Data from FDA - Curated by EPG Health - Last updated 24 November 2019


1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE Exforge HCT (amlodipine, valsartan, hydrochlorothiazide) is indicated for the treatment of hypertension, to lower blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events, primarily strokes and myocardial infarctions. These benefits have been seen in controlled trials of antihypertensive drugs from a wide variety of pharmacologic classes, including amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and the ARB class to which valsartan principally belongs. There are no controlled trials demonstrating risk reduction with Exforge HCT. Control of high blood pressure should be part of comprehensive cardiovascular risk management, including, as appropriate, lipid control, diabetes management, antithrombotic therapy, smoking cessation, exercise, and limited sodium intake. Many patients will require more than 1 drug to achieve blood pressure goals. For specific advice on goals and management, see published guidelines, such as those of the National High Blood Pressure Education Program’s Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC). Numerous antihypertensive drugs, from a variety of pharmacologic classes and with different mechanisms of action, have been shown in randomized controlled trials to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and it can be concluded that it is blood pressure reduction, and not some other pharmacologic property of the drugs, that is largely responsible for those benefits. The largest and most consistent cardiovascular outcome benefit has been a reduction in the risk of stroke, but reductions in myocardial infarction and cardiovascular mortality also have been seen regularly. Elevated systolic or diastolic pressure causes increased cardiovascular risk, and the absolute risk increase per mmHg is greater at higher blood pressures, so that even modest reductions of severe hypertension can provide substantial benefit. Relative risk reduction from blood pressure reduction is similar across populations with varying absolute risk, so the absolute benefit is greater in patients who are at higher risk independent of their hypertension (e.g., patients with diabetes or hyperlipidemia), and such patients would be expected to benefit from more aggressive treatment to a lower blood pressure goal. Some antihypertensive drugs have smaller blood pressure effects (as monotherapy) in black patients, and many antihypertensive drugs have additional approved indications and effects (e.g., on angina, heart failure, or diabetic kidney disease). These considerations may guide selection of therapy. Limitation of Use Exforge HCT is not indicated for the initial therapy of hypertension [see Dosage and Administration (2)]. Exforge HCT is a combination tablet of amlodipine, a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker (DHP CCB), valsartan, an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB), and hydrochlorothiazide, a thiazide diuretic. Exforge HCT is indicated for the treatment of hypertension to lower blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events, primarily strokes, and myocardial infarctions. (1) Limitation of Use Exforge HCT is not indicated for initial treatment of hypertension.

