Valsartan and Hydrochlorothiazide (Page 2 of 8)

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

Valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets are contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to any component of this product.

Because of the hydrochlorothiazide component, this product is contraindicated in patients with anuria or hypersensitivity to other sulfonamide-derived drugs.

Do not coadminister aliskiren with valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets in patients with diabetes [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Fetal Toxicity

Pregnancy Category D

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. Resulting oligohydramnios can be associated with fetal lung hypoplasia and skeletal deformations. Potential neonatal adverse effects include skull hypoplasia, anuria, hypotension, renal failure, and death. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets as soon as possible [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Intrauterine exposure to thiazide diuretics is associated with fetal or neonatal jaundice, thrombocytopenia, and possibly other adverse reactions that have occurred in adults.

5.2 Hypotension in Volume- and/or Salt-Depleted Patients

Excessive reduction of blood pressure was rarely seen (0.7%) in patients with uncomplicated hypertension treated with valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide in controlled trials. In patients with an activated renin-angiotensin system, such as volume- and/or salt-depleted patients receiving high doses of diuretics, symptomatic hypotension may occur. This condition should be corrected prior to administration of valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets, or the treatment should start under close medical supervision.

If hypotension occurs, the patient should be placed in the supine position and, if necessary, given an intravenous infusion of normal saline. A transient hypotensive response is not a contraindication to further treatment, which usually can be continued without difficulty once the blood pressure has stabilized.

5.3 Impaired Renal Function

Changes in renal function including acute renal failure can be caused by drugs that inhibit the renin-angiotensin system and by diuretics. Patients whose renal function may depend in part on the activity of the renin-angiotensin system (e.g., patients with renal artery stenosis, chronic kidney disease, severe congestive heart failure, or volume depletion) may be at particular risk of developing acute renal failure on valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets. Monitor renal function periodically in these patients. Consider withholding or discontinuing therapy in patients who develop a clinically significant decrease in renal function on valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.4 Hypersensitivity Reaction

Hydrochlorothiazide: Hypersensitivity reactions to hydrochlorothiazide may occur in patients with or without a history of allergy or bronchial asthma, but are more likely in patients with such a history.

5.5 Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Hydrochlorothiazide: Thiazide diuretics have been reported to cause exacerbation or activation of systemic lupus erythematosus.

5.6 Lithium Interaction

Increases in serum lithium concentrations and lithium toxicity have been reported with concomitant use of valsartan or thiazide diuretics. Monitor lithium levels in patients receiving valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide and lithium [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.7 Potassium Abnormalities

Valsartan – Hydrochlorothiazide: In the controlled trials of various doses of valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide the incidence of hypertensive patients who developed hypokalemia (serum potassium less than 3.5 mEq/L) was 3.0%; the incidence of hyperkalemia (serum potassium greater than 5.7 mEq/L) was 0.4%.

Hydrochlorothiazide can cause hypokalemia and hyponatremia. Hypomagnesemia can result in hypokalemia which appears difficult to treat despite potassium repletion. Drugs that inhibit the renin-angiotensin system can cause hyperkalemia. Monitor serum electrolytes periodically.

If hypokalemia is accompanied by clinical signs (e.g., muscular weakness, paresis, or ECG alterations), valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets should be discontinued. Correction of hypokalemia and any coexisting hypomagnesemia is recommended prior to the initiation of thiazides.

Some patients with heart failure have developed increases in potassium with valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets therapy. These effects are usually minor and transient, and they are more likely to occur in patients with pre-existing renal impairment. Dosage reduction and/or discontinuation of the diuretic and/or valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets may be required [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

5.8 Acute Myopia and Secondary Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Hydrochlorothiazide, a sulfonamide, can cause an idiosyncratic reaction, resulting in acute transient myopia and acute angle-closure glaucoma. Symptoms include acute onset of decreased visual acuity or ocular pain and typically occur within hours to weeks of drug initiation. Untreated acute angle-closure glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. The primary treatment is to discontinue hydrochlorothiazide as rapidly as possible. Prompt medical or surgical treatments may need to be considered if the intraocular pressure remains uncontrolled. Risk factors for developing acute angle-closure glaucoma may include a history of sulfonamide or penicillin allergy.

5.9 Metabolic Disturbances

Hydrochlorothiazide

Hydrochlorothiazide may alter glucose tolerance and raise serum levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

Hydrochlorothiazide may raise the serum uric acid level due to reduced clearance of uric acid and may cause or exacerbate hyperuricemia and precipitate gout in susceptible patients.

Hydrochlorothiazide decreases urinary calcium excretion and may cause elevations of serum calcium. Monitor calcium levels in patients with hypercalcemia receiving valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reactions rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. The adverse reaction information from clinical trials does, however, provide a basis for identifying the adverse events that appear to be related to drug use and for approximating rates.

Hypertension

Valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets have been evaluated for safety in more than 5,700 patients, including over 990 treated for over 6 months, and over 370 for over 1 year. Adverse experiences have generally been mild and transient in nature and have only infrequently required discontinuation of therapy. The overall incidence of adverse reactions with valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets was comparable to placebo.

