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Valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide are chemicals that are combined to form a hypertension medication commercially known as Diovan HTC®. Most people with high blood pressure need multiple medications to control their blood pressure levels and other related symptoms. The combined medication formula helps to not only dilate blood vessels, but also assists in ridding the body of excess fluid and salt.
Valsartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) that works by preventing the body from producing the angiotensin II hormone. Angiotensin II regulates a person's blood pressure by both narrowing the blood vessels and retaining salt in the body. Normally the body monitors these processes on its own and regulates a person's blood pressure, but in a person with heart disease or other health conditions, the body's ability to compensate is damaged. Valsartan allows the blood vessels to expand, and decreases the amount of fluid being released by the kidneys. This combination decreases the pressure in the blood vessels and allows the heart to more easily pump blood throughout the body.
Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic that prevents the body from both retaining water and absorbing salt by increasing the person’s excretion of urine. Also known as a “water pill,” hydrochlorothiazide also prevents the kidneys from reabsorbing sodium as fluid passes through to the bladder. The body retains excess fluid because of problems with the heart, liver, kidney, or high blood pressure, and a physician will often prescribe one of the many types of diuretics for these patients. Only thiazide diuretics will help to lower blood pressure as well as rid the body of fluid.
The combination of valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide helps those with hypertension to lower their blood pressure and reduce the stress and strain caused by overworked heart and arteries by removing excess fluid. With valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide, the expanded blood vessels and reduced pressure allow more blood and oxygen to travel to the brain, reducing the chance of a stroke. The decreased pressure on the heart, arteries, and kidneys also decreases a person’s risk of heart attack or kidney failure.
As with most medications, there are some side effects associated with the use of valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide. Some people experience dizziness or have headaches, but most people rarely complain of any adverse effects. If a person develops a severe rash, high blood sugar levels, jaundice, or swelling, they should immediately contact a physician. Seek medical advice before taking valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide.
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