amlodipine and valsartan (Exforge)

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GENERIC NAME: amlodipine and valsartan

BRAND NAME: Exforge

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Exforge is a combination of two drugs used for treating high blood pressure (hypertension), amlodipine and valsartan. The FDA approved Exforge in June 2007.

Amlodipine belongs to a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers. These medications block the transport of calcium into the smooth muscle cells lining the coronary arteries and other arteries of the body. Since calcium is important in promoting contraction of muscles, blocking calcium transport relaxes the muscles that surround arteries, dilating (enlarging) the arteries of the body including the arteries of the heart (coronary arteries). Dilating arteries lowers blood pressure.

Valsartan is an oral drug that belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) . Angiotensin, formed in the blood by the action of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) on a chemical in blood called angiotensinogen. Angiotensin is a powerful chemical that attaches to angiotensin receptors found in many tissues but primarily on smooth muscle cells surrounding blood vessels. Angiotensin's attachment to the receptors causes the blood vessels to narrow (constrict) which leads to an increase in blood pressure (hypertension). Valsartan blocks the angiotensin receptor. By blocking the action of angiotensin, valsartan dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure.




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