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What is Diovan HCT used for?

Diovan is a medication that is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. Lowering blood pressure can reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks.  Diovan is also prescribed after heart attacks since it may reduce deaths in patients who developed congestive heart failure after a heart attack; it reduces hospitalizations in patients with congestive heart failure.

You can buy Diovan HCT (Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide) online at My Drug Center. We have the Diovan HCT generic, called Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide, available for purchase as well.


How does Diovan HCT work?

Diovan HCT is an oral medication that contains a combination of Valsartan and Hydrochlorothiazide. It belongs to a class of d rugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). The Valsartan dosage in the medication works by blocking the angiotensin receptor, which relaxes the blood vessels to improve blood flow to the heart and arteries. The Hydrochlorothiazide dosage in the medication works by blocking salt and water reabsorption in the kidneys, which increases the output of urine containing increased amounts of water and salt. The combination of Valsartan and Hydrochlorothiazide reduces blood pressure more than either drug alone.

Before taking Diovan HCT or the Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide generic, read all the instructions and paper work that given to you by your pharmacist. Take your Diovan dosage orally once a day. Make sure you take it at the same time each day to create a routine for yourself and to ensure an even spread of the Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide dosage in your system. This medication should be taken on a regular basis to have optimal results. The Diovan HCT dosage that you take will depend on your condition and your age. Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not change or increase your dose. You should continue taking this medication even if you feel well.


Diovan HCT or the generic alternative may contain medical and non medical ingredients that could cause an allergic reaction. Consult with your doctor about any known allergies before taking Diovan. Speak with your doctor about any known medical conditions relating to liver disease, severe loss of body water, mineral or salt imbalances. Tell your doctor about any current medications or supplementation to avoid interactions or unwanted side effects of Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide.

This medication may increase your potassium levels. Before using potassium supplements or salt substitutes that contain potassium, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

While taking Diovan you may feel dizzy, drowsy or experience blurred vision.  Alcohol and Cannabis can exasperate these side effects. Avoid operating heavy machinery, driving a motor vehicle, or performing other dangerous activities until you know how Diovan affects you. The drug can cause sleepiness and may worsen your ability to make decisions, think clearly, or react quickly. Additionally you can speak with your doctor about acceptable limits for these substances while taking Diovan.

Side Effects

Some common Diovan HCT side effects include:

Headache, dizziness, fatigue, abdominal pain, cough, diarrhea and nausea

Some other Diovan HCT side effects include:

Hyperkalemia, impotence, reduced renal function, and allergic reactions

If any side effects of Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide become unmanageable speak with your doctor or pharmacist for help in managing any side effects. For any serious side effects that occur speak with your doctor right away for further treatment options.


What is Valsartan HCTZ?

Valsartan HCTZ, also known as Valsartan HCT or Valsartan Hydrochlorothiazide is the generic name for the brand-name medication Diovan HCT, also known as Co-Diovan when purchased internationally. Diovan HCT is a combination medication, meaning it contains two active ingredients; it contains Valsartan and Hydrochlorothiazide. Valsartan is an angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs); it works by allowing easier blood flow by relaxing and widening the arteries. Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic, also known as a “water pill”; it works by increasing the frequency of urination to reduce the amount of water and salt in the body. This combination medication is available in tablet form in 5 strengths, all available at My Drug Center with a valid prescription. Strengths include 80mg/12.5mg, 160mg/12.5mg, 160mg/25mg, 320mg/12.5mg, and 320mg/25mg each containing Valsartan and Hydrochlorothiazide, respectively.


What is Valsartan Hydrochlorothiazide used for?

Valsartan Hydrochlorothiazide is used as a treatment for both high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart failure.  Hypertension is a long-term condition that causes the heart to work harder due to the high pressure of blood against artery walls. Hypertension can cause multiple complications if left untreated, such as damage to the arteries, heart, kidneys, and eyes. This may result in conditions such as aneurysm, angina, arrhythmia, stroke, kidney failure, nerve or retina damage, and can also cause sexual dysfunction in both men and woman, among others. Additionally, untreated high blood pressure can lead to heart failure, another condition Valsartan Hydrochlorothiazide may be used for. Heart failure can occur over time as hypertension weakens the heart muscle resulting in an insufficient amount of blood pumping. Heart failure can also cause many complications which can be avoided with proper treatment.


