amlodipine and valsartan (Exforge) (cont.)
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 5/160, 5/320, 10/160, and 10 mg/320 mg,
STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F).
PRESCRIBED FOR: Exforge is used for treating high blood pressure in patients not adequately controlled on one blood pressure medication or for initial therapy if it is not likely that one drug will achieve adequate control.
DOSING: The usual dose is 5/160 to 10mg/320 mg daily. The majority of the effect is seen within 2 weeks.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Combining valsartan with potassium-sparing diuretics (for example, spironolactone [Aldactone], triamterene [Maxzide, Dyazide], amiloride), potassium supplements, or salt substitutes containing potassium may lead to hyperkalemia (elevated potassium in the blood), and in heart failure patients, it increases serum creatinine, a test used for monitoring function of the kidneys.
PREGNANCY: When used in the second or third trimester of pregnancy valsartan may cause injury and even death to the fetus. Valsartan should not be used during pregnancy. When pregnancy is detected, Exforge should be stopped as soon as possible.
NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether Exforge is secreted into human milk. To prevent adverse effects in the infant, mothers should use alternative agents or discontinue nursing.
SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects include headache, dizziness, fatigue, abdominal pain, cough, diarrhea and nausea. Patients may also experience hyperkalemia, impotence, reduced renal function, and allergic reactions. Angioedema (swelling of soft tissues including those of the throat and larynx) is a rare but serious side effect of valsartan.
Reference: FDA prescribing information for Exforge
Last Editorial Review: 7/27/2010 3:42:20 PM
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