The following people should not take the blood pressure medication Diovan HCT (valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide):
- women who are pregnant or may become pregnant soon. Diovan HCT may harm or even be fatal to a developing fetus.
- women who are breastfeeding. Diovan HCT may pass into breast milk, possibly harming a nursing infant.
- anyone who has had an allergic reaction to sulfa drugs, penicillin, valsartan, hydrochlorothiazide, or any ingredient used in Diovan HCT. Ask your pharmacist for a list of ingredients.
The following people may not be good candidates for treatment with Diovan HCT, or may need extra monitoring:
- people who are dehydrated or whose blood sodium levels are too low. The doctor may need to correct this condition before prescribing Diovan HCT.
- people who have low levels of potassium or magnesium in their blood.
- people with kidney disease, or congestive heart failure that affects kidney function, may be at risk of kidney failure if they take Diovan HCT.
- children. Diovan HCT has not been proven to be safe and effective in children.
- people who have lupus. Diovan HCT may cause worsening or new flares of this condition.
- people who have diabetes. Diovan HCT may alter the way your body metabolizes sugar.
- people with high blood levels of calcium. Diovan HCT may decrease the amount of calcium that you excrete in your urine, allowing blood levels to climb even higher.
- people who have a history of gout. Diovan HCT may raise levels of uric acid in the blood, causing gout in susceptible people.
- people who have liver or gallbladder problems or a history of gallstones.
- anyone who has developed angioedema (swelling of face, lips, tongue and/or throat) from taking blood pressure medicines in the past.
Certain medicines and supplements may interact with Diovan HCT, raising your risk for health problems. Before taking Diovan HCT, give your doctor and pharmacist a list of all medicines (prescription and nonprescription) and supplements that you take, especially:
- other blood pressure medicines
- diuretics, or "water pills"
- supplements or salt substitutes that contain potassium
- medicines that treat diabetes, including insulin
- narcotic painkillers
- sleeping pills
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen
- digoxin or other heart medicines
- muscle relaxants
- cancer medicines
- medicines that treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
More Answers from Stacy Wiegman, PharmD