1 What is Exforge?

Brand: Exforge

Generic: Amlodipine And Valsartan

Exforge is used together to make a combined antihypertensive preparation. Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker. It relaxes peripheral and coronary vascular smooth muscle. 

It produces coronary vasodilation by inhibiting the entry of calcium ions into the slow channels or select voltage-sensitive channels of the vascular smooth muscle and myocardium during depolarization. It also increases myocardial oxygen delivery in patients with vasospastic angina

This drug is widely used by the healthcare professional to treat a variety of health disorders like mild to moderate hypertension, chronic stable and vasospastic angina, coronary artery disease, hypertension, and Raynaud’s disease etc. 

This medicine is used alone or in combination with other medicines to relieve chest pain and to treat hypertension. On the contrary, valsartan is an angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker which produces its blood pressure lowering effects by inhibiting angiotensin II-induced vasoconstriction, aldosterone release and renal reabsorption of Na. 

This medicine is available in tablet form. You can get this combined medicine only with your doctor's prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Exforge, the risk and benefit ratio of taking the drug should be considered. This is a decision that your doctor will make with your active participation. 

There are some important factors such as drug interaction, metabolic impairment, hypersensitivity reaction, pregnancy, lactation etc. which may alter the drug action.

Sometimes presence of other health disorders affects the beneficial effects of this medicine and even may cause serious complications. Make sure you mention your doctor if you have any other medical problems. 

The use of amlodipine is contraindicated if there is history of hypersensitivity reactions to amlodipine or other calcium channel blocker. This combined antihypertensive formulation should not be used in patients with known hypersensitivity to dihydropyridines. 

Certain drugs should not be used concurrently with such medications. Plasma concentrations may be elevated with azole antifungals and ritonavir. Valsartan may antagonize hypotensive effects and increase the risk of renal impairment with NSAIDs. 

There is increased risk of hyperkalemia with potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements, or potassium containing salt substitutes. 

Thus, it is always recommended to consult with your doctor if you are in need of some drugs for another health problem in order to avoid unwanted serious complications.

Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans. But potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.

3 Proper Usage

To use Exforge correctly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. The dose of this medicine will vary according to patient’s condition or requirements. You should follow the doctor's directions and advices. 

The amount of medicine that you take should not exceed the maximum therapeutic dose. Also, the frequency of your daily drug administration and the duration of drug therapy depend on the particular medical problem for which you are taking the medicine. 

In order to treat hypertension, the treatment is usually initiated in an adult with 5 mg amlodipine and 160 mg valsartan containing tablet which is advised to take once daily. 

The dose can be increased after at least 2 weeks if necessary. But you should not exceed 10 mg/day amlodipine and 320 mg/day valsartan.

Always try to take your medicine in time. If you miss any dose of this medicine, you should take it as soon as possible. But if it is time for your next dose, then you should skip the missed dose and go back to your regular treatment schedule. 

You should store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and direct light. All kinds of medicines should be kept out of the reach of children. Outdated medicine must be disposed by an appropriate way.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Exforge, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor.

Regular visits are recommended to make sure this medicine is working properly or not while you are receiving a drug therapy. Some important measures should be taken if you feel any discomfort following this drug therapy. 

Although amlodipine is excreted primarily via kidney, mild renal impairment does not appear to have an effect on the plasma concentrations. Severe renal impairment may however require a dosage reduction. 

Amlodipine is not dialyzable and its half-life is prolonged in patients with impaired hepatic function. It should therefore be administered at lower (5mg) initial dose in these patients. 

An increased number of pulmonary edema has been reported in those who received amlodipine in heart failure. Moreover, this combined antihypertensive preparation should be used with great care in patients with idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis.

5 Potential Side Effects

There are some unwanted side-effects associated Exforge that usually do not need medical attention. These side-effects usually go away during the treatment episode as your body adjusts to the medicine. 

Your healthcare professional may advise you about the ways how to prevent or reduce those unwanted side-effects. 

The common side effects of this combined antihypertensive medication are given below: 

In few patients, some unwanted adverse effects such as pruritus, rash, dyspnea, asthenia, and muscle cramps may occur but rarely.

6 Related Clinical Trials