Exforge (Amlodipine/Valsartan) Dosage and Side Effects
EXFORGE is used to treat high blood pressure. EXFORGE HCT also contains a third drug called hydrochlorothiazide (HCT). Hydrochlorothiazie is a diuretic that can also help control blood pressure when added to EXFORGE .
Warnings and Precautions
Don't take EXFORGE if you're allergic to the medication's active or inactive ingredients, or if you're pregnant.
Talk to your doctor before taking EXFORGE if you:
- Are 65 or older
- Have kidney disease or narrowing of arteries to the kidneys
- Have liver problems
- Have low sodium in your blood
- Have congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, or recently had a heart attack
- Are about to have surgery
- Have narrow arteries
Pregnancy and EXFORGE
EXFORGE has a black-box warning because it can cause serious birth defects or death to a developing fetus.
Pregnant women shouldn't take EXFORGE.
If you suspect you're pregnant, stop taking EXFORGE immediately until your doctor confirms that you're not pregnant.
It's unclear whether EXFORGE is safe to take while breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor if you're breastfeeding your baby and considering taking EXFORGE.
Tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become severe or don't go away:
- Inflammation of the nose and throat
- Nausea or stomach pain
- Urinary tract infection
- Swelling of the feet, ankles, and lower legs
People over age 65 may develop skin rashes, like eczema, after taking EXFORGE for a while.
Serious Side Effects of EXFORGE
Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Changes in vision
- Severe dizziness upon standing
- Ringing in the ears
- Enlargement of breasts (in men)
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
- Low blood pressure
- Heart attack or angina (chest pain)
- Muscle weakness
- Back pain
- Brown-colored urine
- Severe allergic reaction (indicated by hives, rash, itching, chest tightness, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat)
Interactions with this medication
Before taking EXFORGE, tell your doctor and pharmacist about all medications you're taking.
This includes prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and other dietary supplements (nutritional shakes, protein powders, herbal remedies, etc.), and any illegal or recreational drugs.
You shouldn't take EXFORGE if you're taking Dantrium, Revonto, or Ryanodex (dantrolene) or Tekturn (aliskiren).
Other drugs that may have serious interactions with EXFORGE include:
- ACE inhibitors like Capoten (captopril), Lotensin (benazepril), Vasotec (enalapril), or Zestril or Prinivil (lisinopril)
- Barbiturates like Butisol (butabarbital), Fiorinal or Butapap (butalbital), or pentobarbital
- Cancer drugs like Tafinlar (dabrafenib) or Zykadia (ceritinib)
- Cardizem, Dilt-CD, Diltzac, Taztia XT, or Tiazac (diltiazem)
- Drugs that contain simvastatin, like Juvasync, Simcor, Vytorin, or Zocor
- Grifulvin V or Gris-PEG (griseofulvin)
- Mood-altering drugs like Dilantin (phenytoin), Lithobid (lithium), or Trileptal (oxcarbazepine)
- Rifadin (rifampin)
EXFORGE and Alcohol
Drinking alcohol can cause headaches and dizziness, and consuming it while taking EXFORGE may worsen these side effects.
Try to avoid or limit alcohol while taking EXFORGE.
Talk to your doctor if you have questions about how much alcohol you can safely drink.
EXFORGE and Grapefruit Juice
You should avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking EXFORGE.
Grapefruit slows down the liver's breakdown of amlodipine, which may cause blood levels of the drug to become dangerously high.
Proper Use of this medication
EXFORGE comes in tablets of four different strengths:
- 5-160, containing 5 milligrams (mg) of amlodipine and 160 mg of valsartan
- 10-160, containing 10 mg of amlodipine and 160 mg of valsartan
- 5-320, containing 5 mg of amlodipine and 320 mg of valsartan
- 10-320, containing 10 mg of amlodipine and 320 mg of valsartan
Each tablet is normally taken once a day. You can take EXFORGE with or without food, but always take it with a full glass of water.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, don't take more than 10 mg of amlodipine and 320 mg of valsartan in a day — the amounts found in one tablet of the highest-strength version of EXFORGE.
If you suspect an overdose of EXFORGE, call 911 or contact your local poison control center..
Missed Dose of EXFORGE
If you miss a dose of EXFORGE, take it as soon as you remember.
But if it's almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular medication schedule.
Never double up on doses to make up for a missed one.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.