What is HCTZ?

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What is HCTZ?
HCTZ stands for hydrochlorothiazide and when this chemical is combined with valsartan, the result is a medication for hypertension. Commercially, the name of the medication is known as Diovan HCT. The medicine is particularly developed for patients who suffer from high blood pressure. Patients with such condition require numerous medications to manage their blood pressure levels. The combination of the two chemicals aids in dilating blood vessel and freeing excess salt and fluid in the body.

Valsartan is known to block the production of angiotensin II hormones in the body. These hormones are known to narrow blood vessels and retain salts in the body to regulate blood pressure. Valsartan is also known as ARB or angiotensin II receptor blocker. The body normally monitors the regulation of blood pressure. However, when a person has heart and other health conditions, the body will not be able to fulfill its function. The function of Valsartan is to help blood vessel expand. Moreover, it regulates the kidneys’ release of fluids. As the pressure in blood vessels decreases, the heart is able to pump blood without much difficulty.

HCTZ is a medicine known to be as diuretic. This means it helps the body intensifies its urine excretion.  HCTZ is also known as the ‘water pill.’ The main role of HCTZ is to avert the body from retaining fluids and salt absorption. The pill is also known to prevent the sodium reabsorption as water passes through the bladder. People with problem in the heart, liver, high blood pressure and kidneys are all known to retain excessive body fluids. There is a wide variety of diuretics doctors may prescribe to patients, though HCTZ is the only diuretic that is known to lower blood pressure and flush out excessive body fluids at the same time.

The heart condition will get worse if blood pressure will not be controlled. Moreover, excessive body fluids will cause more strain and stress to the heart. Administering a combination of HCTZ and Valsartan reduces the strain experienced by the heart. Expanding the blood vessels allows more oxygen to pass through every part of the body. Most importantly, the brain need enough amount of oxygen as it may cause a person to suffer stroke if not enough oxygen reaches the brain. On the other hand, heart attack will also be prevented if the heart’s work rate is reduced.

Nevertheless, just like other drugs, the combination of Valsartan and HCTZ has side effects. The common side effects felt by people taking the drug combination are as follows:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • High blood sugar level
  • Severe rash
  • Swelling
  • Jaundice

If a patient experienced high blood sugar level, severe rash, swelling and jaundice, he or she must see a doctor immediately. It is important not to take the drug combination without doctor’s prescription. On the other hand, taking HCTZ alone has also side effects. Some of these side effects are blurred vision, lightheadedness and dizziness. Such side effects are not considered serious, though they can get worse and become persistent over time.

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