyridine): Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine) may enhance the hypotensive effect of Calcium Channel Blockers (Nondihydropyridine). Calcium Channel Blockers (Nondihydropyridine) may increase the serum concentration of Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine). Monitor therapy

Calcium Salts: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Calcium Channel Blockers. Monitor therapy

Canagliflozin: May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Canagliflozin may enhance the hypotensive effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Monitor therapy

CarBAMazepine: May increase the metabolism of Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine). Management: Consider calcium channel blocker (CCB) dose adjustments or alternative therapy in patients receiving concomitant carbamazepine. Nimodipine Canadian labeling contraindicates concurrent use with carbamazepine. Consider therapy modification

Ceritinib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Management: Use of ceritinib with a narrow therapeutic index CYP3A substrate (eg, alfentanil, cyclosporine, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, fentanyl, pimozide, quinidine, sirolimus, tacrolimus) should be avoided when possible. Monitor therapy

Clopidogrel: Calcium Channel Blockers may diminish the therapeutic effect of Clopidogrel. Monitor therapy

Conivaptan: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Avoid combination

CycloSPORINE (Systemic): Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine) may increase the serum concentration of CycloSPORINE (Systemic). CycloSPORINE (Systemic) may increase the serum concentration of Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine). Monitor therapy

CycloSPORINE (Systemic): Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of CycloSPORINE (Systemic). Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inducers (Moderate): May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inducers (Strong): May increase the metabolism of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Consider an alternative for one of the interacting drugs. Some combinations may be specifically contraindicated. Consult appropriate manufacturer labeling. Consider therapy modification

CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Moderate): May increase the serum concentration of AmLODIPine. Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Strong): May increase the serum concentration of AmLODIPine. Monitor therapy

Dabrafenib: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Seek alternatives to the CYP3A4 substrate when possible. If concomitant therapy cannot be avoided, monitor clinical effects of the substrate closely (particularly therapeutic effects). Consider therapy modification

Dapoxetine: May enhance the orthostatic hypotensive effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Monitor therapy

Dapoxetine: May enhance the orthostatic hypotensive effect of Calcium Channel Blockers. Monitor therapy

Deferasirox: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Diazoxide: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Dofetilide: CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of Dofetilide. Monitor therapy

Drospirenone: Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Drospirenone. Monitor therapy

DULoxetine: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of DULoxetine. Monitor therapy

Efavirenz: May decrease the serum concentration of Calcium Channel Blockers. Monitor therapy

Eltrombopag: May increase the serum concentration of OATP1B1/SLCO1B1 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Enzalutamide: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Concurrent use of enzalutamide with CYP3A4 substrates that have a narrow therapeutic index should be avoided. Use of enzalutamide and any other CYP3A4 substrate should be performed with caution and close monitoring. Consider therapy modification

Eplerenone: May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Monitor therapy

Flibanserin: CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of Flibanserin. Monitor therapy

Fluconazole: May increase the serum concentration of Calcium Channel Blockers. Monitor therapy

Fosaprepitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Fosnetupitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Fosphenytoin: Calcium Channel Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Fosphenytoin. Management: Monitor for phenytoin toxicity with concomitant use of a calcium channel blocker (CCB) or decreased phenytoin effects with CCB discontinuation. Monitor for decreased CCB therapeutic effects. Nimodipine Canadian labeling contraindicates use with phenytoin. Consider therapy modification

Fusidic Acid (Systemic): May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Avoid combination

Gemfibrozil: May increase the serum concentration of OATP1B1/SLCO1B1 Substrates. See separate drug interaction monographs for agents listed as exceptions. Monitor therapy

Heparin: May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Monitor therapy

Heparins (Low Molecular Weight): May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Monitor therapy

Herbs (Hypertensive Properties): May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

Herbs (Hypotensive Properties): May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

HydroCHLOROthiazide: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Valsartan. Valsartan may increase the serum concentration of HydroCHLOROthiazide. Monitor therapy

Hypotension-Associated Agents: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Hypotension-Associated Agents. Monitor therapy

