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Generic Name:

hydrochlorothiazide-valsartan, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Diovan HCT
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for hydrochlorothiazide-valsartan

Oral tablet
1

Valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide is a combination of two drugs in a single form that work in different ways to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).

2

The standard starting dose is 160 mg valsartan/12.5 mg hydrochlorothiazide taken by mouth once per day.

3

Valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide may cause excessively low blood pressure. Your risk may be higher if you’re dehydrated or have low salt levels.

4

You shouldn’t take this drug if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide can harm or be fatal to your developing baby.

5

Common side effects include dizziness, headache, and nose and throat infections.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to effects that may be dangerous.

Use during pregnancy warning: You shouldn’t take this drug if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. This drug can harm or be fatal to your developing baby. If you get pregnant while taking this drug, stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away.

Low blood pressure

This drug can cause low blood pressure, especially during the first few days of taking it. Tell your doctor if you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or like you’re going to faint. You may be more likely to have low blood pressure if you:

  • aren’t drinking enough fluids
  • are sweating heavily
  • have diarrhea or are vomiting

Kidney problems

This drug can decrease your kidney function. Symptoms of kidney problems include changes in the amount you urinate, swelling in your feet and ankles, and confusion

Blood sugar and cholesterol

This drug may raise your cholesterol. If you have diabetes, this drug may worsen your blood sugar control.

What is hydrochlorothiazide/valsartan?

This drug is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

This drug is available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

This drug is a combination of two drugs in a single pill. It is important to know about all the drugs in the combination because they each may have unique traits.

This drug may be taken in combination with other drugs that reduce blood pressure. These include beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and diuretics.

Why it's used

This drug is used to treat high blood pressure.

How it works

Valsartan belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers.

More Details

How it works

Valsartan belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers. Hydrochlorothiazide belongs to a class of drugs called diuretics. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

Hydrochlorothiazide may work by removing sodium (salt) and water from your body. This helps reduce your blood pressure.

Valsartan blocks the action of angiotensin II, a chemical in your body that causes blood vessels to tighten and narrow. This drug helps to relax and widen your blood vessels. This lowers your blood pressure.

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SECTION 2 of 4

hydrochlorothiazide-valsartan Side Effects

Oral tablet

More Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide include:

  • headache

  • dizziness

  • nose and throat infections

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

  • low blood pressure. Symptoms include:

    • lightheadedness or dizziness, especially if you stand up from a sitting or lying position
  • kidney problems. Symptoms include:

    • changes in the amount you urinate
    • swelling in your feet or ankles
    • confusion
  • allergic reactions. Symptoms include:

    • swelling of your skin, the layers under your skin, and your mucous membranes (inside your mouth)
    • itching and hives
    • reddening and warming of your face (flushing)
    • a feeling of warmth all over your body
    • swelling of your throat or tongue
    • wheezing or trouble breathing
    • a fast and irregular heart rate
    • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    • dizziness or fainting
  • changes in potassium levels. Symptoms include:

    • dry mouth
    • feeling thirsty
    • weakness
    • tiredness
    • drowsiness
    • restlessness
    • confusion
    • seizures
    • muscle pains or cramps
    • low blood pressure (hypotension), which may make you feel dizzy or lightheaded
    • producing less urine than normal (oliguria)
    • a fast heart rate (tachycardia)
    • nausea and vomiting 
  • eye problems. Symptoms include:

    • trouble seeing
    • eye pain
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug may cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

hydrochlorothiazide-valsartan May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or cause the drugs that you take to not work as well. To help prevent interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

  • Your body processes alcohol and this drug in similar ways. That means that if you drink alcohol, this drug might take longer to leave your body. You also could have worse side effects.
  • The use of drinks that contain alcohol can increase your risk of a sedative effect from this drug. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor. You may have slowed reflexes, poor judgment, and sleepiness. This can be dangerous.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Lithium

Valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide can increase the lithium levels in your body. This can cause lithium toxicity.

Pain medications

Taking pain drugs with valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide may cause decreased kidney function and kidney failure.

These drugs include:

  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as:
    • ibuprofen
    • naproxen

Potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements, and salt substitutes

Taking valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide with other medications that increase potassium levels may cause your blood potassium levels to become too high.

These drugs include:

  • potassium supplements
  • salt substitutes
  • potassium-sparing diuretics, such as:
    • spironolactone
    • triamterene

High blood pressure drugs

This medicine may interact with other drugs that affect angiotensin. This may increase your risk of low blood pressure, high potassium levels, and decreased kidney function.

These drugs include:

  • angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), such as:
    • irbesartan
    • candesartan
    • losartan
  • aliskiren
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, such as:
    • lisinopril
    • fosinopril
    • enalapril

Barbiturates and narcotics

Taking these drugs together may increase your chance for low blood pressure when you stand up from a sitting or lying position.

These drugs include:

  • phenobarbital
  • primidone
  • pentobarbital

Diabetes drugs

Valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide may affect your blood sugar. Your doctor may need to change your dosages of your diabetes drugs.

