Diovan HCT

Generic Name: Valsartan

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Diovan HCT is a medicine used to treat high blood pressure. Diovan HCT contains two medicines that work in two different ways to reduce your blood pressure: valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Valsartan works by blocking a chemical in your body that causes blood vessels to narrow. By blocking this chemical, valsartan relaxes and widens your blood vessels, allowing your blood to flow through with less resistance. Hydrochlorothiazide is a water pill and works by eliminating extra fluid and sodium (salt) from your body. Together, they help lower your blood pressure.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: By lowering your blood pressure, Diovan HCT may lower your risk of a stroke or a heart attack.

    When: Diovan HCT may start lowering your blood pressure within 2 weeks. Though you may not feel an improvement or change in the way you feel, it is very important to keep taking your medicine as prescribed to keep your condition under control.

    How do I know it is working?

    Check your blood pressure regularly. Your healthcare provider will also check your blood pressure at every visit. Following an appropriate diet and exercise plan will also affect your blood pressure results.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Diovan HCT can harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about other ways to lower your blood pressure if you plan to become pregnant. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while taking Diovan HCT.

    More common side effects may include: common cold.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Low blood pressure with symptoms such as lightheadedness, especially during the first few days of taking Diovan HCT. Dehydration, excessive sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting can lead to an excessive fall in your blood pressure, which can cause lightheadedness and possible fainting.

    Kidney problems with symptoms such as swelling in your feet, ankles, or hands; or unexplained weight gain.

    Allergic reactions with symptoms such as swelling of your face, lips, throat, or tongue.

    Temporary nearsightedness (trouble seeing objects farther away) or glaucoma (high pressure in the eye) with symptoms such as changes in your vision or eye pain that may occur within hours to weeks of starting Diovan HCT.

    Changes in electrolytes (chemicals that are important for the cells in your body to function, such as sodium and potassium) with symptoms such as dry mouth, thirst, weakness, tiredness, drowsiness, restlessness, muscle pains or cramps, muscle tiredness, dizziness or fainting, low or no urine output, fast heartbeat, or nausea and vomiting.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Diovan HCT if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or other sulfonamide medications (such as sulfamethoxazole).

    Do not take Diovan HCT if you are unable to produce urine.

    If you are diabetic, do not take Diovan HCT in combination with aliskiren.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Diovan HCT. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have diabetes; asthma; lupus (a disease that affects the immune system); gout; high cholesterol levels; kidney, liver, or heart problems; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: The usual starting dose is 160/12.5 (160 milligrams [mg] of valsartan and 12.5 mg of hydrochlorothiazide) once a day. Your healthcare provider may increase your dose as needed until the desired effect is achieved.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Diovan HCT exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Diovan HCT without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Take Diovan HCT with or without food.

    If you take a cholesterol-lowering medicine called cholestyramine or colestipol, take Diovan HCT at least 4 hours before or 4 to 6 hours after you take these medicines.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not become pregnant while taking this medication.

    Do not become dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids while you are taking Diovan HCT.

    Do not take potassium supplements or salt substitutes that contain potassium without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Diovan HCT is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Diovan HCT with the following: aliskiren, blood pressure/heart medications known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (such as enalapril or lisinopril), carbamazepine, certain water pills (such as amiloride, spironolactone, or triamterene), cholestyramine, colestipol, cyclosporine, diabetes medicines (such as insulin), lithium, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as ibuprofen or naproxen), potassium supplements, rifampin, ritonavir, or salt substitutes that contain potassium.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Do not take Diovan HCT if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Diovan HCT can harm your unborn baby. Diovan HCT can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Diovan HCT, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from moisture.

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