The following additional adverse reactions have been reported in valsartan or valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide postmarketing experience. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Hypersensitivity: Angioedema has been reported. Some of these patients previously experienced angioedema with other drugs including ACE inhibitors. Valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide should not be re-administered to patients who have had angioedema.
Digestive: Elevated liver enzymes and reports of hepatitis
Renal: Impaired renal function
Dermatologic: Alopecia, bullous dermatitis
Nervous System: Syncope
The following additional adverse reactions have been reported in postmarketing experience with hydrochlorothiazide:
Acute renal failure, renal disorder, aplastic anemia, erythema multiforme, pyrexia, muscle spasm, asthenia, acute angle-closure glaucoma, bone marrow failure, worsening of diabetes control, hypokalemia, blood lipids increased, hyponatremia, hypomagnesemia, hypercalcemia, hypochloremic alkalosis, impotence, and visual impairment.
Pathological changes in the parathyroid gland of patients with hypercalcemia and hypophosphatemia have been observed in a few patients on prolonged thiazide therapy. If hypercalcemia occurs, further diagnostic evaluation is necessary.
Non-melanoma Skin Cancer: Hydrochlorothiazide is associated with an increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer. In a study conducted in the Sentinel System, increased risk was predominantly for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and in white patients taking large cumulative doses. The increased risk for SCC in the overall population was approximately 1 additional case per 16,000 patients per year, and for white patients taking a cumulative dose of ≥50,000 mg the risk increase was approximately 1 additional SCC case for every 6,700 patients per year.
Valsartan and Hydrochlorothiazide:
Lithium: Increases in serum lithium concentrations and lithium toxicity have been reported during concomitant administration of lithium with angiotensin II receptor antagonists or thiazides. Monitor lithium levels in patients taking valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide.
Agents Increasing Serum Potassium: Concomitant use of valsartan with other agents that block the renin-angiotensin system, potassium-sparing diuretics (e.g., spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride), potassium supplements, salt substitutes containing potassium or other drugs that may increase potassium levels (e.g., heparin) may lead to increases in serum potassium and in heart failure patients to increases in serum creatinine. If co-medication is considered necessary, monitoring of serum potassium is advisable.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents Including Selective Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitors (COX-2 Inhibitors): In patients who are elderly, volume-depleted (including those on diuretic therapy), or with compromised renal function, coadministration of NSAIDs, including selective COX-2 inhibitors, with angiotensin II receptor antagonists, including valsartan, may result in deterioration of renal function, including possible acute renal failure. These effects are usually reversible. Monitor renal function periodically in patients receiving valsartan and NSAID therapy.
The antihypertensive effect of angiotensin II receptor antagonists, including valsartan, may be attenuated by NSAIDs including selective COX-2 inhibitors.
Dual Blockade of the Renin-Angiotensin System (RAS): Dual blockade of the RAS with angiotensin receptor blockers, ACE inhibitors, or aliskiren is associated with increased risks of hypotension, hyperkalemia, and changes in renal function (including acute renal failure) compared to monotherapy. Most patients receiving the combination of two RAS inhibitors do not obtain any additional benefit compared to monotherapy. In general, avoid combined use of RAS inhibitors. Closely monitor blood pressure, renal function and electrolytes in patients on valsartan and other agents that affect the RAS.
Do not coadminister aliskiren with valsartan in patients with diabetes. Avoid use of aliskiren with valsartan in patients with renal impairment (GFR < 60 mL/min).
When administered concurrently, the following drugs may interact with thiazide diuretics:
Antidiabetic Drugs (oral agents and insulin) — Dosage adjustment of the antidiabetic drug may be required.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs and COX-2 selective inhibitors) — When valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents are used concomitantly, the patient should be observed closely to determine if the desired effect of the diuretic is obtained.
Carbamazepine – May lead to symptomatic hyponatremia.
Ion exchange resins: Staggering the dosage of hydrochlorothiazide and ion exchange resins (e.g., cholestyramine, colestipol) such that hydrochlorothiazide is administered at least 4 hours before or 4 to 6 hours after the administration of resins would potentially minimize the interaction [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Cyclosporine: Concomitant treatment with cyclosporine may increase the risk of hyperuricemia and gout-type complications.
Valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Use of drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy reduces fetal renal function and increases fetal and neonatal morbidity and death. Most epidemiologic studies examining fetal abnormalities after exposure to antihypertensive use in the first trimester have not distinguished drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system from other antihypertensive agents. Published reports include cases of anhydramnios and oligohydramnios in pregnant women treated with valsartan (see Clinical Considerations).
When pregnancy is detected discontinue valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide as soon as possible.
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.
Disease-associated maternal and/or embryo/fetal risk
Hypertension in pregnancy increases the maternal risk for pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, premature delivery, and delivery complications (e.g., need for cesarean section and post-partum hemorrhage). Hypertension increases the fetal risk for intrauterine growth restriction and intrauterine death. Pregnant women with hypertension should be carefully monitored and managed accordingly.
Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions
Oligohydramnios in pregnant women who use drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy can result in the following: reduced fetal renal function leading to anuria and renal failure, fetal lung hypoplasia, skeletal deformations, including skull hypoplasia, hypotension and death.
Perform serial ultrasound examinations to assess the intra-amniotic environment. Fetal testing may be appropriate, based on the week of gestation. Patients and physicians should be aware, however, that oligohydramnios may not appear until after the fetus has sustained irreversible injury. If oligohydramnios is observed, consider alternative drug treatment. Closely observe neonates with histories of in utero exposure to valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide for hypotension, oliguria, and hyperkalemia. In neonates with a history of in utero exposure to valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide, if oliguria or hypotension occurs, support blood pressure and renal perfusion. Exchange transfusions or dialysis may be required as a means of reversing hypotension and replacing renal function.
Thiazides can cross the placenta, and concentrations reached in the umbilical vein approach those in the maternal plasma. Hydrochlorothiazide, like other diuretics, can cause placental hypoperfusion. It accumulates in the amniotic fluid, with reported concentrations up to 19 times higher than in umbilical vein plasma. Use of thiazides during pregnancy is associated with a risk of fetal or neonatal jaundice or thrombocytopenia. Since they do not prevent or alter the course of EPH (Edema, Proteinuria, Hypertension) gestosis (pre-eclampsia), these drugs should not be used to treat hypertension in pregnant women. The use of hydrochlorothiazide for other indications (e.g., heart disease) in pregnancy should be avoided.
Valsartan plus Hydrochlorothiazide
There was no evidence of teratogenicity in mice, rats, or rabbits treated orally with valsartan at doses of up to 600, 100, and 10 mg/kg/day [9, 3.5 and 0.5 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD)], respectively, in combination with hydrochlorothiazide at doses up to 188, 31, and 3 mg/kg/day (38, 13 and 2 times the MRHD).
Fetotoxicity was observed in association with maternal toxicity in rats at valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide doses of ≥ 200/63 mg/kg/day and in rabbits at valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide doses of 10/3 mg/kg/day. Evidence of fetotoxicity in rats consisted of decreased fetal weight and fetal variations of sternebrae, vertebrae, ribs, and/or renal papillae. Evidence of fetotoxicity in rabbits included increased numbers of late resorptions with resultant increases in total resorptions, post-implantation losses, and decreased number of live fetuses.
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