Idelalisib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Avoid combination

Ivosidenib: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Levodopa: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Levodopa. Monitor therapy

Lithium: Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Lithium. Management: Lithium dosage reductions will likely be needed following the addition of an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. Consider therapy modification

Lomitapide: CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of Lomitapide. Management: Patients on lomitapide 5 mg/day may continue that dose. Patients taking lomitapide 10 mg/day or more should decrease the lomitapide dose by half. The lomitapide dose may then be titrated up to a max adult dose of 30 mg/day. Consider therapy modification

Lormetazepam: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Lovastatin: AmLODIPine may increase the serum concentration of Lovastatin. Monitor therapy

Macrolide Antibiotics: May decrease the metabolism of Calcium Channel Blockers. Management: Consider using a noninteracting macrolide. Felodipine Canadian labeling specifically recommends avoiding its use in combination with clarithromycin. Exceptions: Azithromycin (Systemic); Fidaxomicin; Roxithromycin; Spiramycin. Consider therapy modification

Magnesium Salts: Calcium Channel Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Magnesium Salts. Magnesium Salts may enhance the hypotensive effect of Calcium Channel Blockers. Monitor therapy

Melatonin: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine). Monitor therapy

Methylphenidate: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

MiFEPRIStone: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Management: Minimize doses of CYP3A4 substrates, and monitor for increased concentrations/toxicity, during and 2 weeks following treatment with mifepristone. Avoid cyclosporine, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, fentanyl, pimozide, quinidine, sirolimus, and tacrolimus. Consider therapy modification

Mitotane: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Doses of CYP3A4 substrates may need to be adjusted substantially when used in patients being treated with mitotane. Consider therapy modification

Molsidomine: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Naftopidil: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Netupitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Neuromuscular-Blocking Agents (Nondepolarizing): Calcium Channel Blockers may enhance the neuromuscular-blocking effect of Neuromuscular-Blocking Agents (Nondepolarizing). Monitor therapy

Nicergoline: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Nicorandil: May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Monitor therapy

Nicorandil: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

NiMODipine: CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of NiMODipine. Monitor therapy

Nitroprusside: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Nitroprusside. Monitor therapy

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents: Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Specifically, the combination may result in a significant decrease in renal function. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. The combination of these two agents may also significantly decrease glomerular filtration and renal function. Monitor therapy

Obinutuzumab: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Management: Consider temporarily withholding blood pressure lowering medications beginning 12 hours prior to obinutuzumab infusion and continuing until 1 hour after the end of the infusion. Consider therapy modification

Palbociclib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Pentoxifylline: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Phenytoin: Calcium Channel Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Phenytoin. Phenytoin may decrease the serum concentration of Calcium Channel Blockers. Management: Avoid use of nimodipine or nifedipine with phenytoin. Monitor for phenytoin toxicity and/or decreased calcium channel blocker effects with any concurrent use. Consider therapy modification

Pholcodine: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Pholcodine. Monitor therapy

Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Pimozide: CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of Pimozide. Avoid combination

Pitolisant: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Combined use of pitolisant with a CYP3A4 substrate that has a narrow therapeutic index should be avoided. Other CYP3A4 substrates should be monitored more closely when used with pitolisant. Consider therapy modification

Potassium Salts: May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Monitor therapy

Potassium-Sparing Diuretics: Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Potassium-Sparing Diuretics. Monitor therapy

Prostacyclin Analogues: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Quinagolide: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

QuiNIDine: Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine) may decrease the serum concentration of QuiNIDine. Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine) may increase the serum concentration of QuiNIDine. QuiNIDine may increase the serum concentration of Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine). Monitor therapy

Rifamycin Derivatives: May decrease the serum concentration of Calcium Channel Blockers. This primarily affects oral forms of calcium channel blockers. Management: The labeling for some US and Canadian calcium channel blockers contraindicate use with rifampin, however recommendations vary. Consult appropriate labeling. Consider therapy modification

