Valsartan HCT is a combination medication mostly prescribed by doctors for the treatment and management of high blood pressure after trying other blood pressure-lowering medications. This tablet contains valsartan which is a type of angiotensin II receptor blockers or ARB and hydrochlorothiazide, a type of diuretics.
This is a good 2-in-1 blood pressure-lowering drug that protects the heart and the kidney. It functions like the ACE inhibitor but it has fewer side effects. It is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild to moderate kidney disease. Anyone with heart failure can take this drug as it lowers the risk of death and further damage to the heart. Your doctor may prescribe you this drug when you need more than one medication to help control your high blood pressure.
The two drugs work together in lowering your blood pressure and in removing extra water from your body. Valsartan ARB blocks the action of angiotensin II in your body. Angiotensin is a natural chemical that causes your blood to become narrow and to tighten. It attaches to the angiotensin receptors found primarily on the smooth muscle cells that surround the blood vessels. The narrowing and tightening of the blood vessels increase blood pressure. Valsartan blocks the angiotensin receptor to prevent the chemical from attaching to the receptor cells. As a result, blood pressure is reduced.
HCT is a thiazide diuretic or water pill. It acts on the kidney where they increase the production of urine. It works by causing the kidney to make more urine which helps the body get rid of extra water and salt. If your high blood pressure is not treated, it can cause serious problems such as kidney disease, stroke, heart failure, and other cardiovascular diseases.
When and How to Use Valsartan/ Hydrochlorothiazide
- The dose of Valsartan will be different for different patients. The amount of your medication and duration of treatment depends on your condition, how well your blood pressure is controlled, and the strength of the medicine.
- Take it exactly as directed by your doctor. The recommended dose for the treatment of high blood pressure among adult patients is 320mg/ 25mg per day. The onset of effect can be observed within 2 hours after administration. The duration of the effect lasts for an average of 24 hours.
- You can take it with or without food. Swallow the tablet with plenty of water. You will need to take this on a long-term basis to control your blood pressure. Do not stop taking your medication without the knowledge of your doctor.
What to know before taking Valsartan HCT
- It is not safe to consume alcoholic beverages as it can increase the side effects like fainting, dizziness, and lightheadedness. It is not also advisable to perform any activities that require mental alertness such as driving or operating machinery.
- Valsartan is not recommended for use by pregnant women unless deemed necessary. The use of this medicine can harm the unborn baby. If you think you become pregnant while using this medicine, inform your doctor.
- This medicine may affect your blood sugar level. If you noticed a change in the result of your blood sugar level, talk to your doctor.
- Use Valsartan HCT with care among patients with:
- Mild to moderately decreased kidney and liver functions
- Severe heart failure
- Heart valve disease
- Kidney transplant
- History of gout
- History of asthma or allergies
- Low fluid volume due to low-sodium diet, vomiting, diarrhea or diuretic therapy
- Heart disease due to the thickening of the heart muscle and blockage inside the heart.
- Conditions like system lupus erythematosus in which there is long-term inflammation of some internal organs and the skin.
- Do not use among patients with:
- High blood pressure due to high levels of aldosterone
- Severely decreased kidney and liver functions
- Who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Whose kidney does not produce urine
- Biliary cirrhosis, a rare form of liver disease involving the bile ducts
- Cholestasis, failure of the normal flow of bile from the liver to the intestines
- Children who are under 18 years old
- Untreated Addison’s disease
- Who are allergic to any of its ingredients
Possible Side Effects of Valsartan HCT
More common side effects are:
- Throat and nose infections
Serious side effect that needs medical help are:
- Allergic reactions with signs like hives, itching, swelling of the skin, face, inside the mouth, tongue, throat, dizziness, and fainting
- Changes in the blood’s potassium level
- Kidney problems
- Eye problems such as blurred vision
- Muscle pain
- Low blood pressure
- Increased level of uric acid in the blood
- Decrease in the number of platelets
Getting the Best Result from Valsartan HCT
- In addition to using Valsartan HCT, treatment for hypertension or high blood pressure may include:
- Weight control
- Getting regular exercise
- Changes in the foods that you need particularly those high in sodium
- Limiting your alcohol intake
- Managing stress
- Not smoking
- This medication will not cure your condition but it does help control it. Continue taking your medication to keep your blood pressure down. You might have to take it for the rest of your life.
- Regularly monitor your blood pressure and kidney function while you are taking this medicine. It is also recommended to monitor your body’s salt level. If you experienced symptoms like feeling lethargic, drowsy, confused, unusually thirsty, inform your doctor.
- Valsartan HCT may cause conditions called glaucoma and myopias. If you are experiencing pain in the eye and trouble seeing, call your doctor right away.