GENERIC NAME: valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide
BRAND NAME: Diovan HCT
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide is a combination of two medications that is used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. It belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) which also includes:
Angiotensin, formed in the blood by the action of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), 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 muscles to contract and the blood vessels to narrow (vasoconstrict) which leads to an increase in blood pressure (hypertension). Valsartan blocks the angiotensin receptor. By blocking the action of angiotensin, valsartan dilates (widens) blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. Valsartan belongs to the class of drugs called ARBs or angiotensin II receptor blockers
Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic (water pill) used for treating high blood pressure and accumulation of fluid. It works by blocking salt and water reabsorption in the kidneys, thus causing increased output of urine containing increased amounts of water and salt (diuresis). The mechanism of its action in lowering high blood pressure is not well understood. The combination of valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide reduces blood pressure more that either drug alone.
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