Sarilumab: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Siltuximab: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Simeprevir: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Simvastatin: AmLODIPine may increase the serum concentration of Simvastatin. Management: Avoid the concurrent use of amlodipine with simvastatin when possible. If used together, avoid doses of simvastatin greater than 20 mg/day (for adults). Consider therapy modification

Sodium Phosphates: Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers may enhance the nephrotoxic effect of Sodium Phosphates. Specifically, the risk of acute phosphate nephropathy may be enhanced. Management: Consider avoiding this combination by temporarily suspending treatment with ARBs, or seeking alternatives to oral sodium phosphate bowel preparation. If the combination cannot be avoided, maintain adequate hydration and monitor renal function closely. Consider therapy modification

St John's Wort: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Consider an alternative for one of the interacting drugs. Some combinations may be specifically contraindicated. Consult appropriate manufacturer labeling. Consider therapy modification

Stiripentol: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Management: Use of stiripentol with CYP3A4 substrates that are considered to have a narrow therapeutic index should be avoided due to the increased risk for adverse effects and toxicity. Any CYP3A4 substrate used with stiripentol requires closer monitoring. Consider therapy modification

Tacrolimus (Systemic): Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine) may increase the serum concentration of Tacrolimus (Systemic). Monitor therapy

Teriflunomide: May increase the serum concentration of OATP1B1/SLCO1B1 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Tocilizumab: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Tolvaptan: May increase the serum concentration of OATP1B1/SLCO1B1 Substrates. Consider therapy modification

Trimethoprim: May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Monitor therapy

Yohimbine: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

Adverse Reactions

Reactions/percentages reported with combination product; also see individual agents

>10%: Central nervous system: Headache (11%)

1% to 10%:

Cardiovascular: Peripheral edema (5% to 8%)

Central nervous system: Anxiety (3%), somnolence (3%), dizziness (≤2%)

Endocrine & metabolic: Hyperkalemia (3% to 10%)

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal pain (upper; 3%), diarrhea (3%), nausea (3%)

Renal: BUN increased (6% to 17%)

Respiratory: Nasopharyngitis (4%), upper respiratory tract infection (3%), cough (2%)

Miscellaneous: Influenza (2%)

<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Exanthema, hypersensitivity, hypotension, orthostatic hypotension, postural dizziness, syncope, tinnitus, visual disturbance

Frequency not defined, but occurred at ≥0.2% incidence (limited to important or life-threatening): Abdominal discomfort/distension, arthralgia, chest pain, colitis, constipation, depression, diabetes, dyspepsia, dyspnea, edema (including pitting), epistaxis, erectile dysfunction, erythema, fever, flushing, gastritis, gout, hematuria, hypercholesterolemia, hypoesthesia, LFTs increased, lymphadenopathy, muscle spasm, myalgia, nephrolithiasis, palpitation, paresthesia, pharyngitis, pollakiuria, pruritus, rash, sinus congestion, somnolence, tachycardia, vomiting, weakness, xerostomia

ALERT: U.S. Boxed Warning

Fetal toxicity:

When pregnancy is detected, discontinue therapy as soon as possible. Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and even death to the developing fetus.

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Angioedema: Angioedema has been reported rarely with some angiotensin II receptor antagonists (ARBs) and may occur at any time during treatment (especially following first dose). It may involve the head and neck (potentially compromising airway) or the intestine (presenting with abdominal pain). Patients with idiopathic or hereditary angioedema or previous angioedema associated with ACE-inhibitor therapy may be at an increased risk. Prolonged frequent monitoring may be required, especially if tongue, glottis, or larynx are involved, as they are associated with airway obstruction. Patients with a history of airway surgery may have a higher risk of airway obstruction. Discontinue therapy immediately if angioedema occurs. Aggressive early management is critical. Intramuscular (IM) administration of epinephrine may be necessary. Do not readminister to patients who have had angioedema with ARBs.

• Angina/MI: Increased angina and/or MI has occurred with initiation or dosage titration of dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers. Reflex tachycardia may occur resulting in angina and/or MI in patients with obstructive coronary disease, especially in the absence of concurrent beta-blockade.