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Advisory information

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS Do not use in patients with anuria, hypersensitivity to other sulfonamide-derived drugs, or hypersensitivity to any component of this product. Do not coadminister aliskiren with Exforge HCT in patients with diabetes [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Anuria (4) Hypersensitivity to sulfonamide-derived drugs (4) Known hypersensitivity to any component (4) Do not coadminister aliskiren with Exforge HCT in patients with diabetes (4)
Adverse reactions
6 ADVERSE REACTIONS Most common adverse events (≥ 2% incidence) are dizziness, peripheral edema, headache, dyspepsia, fatigue, muscle spasms, back pain, nausea and nasopharyngitis. (6.1) To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation at 1-888-669-6682 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or 6.1 Clinical Trials Experience Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction 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 clinical practice. In the controlled trial of Exforge HCT, where only the maximum dose (10/320/25 mg) was evaluated, safety data were obtained in 582 patients with hypertension. Adverse reactions have generally been mild and transient in nature and have only infrequently required discontinuation of therapy. The overall frequency of adverse reactions was similar between men and women, younger (<65 years) and older (>65 years) patients, and black and white patients. In the active controlled clinical trial, discontinuation because of adverse events occurred in 4.0% of patients treated with Exforge HCT 10/320/25 mg compared to 2.9% of patients treated with valsartan/HCTZ 320/25 mg, 1.6% of patients treated with amlodipine/valsartan 10/320 mg, and 3.4% of patients treated with HCTZ/amlodipine 25/10 mg. The most common reasons for discontinuation of therapy with Exforge HCT were dizziness (1.0%) and hypotension (0.7%). The most frequent adverse events that occurred in the active controlled clinical trial in at least 2% of patients treated with Exforge HCT are presented in the following table. Preferred Term Aml/Val/HCTZ 10/320/25 mg N=582 n (%) Val/HCTZ 320/25 mg N=559 n (%) Aml/Val 10/320 mg N=566 n (%) HCTZ/Aml 25/10 mg N=561 n (%) Dizziness 48 (8.2) 40 (7.2) 14 (2.5) 23 (4.1) Edema 38 (6.5) 8 (1.4) 65 (11.5 ) 63 (11.2) Headache 30 (5.2) 31 (5.5) 30 (5.3) 40 (7.1) Dyspepsia 13 (2.2) 5 (0.9) 6 (1.1) 2 (0.4) Fatigue 13 (2.2) 15 (2.7) 12 (2.1) 8 (1.4) Muscle spasms 13 (2.2) 7 (1.3) 7 (1.2) 5 (0.9) Back pain 12 (2.1) 13 (2.3) 5 (0.9) 12 (2.1) Nausea 12 (2.1) 7 (1.3) 10 (1.8) 12 (2.1) Nasopharyngitis 12 (2.1) 13 (2.3) 13 (2.3) 12 (2.1) Orthostatic events (orthostatic hypotension and postural dizziness) were seen in 0.5% of patients. Valsartan Valsartan has been evaluated for safety in more than 4000 hypertensive patients in clinical trials. 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 dry cough when they had previously received ACE inhibitors, the incidences of cough in patients who received valsartan, HCTZ, or lisinopril were 20%, 19%, and 69% respectively (p <0.001). Clinical Laboratory Test Findings Clinical laboratory test findings for Exforge HCT were obtained in a controlled trial of Exforge HCT administered at the maximal dose of 10/320/25 mg compared to maximal doses of dual therapies, i.e., valsartan/HCTZ 320/25 mg, amlodipine/valsartan 10/320 mg, and HCTZ/amlodipine 25/10 mg. Findings for the components of Exforge HCT were obtained from other trials. Creatinine: In heart failure patients, greater than 50% increases in creatinine were observed in 3.9% of valsartan-treated patients compared to 0.9% of placebo-treated patients. In post-myocardial infarction patients, doubling of serum creatinine was observed in 4.2% of valsartan-treated patients and 3.4% of captopril-treated patients. Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN): In hypertensive patients, greater than 50% increases in BUN were observed in 30% of Exforge HCT-treated patients compared to 29% of valsartan/HCTZ patients, 15.8% of amlodipine/valsartan patients, and 18.5% of HCTZ/amlodipine patients. In heart failure patients, greater than 50% increases in BUN were observed in 17% of valsartan-treated patients compared to 6% of placebo-treated patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]. Neutropenia: Neutropenia (<1500/L) was observed in 1.9% of patients treated with valsartan and 0.8% of patients treated with placebo. 6.2 Postmarketing Experience The following additional adverse reactions have been reported in 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. Amlodipine With amlodipine, gynecomastia has been reported infrequently and a causal relationship is uncertain. Jaundice and hepatic enzyme elevations (mostly consistent with cholestasis or hepatitis), in some cases severe enough to require hospitalization, have been reported in association with use of amlodipine. Valsartan The following additional adverse reactions have been reported in postmarketing experience with valsartan or valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide: Blood and Lymphatic: Decrease in hemoglobin, decrease in hematocrit, neutropenia Hypersensitivity: Angioedema has been reported. Some of these patients previously experienced angioedema with other drugs including ACE inhibitors. Exforge HCT should not be re-administered to patients who have had angioedema. Digestive: Elevated liver enzymes and reports of hepatitis Musculoskeletal: Rhabdomyolysis Renal: Impaired renal function, renal failure Dermatologic: Alopecia, bullous dermatitis Vascular: Vasculitis Nervous System: Syncope Hydrochlorothiazide 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, 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.

