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What should seniors know before using Diovan HCT?

If you're a senior, you should know that the blood pressure drug Diovan HCT (valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide) can be just as effective and safe for you as it is for younger people, according to studies. However, because you have lived longer, there is a greater chance that you have experienced certain medical conditions that could raise your risk for serious side effects from Diovan HC. You're also more likely to be taking other medications that could interact with Diovan HCT in a problematic way.

To minimize this risk, before taking Diovan HCT, give your doctor a detailed medical history. Be sure to mention if you have or have had:
  • lupus
  • gout
  • heart failure or any problems with your heart
  • liver problems
  • gallbladder problems or gallstones
  • kidney problems
  • dehydration or problems with the balance of electrolytes including sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium in your blood
  • diabetes
  • angioedema (swelling of your face, lips, tongue and throat) triggered by taking a blood pressure medicine
  • an allergic reaction to any medicine, especially to a sulfonamide, penicillin, valsartan, hydrochlorothiazide or any ingredient in Diovan HCT
Before you begin treatment with Diovan HCT, you should also give your doctor a list of all your other medicines (prescription and nonprescription), as well as any supplements that you take. Once you are on Diovan HCT, check with him or her before starting any new supplement or medicine. Be sure to mention if you take:
  • other blood pressure medicines
  • diuretics ("water pills")
  • supplements or salt substitutes that contain potassium
  • medicines that treat diabetes, including insulin
  • narcotic painkillers
  • sleeping pills
  • lithium
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen
  • digoxin or other heart medicines
  • cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • muscle relaxants
  • antibiotics
  • cancer medicines
  • medicines that treat infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.