Blood Pressure Home > Diovan HCT Precautions and Warnings
There are a number of Diovan HCT precautions and warnings to be aware of. For example, because Diovan HCT can potentially interact with a number of other drugs, you should let your healthcare provider know (prior to taking Diovan HCT) about all of the drugs you're currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Diovan HCT: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Diovan HCT® (valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide) if you have:
- Heart disease, including congestive heart failure
- Liver disease, including cirrhosis
- Kidney disease or kidney failure
- Gallstones or other gallbladder problems
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus or SLE for short)
- High cholesterol
- Fluid or electrolyte problems
- Any allergies, including allergies to other angiotensin II receptor blockers, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
- Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
- Are on dialysis
- Drink alcohol regularly
- Are breastfeeding.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some Diovan HCT Warnings and PrecautionsSome Diovan HCT warnings and precautions to be aware of include:
- There are several medicines that Diovan HCT can interact with (see Diovan HCT Drug Interactions).
- Diovan HCT may cause extremely low blood pressure in some people. Extremely low blood pressure is more likely to happen when the medicine is first started or the dosage is changed. It is also more likely to happen in people who are taking a diuretic, who are on dialysis, who have congestive heart failure, who have diarrhea or vomiting, or who have excessive sweating. This is why it is important to drink fluids regularly while taking Diovan HCT. If you have any possible symptoms of low blood pressure, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting, contact your healthcare provider. If you have fainted, stop taking Diovan HCT until you have talked to your healthcare provider.
Also, make sure not to drive, operate any heavy machinery, or perform any other tasks that require alertness before you know how Diovan HCT affects you.
- Diovan HCT is a pregnancy Category D medicine, meaning that it poses health risks to your unborn child. Prior to taking Diovan HCT, let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking it, contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Diovan HCT and Pregnancy for more information).
- While taking Diovan HCT, do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes with potassium unless you have discussed this with your doctor. This is because in some people taking Diovan HCT, potassium in the blood can increase or decrease to dangerous levels.
- Diovan HCT may affect electrolytes in the blood (including sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride). Therefore, your healthcare provider will regularly check these levels. If you notice any symptoms of a possible electrolyte imbalance, contact your healthcare provider. These symptoms may include a dry mouth, increased thirst, weakness, tiredness, restlessness, seizures, confusion, muscle pain or cramps, a decrease in urine output, weak or irregular heartbeat, nausea, or vomiting.
- Drugs that contain hydrochlorothiazide (including this medication) can sometimes cause a potentially dangerous eye reaction (a particularly dangerous type of glaucoma). This reaction usually occurs within days to weeks of starting the drug.
Because this reaction can permanently damage vision, let your healthcare provider know right away if you develop vision changes and/or eye pain. The main treatment for this reaction is to stop taking this medication, although other treatment (including surgery) may sometimes be necessary.
- This medication may cause a decrease in kidney function, especially in people who are elderly, have kidney disease, have severe congestive heart failure (CHF), or are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or diuretics (water pills). Your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your kidney function with a blood test while you are taking it.
Contact your healthcare provider if you notice a decrease in urination or swelling in your hands, legs, ankles, or feet, which can be signs of kidney problems.
- If you have moderate to severe liver disease (such as cirrhosis), gallstones, or other gallbladder problems, your body may metabolize the Diovan HCT differently than intended. Therefore, your healthcare provider may start you on a lower dose of Diovan HCT and will monitor your situation more closely, or may recommend another blood pressure medicine.
- Because of the hydrochlorothiazide, Diovan HCT is more likely than other drugs to cause allergic reactions. This is more common in people with a history of allergies or asthma. Make sure to discuss this risk with your healthcare provider. Also, seek emergency medical attention immediately if you notice things such as hives, an unexplained rash, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face or throat.
- Because of the hydrochlorothiazide, Diovan HCT is more likely to worsen systemic lupus erythematosus or, in some cases, even cause the condition.
- Because of the hydrochlorothiazide, Diovan HCT is also known to worsen gout.
- Diovan HCT may cause high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) in diabetics or, in some cases, even cause diabetes in people without a history of the condition.
- Diovan HCT may increase levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
- It is not known whether or not Diovan HCT passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are nursing and taking Diovan HCT, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should stop taking Diovan HCT or stop breastfeeding.