Usage information

Dosing and administration
2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION Dose once-daily. Titrate up to a maximum dose of 10/320/25 mg Exforge HCT may be used as add-on/switch therapy for patients not adequately controlled on any two of the following antihypertensive classes: calcium channel blockers, angiotensin receptor blockers, and diuretics. Exforge HCT may be substituted for its individually titrated components (2) 2.1 General Considerations Dose once-daily. The dosage may be increased after 2 weeks of therapy. The full blood pressure lowering effect was achieved 2 weeks after being on the maximal dose of Exforge HCT. The maximum recommended dose of Exforge HCT is 10/320/25 mg. 2.2 Add-on / Switch Therapy Exforge HCT may be used for patients not adequately controlled on any 2 of the following antihypertensive classes: calcium channel blockers, angiotensin receptor blockers, and diuretics. A patient who experiences dose-limiting adverse reactions to an individual component while on any dual combination of the components of Exforge HCT may be switched to Exforge HCT containing a lower dose of that component to achieve similar blood pressure reductions. 2.3 Replacement Therapy Exforge HCT may be substituted for the individually titrated components. 2.4 Use with Other Antihypertensive Drugs Exforge HCT may be administered with other antihypertensive agents.
Use in special populations
8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS Lactation: Breastfeeding is not recommended (8.2) Geriatric Patients: Not recommended for initial therapy (8.5) Hepatic Impairment: Not recommended for initial therapy (8.7) 8.1 Pregnancy Risk Summary Exforge HCT 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 Exforge HCT 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 2-4% and 15-20%, respectively. Clinical Considerations 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 Valsartan: 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 Exforge HCT for hypotension, oliguria, and hyperkalemia. In neonates with a history of in utero exposure to Exforge HCT, 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. Hydrochlorothiazide: 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 (preeclampsia), these drugs should not be used to treat hypertension in pregnant women. The use of HCTZ for other indications (e.g., heart disease) in pregnancy should be avoided. Data Animal Data Valsartan and Amlodipine: In rats, administered 20 mg/kg/day amlodipine plus 320 mg/kg/day valsartan, treatment-related maternal and fetal effects (developmental delays and alterations noted in the presence of significant maternal toxicity) were noted with the high dose combination. This corresponds to dose multiples of 9 and 19.5 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 10 mg/day for amlodipine and 320 mg/day for valsartan (based on body surface area and considering a 60 kg patient). Hydrochlorothiazide: No teratogenic effects were observed when hydrochlorothiazide was administered to mice and rats via gavage at doses of up to 3000 and 1000 mg/kg/day (608 and 405 times the MRHD), on gestation days 6 through 15. 8.2 Lactation Risk Summary There is limited information regarding the presence of Exforge HCT in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. Hydrochlorothiazide is present in human milk and valsartan is present in rat milk. Limited published studies report that amlodipine is present in human milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfed infants, advise a nursing woman that breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment with Exforge HCT. Data Valsartan was detected in the milk of lactating rats 15 minutes after oral administration of a 3 mg/kg dose. 8.4 Pediatric Use The safety and effectiveness of Exforge HCT in pediatric patients have not been established. 8.5 Geriatric Use Amlodipine Clinical studies of amlodipine besylate tablets did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy. Elderly patients have decreased clearance of amlodipine with a resulting increase of AUC of approximately 40% to 60% [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. The recommended starting dose of amlodipine 2.5 mg is not an available strength with Exforge HCT [see Clinical Studies (14)]. 8.6 Renal Impairment Safety and effectiveness of Exforge HCT in patients with severe renal impairment (CrCl <30 mL/min) have not been established. No dose adjustment is required in patients with mild (CrCl 60 to 90 mL/min) or moderate (CrCl 30 to 60 mL/min) renal impairment. 8.7 Hepatic Impairment Amlodipine Exposure to amlodipine is increased in patients with hepatic insufficiency, The recommended initial dose of amlodipine in patients with hepatic impairment is 2.5 mg, which is not an available strength with Exforge HCT [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Valsartan No dose adjustment is necessary for patients with mild-to-moderate disease. No dosing recommendations can be provided for patients with severe liver disease. Hydrochlorothiazide Minor alterations of fluid and electrolyte balance may precipitate hepatic coma in patients with impaired hepatic function or progressive liver disease.


7 DRUG INTERACTIONS No drug interaction studies have been conducted with Exforge HCT and other drugs, although studies have been conducted with the individual components. A pharmacokinetic drug-drug interaction study has been conducted to address the potential for pharmacokinetic interaction between the triple combination, Exforge HCT, and the corresponding 3 double combinations. No clinically relevant interaction was observed. Amlodipine Impact of other Drugs on Amlodipine CYP3A Inhibitors Co-administration with CYP3A inhibitors (moderate and strong) results in increased systemic exposure to amlodipine and may require dose reduction. Monitor for symptoms of hypotension and edema when amlodipine is co-administered with CYP3A inhibitors to determine the need for dose adjustment [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. CYP3A Inducers No information is available on the quantitative effects of CYP3A inducers on amlodipine. Blood pressure should be closely monitored when amlodipine is co-administered with CYP3A inducers (e.g., rifampicin, St. John’s Wort). Sildenafil Monitor for hypotension when sildenafil is co-administered with amlodipine [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)]. Impact of Amlodipine on other Drugs Simvastatin Co-administration of simvastatin with amlodipine increases the systemic exposure of simvastatin. Limit the dose of simvastatin in patients on amlodipine to 20 mg daily [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Immunosuppressants Amlodipine may increase the systemic exposure of cyclosporine or tacrolimus when co-administered. Frequent monitoring of trough blood levels of cyclosporine and tacrolimus is recommended and adjust the dose when appropriate [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Valsartan 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). Valsartan – 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 Exforge HCT. Hydrochlorothiazide 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. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs and COX-2 selective inhibitors): When Exforge HCT and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents are used concomitantly, the patient should be observed closely to determine if the desired effect of 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. If simvastatin is coadministered with amlodipine, do not exceed doses greater than 20 mg daily of simvastatin (7) Antidiabetic drugs: Dosage adjustment of antidiabetic may be required (7) Cholestyramine and colestipol: Reduced absorption of thiazides (12.3) Lithium: Increased risk of lithium toxicity. Monitor serum lithium concentrations during concurrent use. (7) Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflamatory Drug (NSAID) use may lead to increased risk of renal impairment and loss of anti-hypertensive effect (7) Dual inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system: Increased risk of renal impairment, hypotension, and hyperkalemia (7)

More information

Category Value
Authorisation number NDA022314
Agency product number 864V2Q084H
Orphan designation No
Product NDC 0078-0559,0078-0561,0078-0562,0078-0563,0078-0560
Date Last Revised 12-06-2019
RXCUI 848131
Marketing authorisation holder Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Warnings WARNING: FETAL TOXICITY When pregnancy is detected, discontinue Exforge HCT as soon as possible. (5.1) Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and death to the developing fetus. (5.1) WARNING: FETAL TOXICITY See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue Exforge HCT as soon as possible. (5.1) Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and death to the developing fetus. (5.1)