The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one in three adults in the U.S. suffer from hypertension with blood pressure readings above the normal range of 120/80. That means 67 million Americans over the age of 20 suffer from some level of hypertension, but only 47 percent of this group are adequately managing their blood pressure. Hypertension can be controlled through a combination of selective diet, healthy lifestyle choices and blood pressure medications.
What is Diovan HCT?
Diovan HCT belongs to the class of blood pressure formulations called angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs). Diovan was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for blood pressure management in 1995. It can be prescribed alone as first-line monotherapy or in combination with other drugs recommended for blood pressure control.
Diovan HCT is a combination of valsartan, an oral ARB and the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide.
How Diovan Controls Blood Pressure
Angiosten receptor blockers control the effects of the hormone angiotensin II. This hormone causes blood vessel constriction, increases salt and water retention, stimulates blood vessels, activates the sympathetic nervous system and promotes cell growth. To produce these blood pressure-raising effects, angiotensin 2 will need to bind with receptors. Think of it as a key fitting into a lock and releasing the mechanism that controls certain actions, in this case normal physiologic reactions that, combined in an at-risk individual, would result in elevated blood pressure.
The valsartan component in Diovan HCT blocks angiosten II from binding with receptors, inhibiting its effects on the renin-angiotensin system. ARBs may also interact with the receptor sites for more complete inhibition of angiosten 2. Diovan HCT helps to relax blood vessels and reduce water retained in the body to lower blood pressure. Prescription medications like Diovan HCT reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks by controlling blood pressure.
Clinical studies have shown that Diovan HCT increased the chances, by 80 to 84 percent, of achieving healthier blood pressure readings of less than 140/90 even when the patients’ baseline blood pressure started at 160/100. Compared to monotherapy with Valsartan alone, the likelihood of achieving this level of blood pressure reduction was at 60 percent and 50 percent with hydrochlorothiazide monotherapy.
Diovan HCT and Cardiac Conditions
Stage 2 hypertension is cause for alarm because patients with systolic pressure above 180 or diastolic pressure higher than 120 or both are likely to experience cardiovascular emergencies caused by pathologic reduction of the arterial functions. With stage 2 hypertension, patients are at higher risk for cardiovascular emergencies, including heart attack, stroke and heart failure. The decision to use Diovan HCT as monotherapy or as combined therapy with other blood pressure medications will depend on factors such as baseline blood pressure readings, target blood pressure and the incremental potential of combined therapies. There are also inherent risks to lowering blood pressure too quickly.