Valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide is a prescription medication that is used to treat high blood pressure in adults. Although valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide is not a cure for high blood pressure, it can lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and lowering blood volume. This medication comes as a tablet usually taken once a day, and it must be taken as prescribed in order to work properly. Among the common side effects of valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide are the common cold and low potassium levels in the blood.
Valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide is manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
How Does Valsartan and Hydrochlorothiazide Work?
Valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide is a combination of two medicines -- valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide. Valsartan is a newer type of blood pressure medicine known as an angiotensin II receptor blocker, or ARB for short. As the name implies, valsartan blocks angiotensin II receptors. This decreases the effectiveness of a chemical known as angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to narrow (constrict). By blocking the effects of angiotensin II, valsartan causes blood vessels to relax.
Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic, which is commonly referred to as a "water pill." It works by increasing the amount of salt and water the kidneys remove from the blood. This extra salt and water is passed out through the urine. By increasing the amount of water removed from the blood, hydrochlorothiazide causes a decrease in blood volume.
Because of its combined effects, valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide causes a greater drop in blood pressure than when either medicine is used alone.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed October 4, 2012.
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