valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide (Diovan HCT) (cont.)

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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.

The FDA approved valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide in March 1998.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide is used for the treatment of blood pressure in patients with or without a history of congestive heart failure.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effect of valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide are the same as its individual components.

Valsartan is generally well-tolerated. The most common side effects of valsartan include:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/23/2014

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