valsartan w/ hydrochlorothiazide - oral, Diovan HCT (cont.)
USES: This drug is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). This medication is a combination of two drugs (an angiotensin receptor blocker and a thiazide "water pill"/diuretic). Valsartan blocks the hormone angiotensin thereby relaxing blood vessels, causing them to widen. The thiazide diuretic increases the amount of urine you make, therefore decreasing excess water and salt in your body. High blood pressure reduction helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.OTHER This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.This drug may also be used to treat heart failure and to help protect the kidneys from damage due to diabetes.
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet available from your pharmacist before you start taking this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding this information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily or as directed by your doctor. You may take this drug with or without food. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.Drink adequate fluids to prevent from becoming dehydrated. If you are on restricted fluid intake, consult your doctor for further instructions.Do not take potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium without talking to your doctor or pharmacist first. This medicine can infrequently raise or lower your potassium blood levels, which rarely can cause serious side effects such as muscle weakness/cramping or very slow heartbeats. Tell your doctor immediately if these effects occur.The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take 4 weeks before the full benefit of this drug occurs.It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.If you are also taking cholestyramine or colestipol, take valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide at least 2 hours before either of these drugs.
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