The overall frequency of adverse reactions was neither dose-related nor related to gender, age, or race. In controlled clinical trials, discontinuation of therapy due to side effects was required in 2.3% of valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide patients and 3.1% of placebo patients. The most common reasons for discontinuation of therapy with valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets were headache and dizziness.

The only adverse reaction that occurred in controlled clinical trials in at least 2% of patients treated with valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets and at a higher incidence in valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide (n=4372) than placebo (n=262) patients was nasopharyngitis (2.4% vs. 1.9%).

Dose-related orthostatic effects were seen in fewer than 1% of patients. In individual trials, a dose-related increase in the incidence of dizziness was observed in patients treated with valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets.

Other adverse reactions that have been reported with valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide (greater than 0.2% of valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide patients in controlled clinical trials) without regard to causality, are listed below:

Cardiovascular: Palpitations and tachycardia

Ear and Labyrinth: Tinnitus and vertigo

Gastrointestinal: Dyspepsia, diarrhea, flatulence, dry mouth, nausea, abdominal pain, abdominal pain upper, and vomiting

General and Administration Site Conditions: Asthenia, chest pain, fatigue, peripheral edema and pyrexia

Infections and Infestations: Bronchitis, bronchitis acute, influenza, gastroenteritis, sinusitis, upper respiratory tract infection, and urinary tract infection

Investigations: Blood urea increased

Musculoskeletal: Arthralgia, back pain, muscle cramps, myalgia, and pain in extremity

Nervous System: Dizziness postural, paresthesia, and somnolence

Psychiatric: Anxiety and insomnia

Renal and Urinary: Pollakiuria

Reproductive System: Erectile dysfunction

Respiratory, Thoracic and Mediastinal: Dyspnea, cough, nasal congestion, pharyngolaryngeal pain, and sinus congestion

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue: Hyperhidrosis and rash

Vascular: Hypotension

Other reported reactions seen less frequently in clinical trials included abnormal vision, anaphylaxis, bronchospasm, constipation, depression, dehydration, decreased libido, dysuria, epistaxis, flushing, gout, increased appetite, muscle weakness, pharyngitis, pruritus, sunburn, syncope, and viral infection.

Initial Therapy — Hypertension

In a clinical study in patients with severe hypertension (diastolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 110 mmHg and systolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mmHg), the overall pattern of adverse reactions reported through 6 weeks of follow-up was similar in patients treated with valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets as initial therapy and in patients treated with valsartan as initial therapy. Comparing the groups treated with valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide (force-titrated to 320 mg/25 mg) and valsartan (force-titrated to 320 mg), dizziness was observed in 6% and 2% of patients, respectively. Hypotension was observed in 1% of those patients receiving valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide and 0% of patients receiving valsartan. There were no reported cases of syncope in either treatment group. Laboratory changes with valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide as initial therapy in patients with severe hypertension were similar to those reported with valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide in patients with less severe hypertension [see Clinical Studies (14.2) and Drug Interactions (7)].

Valsartan: In trials in which valsartan was compared to an ACE inhibitor with or without placebo, the incidence of dry cough was significantly greater in the ACE inhibitor group (7.9%) than in the groups who received valsartan (2.6%) or placebo (1.5%). In a 129-patient trial limited to patients who had had dry cough when they had previously received ACE inhibitors, the incidences of cough in patients who received valsartan, hydrochlorothiazide, or lisinopril were 20%, 19%, 69% respectively (p <0.001).

Other reported reactions seen less frequently in clinical trials included chest pain, syncope, anorexia, vomiting, and angioedema.

Hydrochlorothiazide: Other adverse reactions not listed above that have been reported with hydrochlorothiazide, without regard to causality, are listed below:

Body As A Whole: weakness

Digestive: pancreatitis, jaundice (intrahepatic cholestatic jaundice), sialadenitis, cramping, gastric irritation

Hematologic: aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, leukopenia, hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia

Hypersensitivity: purpura, photosensitivity, urticaria, necrotizing angiitis (vasculitis and cutaneous vasculitis), fever, respiratory distress including pneumonitis and pulmonary edema, anaphylactic reactions

Metabolic: hyperglycemia, glycosuria, hyperuricemia

Musculoskeletal: muscle spasm

Nervous System/Psychiatric: restlessness

Renal: renal failure, renal dysfunction, interstitial nephritis

Skin: erythema multiforme including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, exfoliative dermatitis including toxic epidermal necrolysis

Special Senses: transient blurred vision, xanthopsia

Clinical Laboratory Test Findings

In controlled clinical trials, clinically important changes in standard laboratory parameters were rarely associated with administration of valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets.

Creatinine/Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN): Minor elevations in creatinine and BUN occurred in 2% and 15% respectively, of patients taking valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide and 0.4% and 6% respectively, given placebo in controlled clinical trials

Hemoglobin and Hematocrit: Greater than 20% decreases in hemoglobin and hematocrit were observed in less than 0.1% of valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide patients, compared with 0% in placebo-treated patients

Liver Function Tests: Occasional elevations (greater than 150%) of liver chemistries occurred in valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide-treated patients

Neutropenia: Neutropenia was observed in 0.1% of patients treated with valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide and 0.4% of patients treated with placebo

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