• Hyperkalemia: May occur with valsartan use; risk factors include renal dysfunction, diabetes mellitus, concomitant use of potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements, and/or potassium-containing salts. Use cautiously, if at all, with these agents and monitor potassium closely.

• Hypotension: Symptomatic hypotension may occur upon initiation in patients who are salt- or volume-depleted (eg, those treated with high-dose diuretics); correct volume depletion prior to administration. This transient hypotensive response is not a contraindication to further treatment with amlodipine/valsartan.

• Hypotension/syncope: Symptomatic hypotension with or without syncope can rarely occur; use caution during initiation of therapy, particularly in patients with heart failure, severe aortic stenosis, or in post-MI patients or those undergoing surgery or dialysis.

• Peripheral edema: The most common side effect of amlodipine is peripheral edema; occurs within 2-3 weeks of starting therapy.

• Renal function deterioration: Valsartan may be associated with deterioration of renal function and/or increases in serum creatinine, particularly in patients with low renal blood flow (eg, renal artery stenosis, heart failure) whose glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is dependent on efferent arteriolar vasoconstriction by angiotensin II; deterioration may result in oliguria, acute renal failure, and progressive azotemia. Small increases in serum creatinine may occur following initiation; consider discontinuation only in patients with progressive and/or significant deterioration in renal function.

Disease-related concerns:

• Aortic stenosis: Use amlodipine with extreme caution in patients with severe aortic stenosis; may reduce coronary perfusion resulting in ischemia.

• Heart failure: Use caution when initiating in heart failure; may need to adjust dose, and/or concurrent diuretic therapy.

• Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment; amlodipine and valsartan exposure increases with hepatic dysfunction.

• Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) with outflow tract obstruction: Use amlodipine with caution in patients with HCM and outflow tract obstruction since reduction in afterload may worsen symptoms associated with this condition.

• Renal artery stenosis: Use valsartan with caution in patients with unstented unilateral/bilateral renal artery stenosis. When unstented bilateral renal artery stenosis is present, use is generally avoided due to the elevated risk of deterioration in renal function unless possible benefits outweigh risks.

• Renal impairment: Use with caution with preexisting renal insufficiency and severe renal impairment.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and renin inhibitors: Concomitant use of an ACE-inhibitor or renin inhibitor (eg, aliskiren) is associated with an increased risk of hypotension, hyperkalemia, and renal dysfunction. Concomitant use with aliskiren should be avoided in patients with GFR <60 mL/minute and is contraindicated in patients with diabetes mellitus (regardless of GFR).

Special populations:

• Elderly: Exposure to amlodipine is increased in the elderly; consider use of a lower initial dose.

• Pregnancy: [US Boxed Warning]: Drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and death to the developing fetus. Discontinue as soon as possible once pregnancy is detected.

• Surgical patients: In patients on chronic angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) therapy, intraoperative hypotension may occur with induction and maintenance of general anesthesia; however, discontinuation of therapy prior to surgery is controversial. If continued preoperatively, avoidance of hypotensive agents during surgery is prudent (Hillis, 2011).

Monitoring Parameters

Blood pressure, heart rate; baseline and periodic electrolyte panels; renal and liver function; monitor for orthostasis, peripheral edema

Pregnancy Risk Factor

D

Pregnancy Considerations

[US Boxed Warning]: Drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and death to the developing fetus. Discontinue as soon as possible once pregnancy is detected. See individual agents.

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience pharyngitis, rhinorrhea, or common cold symptoms. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of kidney problems (urinary retention, hematuria, change in amount of urine passed, weight gain), signs of high potassium (abnormal heartbeat, confusion, dizziness, passing out, weakness, shortness of breath, numbness or tingling feeling), signs of liver problems (dark urine, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, light-colored stools, vomiting, or jaundice), severe dizziness, passing out, angina, shortness of breath, excessive weight gain, muscle rigidity, tremors, abnormal movements, or swelling of arm or leg (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for healthcare professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience and judgment in diagnosing, treating and advising patients.

Further information

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

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