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- What is amlodipine and valsartan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for amlodipine and valsartan?
- Is amlodipine and valsartan available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for amlodipine and valsartan?
- What are the side effects of amlodipine and valsartan?
- What is the dosage for amlodipine and valsartan?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with amlodipine and valsartan?
- Is amlodipine and valsartan safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about amlodipine and valsartan?
What is amlodipine and valsartan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What are the side effects of amlodipine and valsartan?
Side effects include:
- abdominal pain,
- diarrhea and
- 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.
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What is the dosage for amlodipine and valsartan?
The usual dose is 5/160 to 10mg/320 mg daily. The majority of the effect is seen within 2 weeks.
Which drugs or supplements interact with amlodipine and valsartan?
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.
Is amlodipine and valsartan safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
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.
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.
What else should I know about amlodipine and valsartan?
What preparations of amlodipine and valsartan are available?
Tablets: 5/160, 5/320, 10/160, and 10 mg/320 mg,
How should I keep amlodipine and valsartan stored?
Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F).
Reference: FDA prescribing information for Exforge
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Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are a class of drugs that dilate the arteries, and are used for treating:
- High blood pressure
- Abnormally rapid heart rhythms
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Raynaud's syndrome
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage
Calcium channel blockers also are prescribed for the prevention of migraine headaches and angina.
CCBs may also be prescribed after a heart attack.
Examples of calcium channel blockers (CCBs) approved in the U. S. include:
- nisoldipine (Sular)
- nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia)
- nicardipine (Cardene)
- isradipine (Dynacirc)
- nimodipine (Nimotop)
- felodipine (Plendil)
- amlodipine (Norvasc)
- diltiazem (Cardizem)
- verapamil (Calan, Isoptin)
High Blood Pressure HypertensionHigh blood pressure is defined as a pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher in the arteries. Genetic factors, high salt intake, and increased arterial stiffness cause high blood pressure. Dizziness, headache, nausea, and shortness of breath are just a few symptoms of high blood pressure. Untreated high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, atherosclerosis, eye damage, stroke, and increased risk of aneurysms. High blood pressure can be managed with weight loss, lifestyle changes, and medication.
High Blood Pressure Medication
High blood pressure (hypertension) medications include drugs from a variety of different drug classes and types.
- ACE inhibitors
- ARB (angiotensin receptor blockers)
- Beta blockers
- Calcium channel blockers (CCBs)
- Alpha-beta blockers
Clonidine (Catapres) and minoxidil also are drugs prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure. Side effects, warnings and precautions, safety information, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Take the HBP QuizTake this quiz and test your IQ of high blood pressure (hypertension), the cardiovascular disease that causes most strokes and heart attacks. How are dizziness, snoring, and gout related to HBP? Find the answer and learn how medical treatments and lifestyle adjustments fight this common problem.
High Blood Pressure TreatmentHigh blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include lifestyle modifications (alcohol, smoking, coffee, salt, diet, exercise), drugs and medications such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), alpha blockers, clonidine, minoxidil, and Exforge.
Hypertension PictureHigh blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg -- a systolic pressure above 140 with a diastolic pressure above 90. See a picture of Hypertension and learn more about the health topic.
ParathyroidectomyParathyroidectomy is the removal of one or more of the parathyroid glands to treat hyperparathyroidism. Risks of parathyroidectomy include:
- paralysis of the vocal cords,
- difficulty swallowing thin liquids,
- difficulty breathing,
- and drug reactions.
- damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve,
- bleeding or hematoma,
- problems maintaining calcium levels in the blood,
- need for further and more aggressive surgery,
- need for a limited or total thyroidectomy,
- prolonged pain,
- impaired healing,
- and recurrence of the tumor.