- What is amlodipine and valsartan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- 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 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?
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.
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.
Amlodipine and valsartan (Exforge) is a combination of two medications prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension). Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
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Related Disease Conditions
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million people in the US have hypertension (1 in 3 adults), and only half of them are able to manage it. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because it often has no has no warning signs or symptoms. Systolic and diastolic are the two readings in which blood pressure is measured. The American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure in 2017. The guidelines now state that blood normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. If either one of those numbers is higher, you have high blood pressure. The American Academy of Cardiology defines high blood pressure slightly differently. The AAC considers 130/80 mm Hg. or greater (either number) stage 1 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is considered 140/90 mm Hg. or greater. If you have high blood pressure you are at risk of developing life threatening diseases like stroke and heart attack.REFERENCE: CDC. High Blood Pressure. Updated: Nov 13, 2017.
Things to Know About High Blood Pressure Treatment
High 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.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA prescribing information for Exforge