Is exforge safe for kidneys?

Hypertension is a disease marked by high blood pressure. To diagnose a person with hypertension is not as simple as using a blood pressure monitor alone. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hypertension is diagnosed when the blood pressure is measured on two different days, with they systolic blood pressure on both days is equal to or greater than 140 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure readings on both days equal to or greater than 90 mmHg. Systolic blood pressure can be seen as the first number and diastolic blood pressure as the second number. For example, a person with blood pressure of 145/90 mmHg measured on two different days can be diagnosed as hypertension as the number 145 indicates the systolic blood pressure more than 140 mmHg and the number 90 is equal to 90 mmHg which means is as according to the WHO diagnosing criteria.

Hypertension is more than just a high blood pressure as it is known as a silent killer. A person with hypertension may not realise this condition as there are no specific symptoms and only know this disease as they experience complications such as heart disease or brain stroke. This is why it is important to treat hypertension early on to avoid such an event. There are many antihypertensive drugs used to treat patients with hypertension such as Exforge 5/80 mg. You may be wondering, is Exforge safe for kidneys?

To answer this, we have to know a bit more about Exforge itself. Exforge contains amlodipine and valsartan as its active ingredients. Amlodipine belongs to the drug class of calcium channel blocker (CCB) that works by preventing movement of calcium into the cells of the heart and blood vessels. This led to relaxation of blood vessels which then lowered the blood pressure. Valsartan belongs to the drug class of angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) that works by blocking the effect of the angiotensin II hormone. This hormone in nature leads to constriction of the blood vessel. Hence, ARB blocks the action of the enzyme to the blood vessels from constriction to relaxation. In general, Exforge is a good antihypertensive drug as reports show that combination of CCB and ARB gives extra blood pressure lowering effects and is less likely to cause side effects.

Back to our main question of is it safe for kidneys. Truthfully it is not an easy answer. This entirely depends on the state of the kidney. Valsartan can worsen kidney function in patients with bilateral renal artery stenosis (narrowing of two kidney’s arteries). Amlodipine is not recommended to treat hypertensive with proteinuria renal disease (elevated protein in urine) as it may increase more episodes of proteinuria and does not prevent renal disease progression. Exforge is contraindicated (condition indicating this drug should not be used) in patients with severe renal impairment and undergoes dialysis. In rare cases, Exforge can cause breakdown of muscle tissue known as rhabdomyolysis that could lead to kidney failure. Unfortunately, study of Exforge on the kidney benefits is so little, making Exforge a drug that should be carefully used on patients with kidney problems. Usage of Exforge in patients with kidney issues must be backed up by close monitoring of the kidney function such as creatinine. Hence, to confidently say Exforge is safe for the kidney is quite difficult as this depends on the patient itself.

In essence, Exforge is a good blood pressure medication due to the combination of the two drugs packed in one tablet. This alone makes it easy for patients to take this medication on a regular basis and easier for people to keep track of their medication. Taking this medicine regularly enables a person to fully reap the benefits of the medication. It is important to keep taking this medicine even if you are feeling well because most people with hypertension do not feel sick even when their blood pressure is already very high. It is worth noting that the medicine may take several weeks to work.

Although medicine in general does bring benefits, this medication does come with potential side effects. Side effects may or may not affect a person since a person’s response to this medicine is highly individualised. Common side effects that are reported by patients include light-headedness, dizziness, insomnia, fatigue, dry cough, stomach pain and low libido. If these side effects persist or get worse, you should let your doctor know. If serious side effects occur such as upper respiratory infection characterised by sore throat that does not go away, swelling of the legs or ankle, fever or chills, sudden kidney issues such as changes to low urine volume or symptoms of high potassium blood level (hypokalaemia) marked by irregular heartbeat and muscle weakness, you should get immediate and prompt medical advice by visiting emergency department or nearby healthcare facility. Should there be any unwanted side effects not mentioned here occur, do notify your healthcare provider and ask for medical advice.

It is very important to take medicine as instructed by your doctor. You may receive this medication with the suitable dose at first but those doses may change in weeks to come if your doctor thinks you have yet to achieve the targeted blood pressure. You are more likely to receive Exforge when you need to take two or more types of antihypertensive drugs at a time.