These drugs include:

  • insulin
  • glipizide
  • glyburide
  • pioglitazone
  • rosiglitazone
  • acarbose
  • miglitol
  • sitagliptin
  • saxagliptin

Cholesterol medications

These drugs can reduce the amount of valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide that’s absorbed by your body. This means that it may not work as well to lower your blood pressure.

These drugs include:

  • cholestyramine
  • colestipol

Carbamazepine

Taking these drugs together can cause low salt levels.

Cyclosporine

Taking these drugs together can increase your risk for gout.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
dehydration
People with dehydration or low salt levels

This drug may lower your blood pressure too much if you have these conditions. It may also increase your risk of kidney failure.

poor kidney function
People with poor kidney function

This drug decreases your kidneys’ ability to filter your urine. If you have poor kidney function, taking this drug may make your kidney function worse. If you have severe kidney disease, you shouldn’t use this drug.

glaucoma
People with glaucoma

This drug may cause temporary glaucoma. If you have glaucoma, this drug may make your condition worse.

diabetes
People with diabetes

This drug can change your blood sugar levels. Your doctor may need to adjust the dose of your diabetes medications.

high cholesterol
People with high cholesterol

This drug can raise your cholesterol levels.

liver disease
People with liver disease

If you have liver disease, use this drug with caution. The levels of this drug may build up in your body if your liver doesn’t work well. This may cause more side effects.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

This drug is a category D pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in humans has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. This drug should only be used during pregnancy in serious cases where it's needed to treat a dangerous condition in the mother.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Ask your doctor to tell you about the specific harm that may be done to the fetus. This drug should be only used if the potential risk to the fetus is acceptable given the drug’s potential benefit.

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

This drug may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your baby. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

seniors
For seniors

Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule.

children
For children

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children.

Allergies
Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room if you develop these symptoms.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it or other sulfa drugs before. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take hydrochlorothiazide-valsartan (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Hypertension

Brand: Diovan HCT

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths:
  • 80 mg valsartan/12.5 mg hydrochlorothiazide
  • 160 mg valsartan/12.5 mg hydrochlorothiazide
  • 160 mg valsartan/25 mg hydrochlorothiazide
  • 320 mg valsartan/12.5 mg hydrochlorothiazide
  • 320 mg valsartan/25 mg hydrochlorothiazide

Generic: valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths:
  • 80 mg valsartan/12.5 mg hydrochlorothiazide
  • 160 mg valsartan/12.5 mg hydrochlorothiazide
  • 160 mg valsartan/25 mg hydrochlorothiazide
  • 320 mg valsartan/12.5 mg hydrochlorothiazide
  • 320 mg valsartan/25 mg hydrochlorothiazide
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

The starting dose is 160 mg valsartan/12.5 mg hydrochlorothiazide taken by mouth once per day. Your doctor may increase your dose after 1–2 weeks up to 320 mg valsartan/25 mg hydrochlorothiazide taken by mouth once per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

There are no specific recommendations for senior dosing. Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

If you don’t take it at all

This drug reduces high blood pressure. If you don’t take it at all, your blood pressure will stay high. This will raise your chance of having a stroke or heart attack.

If you stop taking it suddenly

Don’t stop taking this drug without talking to your doctor. Stopping it suddenly may cause your blood pressure to spike. This may increase your chance for a heart attack or stroke.

If you don’t take it on schedule

Your blood pressure may not improve or may get worse. You may have a higher chance of a heart attack or stroke.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s just a few hours until the time for your next dose, then wait and only take one dose at that time.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could cause toxic side effects.

If you take too much

You may experience some of the side effects of this drug. You might have the following symptoms:

  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • feeling like your heart is pounding or beating slower 

How to tell this drug is working

You may be able to tell that this drug is working if your blood pressure is lower. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure at your checkups. You can also check your blood pressure at home. Keep a log with the date, time of day, and your blood pressure readings. Bring this diary with you to your doctor appointments.

This drug is used for long-term treatment.

However, if you are able to control your high blood pressure with other drugs or lifestyle changes, you may no longer need to take it.

Important considerations for taking this drug

Store this drug carefully

  • Store this drug at room temperature. Keep it from 68°F (20°C) to 77°F (25°C).  
  • Keep this drug away from humidity and moisture.
  • Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport security staff the pharmacy prescription label for your medication. Be sure to carry the container your medication came in, which has this label.

Self-management

You may need to check your blood pressure at home. To do this, you may need to buy a home blood pressure monitor. These are available at most pharmacies. You should keep a log with the date, time of day, and your blood pressure readings. Bring this diary with you to your doctor appointments. 

Clinical monitoring

While being treated with this drug, your doctor may check the following:

  • blood pressure
  • kidney function
  • electrolyte levels

Your diet

Although diet doesn’t directly affect how this medication works, your diet may affect how well your high blood pressure can be controlled. Ask your doctor if you need to make changes to your diet.

Hidden costs

You may need to purchase a home blood pressure monitor to keep track of your blood pressure.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other options that may work for you.


Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on September 15, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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