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
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
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.
of soft tissues including those of the throat and larynx) is a rare but serious
side effect of valsartan.
Salt and sodium are the same.
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.
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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
It is not known whether Exforge is secreted into
To prevent adverse effects in the infant, mothers should use alternative agents
or discontinue nursing.
What else should I know about amlodipine and valsartan?
What preparations of amlodipine and valsartan are available?
Tablets: 5/160, 5/320, 10/160, and 10 mg/320 mg,
How should I keep amlodipine and valsartan stored?
Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F).