Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Valsartan tablets
What do valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide tablets do?
VALSARTAN-HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE (Diovan HCT(TM)) is a combination of two drugs used to lower blood pressure. Valsartan controls high blood pressure (hypertension) by relaxing blood vessels. Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic. High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. By lowering blood pressure, valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide can help reduce your risk of having damage to your kidneys, heart, or other organs. This medicine does not cure high blood pressure.
What should my health care professional know before I take valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
• autoimmune disease (e.g., lupus), or suppressed immune function
• diabetes mellitus
• heart or blood vessel disease (e.g. heart failure)
• liver disease
• recent heart attack or stroke
• kidney disease, (e.g. renal failure or renal artery stenosis)
• electrolyte imbalance (e.g. low or high levels of potassium in the blood)
• if you are on a special diet, such as a low-salt diet (e.g. using potassium substitutes)
• sulfonamide (sulfa) or thiazide allergy
• an unusual or allergic reaction to valsartan, hydrochlorothiazide, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
• pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. Valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide can be taken with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What other medicines can interact with valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide?
• diabetic medications
• blood pressure medications
• some cholesterol-lowering medications (e.g. cholestyramine or colestipol)
• antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen)
• potassium salts or potassium supplements
• water pills (especially potassium-sparing diuretics such as triamterene or amiloride)
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
Rare or uncommon:
• difficulty breathing or swallowing, hoarseness, or tightening of the throat
• redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
• swelling of your face, lips, tongue, hands, or feet
• unusual rash, bleeding or bruising, or pinpoint red spots on the skin
• confusion, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting spells
• decreased amount of urine passed
• decreased sexual function
• fast or uneven heart beat, palpitations, or chest pain
• fever or chills
• irregular heartbeat
• muscle cramps
• stomach pain
• unusual tiredness or weakness
• worsened gout pain
• yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• increased sensitivity to the sun
• tiredness or fatigue