When will Diovan HCT generic be available?

Diovan HCT went generic in 2012; Mylan, a global generic and specialty pharmaceuticals company, launched the first generic form of Diovan HCT, sold as Valsartan Hydrochlorothiazide. Since then, there are a handful of generic manufacturers that market their own generic form of Diovan HCT, such as…

Prinston Inc, a generic pharmaceutical company, in February 2016. Aurobindo Pharma, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company, in March 2013. Lupin Ltd, an Indian multinational pharmaceutical company, in March 2013.

The generic alternative, Valsartan hydrochlorothiazide, can be purchased at My Drug Center in all available strengths.


What are the side effects of Diovan HCT?

Some common side effects of Valsartan include headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, tiredness, flu symptoms, upper respiratory infection, diarrhea, cold symptoms (cough, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat), sinusitis, nausea, stomach pain, swelling, blurred vision, itching or skin rash, back pain, and joint pain. You likely will not experience all of the listed side effects, but you may experience a select few of them. Keep in mind, side effects are a normal response of the body when taking a new medication and should not alarm you. If they do not go away over time or become unmanageable, you should consult with your doctor. There may also be other side effects not listed here.


Who makes Diovan HCT?                                                                                                         

Novartis is the company that manufactures Diovan HCT, the brand-name form of Valsartan and Hydrochlorothiazide. Novartis was founded in March of 1996 when two Swiss companies (Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz Laboratories) merged together. The Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company, Novartis, is based in Basel, Switzerland but is majority owned by American shareholders. They also manufacture many other medications you may have heard of, such as Gleevec, Lamisil, Exjade, and Ritalin. They began marketing Diovan in 1998.


What is the difference between Valsartan and Diovan HCT?

These two medications are very similar in many ways, such as they both contain Valsartan and share the same indications, among other similarities. However, the two medications do present differences as well; while many are small, there are a few big differences between the two. Differences include being brand or generic, the number of active ingredients, drug interactions, half-life, and price.

When a new drug is developed and ready to be marketed for the very first time, the manufactures gives the medication a distinct trade name, otherwise known as brand-names. Some years later, generic manufactures can make their own form of the brand-name medication which can be marketed as a generic alternative to the brand, commonly sold as the medications active ingredient name. Generic alternatives must contain the same active ingredient(s), indications, strengths, and administration form but can differ in price, appearance, and manufacturer. Diovan HCT is a brand-name medication (for Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide) whereas Valsartan is generic medication (for Diovan).

Diovan HCT is a combination medication; this means it contains more than 1 active ingredient. The active ingredients in medication are what make them therapeutically effective. Valsartan is not a combination medication; it contains only one active ingredient, Valsartan.

When a medication has drug interactions, it means there are certain drugs which should not be mixed with the medication as they may react together and cause adverse effects or ineffectiveness. Valsartan has 239 drug interactions, about 233 less than Diovan HCT.  

All medications have a half-life which can vary from just 1-2 hours to over 100 days in some cases; half-lives are a measurement as to how long it will take for a drug to clear from your system by half. Half-lives can be used to estimate how long it may take for a drug to completely clear from the system (by multiplying by 5) and how fast it may begin to work. Diovan HCT has a half-life up to 18.8 hours where Valsartan has a half-life up to 8 hours. 

Finally, the price difference between Diovan HCT and Valsartan; going back to brand-name or generic medications, brand-name medications are often much higher in cost than generics, likely due to the high cost of researching and developing the brand-name medication. As a result, Valsartan will almost always be cheaper than Diovan HCT because it is a generic medication. However, this is only the case when comparing generic Valsartan to brand-name Diovan HCT, otherwise, brand-to-brand or generic-to-generic; they are fairly similar in pricing. In the United States, the average retail price for Diovan HCT is about 3.2 times as much as the average retail price for Valsartan; this is comparing a supply of 30 Valsartan tablets containing 80mg to 30 Diovan HCT tablets containing 80mg/12.5mg.

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