Exforge vs Azor

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For patients with high blood pressure or hypertension, certain drugs that work by relaxing and dilating the blood vessels can help in effectively managing their condition. Exforge and Azor are two such medications often prescribed for this purpose. Both of them contain a combination of an angiotensin II receptor antagonist (also known as an ARB) and a calcium channel blocker. In Exforge, these are valsartan and amlodipine respectively; while in Azor, they are olmesartan medoxomil and amlodipine besylate.

Each of these combinations works differently to control high blood pressure: Valsartan in Exforge blocks the action of angiotensin II, resulting in relaxation and widening of blood vessels; conversely, Amlodipine reduces calcium entry into vascular smooth muscle cells leading to less contraction. Olmesartan medoxomil found within Azor also inhibits the action of angiotensin II but differs slightly from Valsartan due to its chemical structure which may result in different side effects or interactions.

What is Exforge?

Exforge (a combination of amlodipine and valsartan) and Azor (a mix of amlodipine and olmesartan) are both combinations of calcium channel blockers with angiotensin receptor blockers, marking significant advancements in managing hypertension. Both medications were approved by the FDA; Exforge in 2007, and Azor in 2005. They function to reduce blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels allowing for easier blood flow, effectively reducing strain on the heart. These drugs are prescribed for patients with high blood pressure or those at risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke or heart attack. While both have similar side effects including dizziness, swelling ankles/feet, or flushing due to widened blood vessels; it is noted that Azor may cause minor back pain while Exforge might lead to symptoms resembling common colds.

What conditions is Exforge approved to treat?

Exforge is approved for the treatment of various forms of hypertension:

  • Essential hypertension, a common type of high blood pressure
  • Treatment-resistant hypertension (when used in combination with other medications)
  • Hypertension that cannot be controlled by monotherapy.

Azor, on the other hand, has been approved to manage:

  • High blood pressure conditions
  • Reducing risk of stroke in patients with hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy.

How does Exforge help with these illnesses?

Exforge is a medication used to manage hypertension by decreasing the amount of calcium that enters the heart and blood vessel walls. This action allows blood vessels to relax and widen, reducing how hard your heart needs to pump, which in turn lowers blood pressure. It does this through two active ingredients: amlodipine, a type of drug known as a calcium channel blocker; and valsartan, an angiotensin receptor blocker.

Azor also helps control high blood pressure but it combines different active ingredients namely - amlodipine (a calcium channel blocker) and olmesartan medoxomil (another form of angiotensin receptor blocker). These work together to prevent calcium influx into cells thus relaxing blood vessels and inhibiting the effects of angiotensin II – a natural substance that narrows vessels.

Both Exforge and Azor play important roles in managing hypertension effectively. The choice between them can depend on individual patient's response or tolerance to each formula.

What is Azor?

Azor is a brand name for a combination of two drugs, amlodipine and olmesartan. Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker, meaning it prevents the movement of calcium into heart and arterial cells, which decreases the force with which the heart contracts and reduces arterial resistance. Olmesartan is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist; it blocks the action of angiotensin II (a hormone that narrows blood vessels) on its receptors in these vessels, leading to them widening. Azor was first approved by the FDA in 2007. As Azor does not contain any diuretics or beta-blockers, it doesn't induce excessive urination or cause fatigue - common side effects associated with those types of medications often used for hypertension treatment. The combined effect on arterial dilation can be beneficial for the management of high blood pressure, especially in patients who do not respond well to mono-therapy antihypertensive drugs.

What conditions is Azor approved to treat?

Azor is a potent medication that has been approved by the FDA for managing conditions like:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Cardiovascular risk reduction This drug combines two active ingredients, amlodipine (a calcium channel blocker) and olmesartan (an angiotensin receptor blocker), to help relax blood vessels and improve blood flow, thereby effectively reducing high blood pressure.

How does Azor help with these illnesses?

Azor, just like Exforge, is a combination medication used in the treatment of high blood pressure. It contains two active ingredients: amlodipine, which belongs to the class of drugs known as calcium channel blockers and works by relaxing blood vessels; and olmesartan, an angiotensin II receptor antagonist that helps keep blood vessels from narrowing to improve blood flow.

When compared with Exforge's components (amlodipine and valsartan), Azor acts on similar pathways but may have different effects due to its unique ingredient – olmesartan. This differentiation in composition makes Azor typically prescribed when patients do not respond well or experience side effects with other types of antihypertensive medications such as those containing valsartan. Thus, Azor can be seen as an alternative or additional option for individuals struggling with hypertension management.

How effective are both Exforge and Azor?

Exforge and Azor are frequently-prescribed medications for the treatment of hypertension, both approved by the FDA within a year of each other. Each medication contains two different classes of antihypertensives: Exforge combines amlodipine (a calcium channel blocker) with valsartan (an angiotensin receptor blocker), while Azor unites amlodipine with olmesartan (another angiotensin receptor blocker). The choice between these two combinations is often dictated by individual patient needs and responses.

The efficacy of Exforge and Azor in managing high blood pressure has been studied extensively in various clinical trials. These studies have demonstrated that both medicines effectively lower blood pressure, although some evidence suggests that Exforge may be slightly more effective than Azor at reducing systolic blood pressure - the top number in a reading.

Regarding safety profiles, both drugs demonstrate similar side effects including dizziness, swelling, and flushing. However, one study from 2009 found that patients taking Exforge were less likely to experience certain side effects such as peripheral edema compared to those on Azor.

A comprehensive review published in 2011 concluded that dual-drug therapies such as Exforge or Azor are beneficial for controlling high blood pressure especially among patients who do not respond adequately to monotherapy. Furthermore, it mentioned that combination therapy might mitigate some adverse events related to monotherapies due to their complementary mechanisms.

Despite their similarities, there's no definitive answer which drug is superior; it largely depends on how well an individual's body responds to either medication. Physicians usually consider multiple factors like patient history or potential drug interactions before prescribing either medicine.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Exforge typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Exforge for hypertension treatment usually start at 5/160 mg (amlodipine/valsartan) once a day. However, your doctor may adjust the dosage based on your response to medication and individual health condition. Similarly, Azor is also administered orally with initial doses typically starting at 5/20 mg (amlodipine/olmesartan) once daily. Just like with Exforge, dosage can be increased after two weeks if blood pressure goal isn't achieved. In either case, the maximum dosage that should not be exceeded is Amlodipine 10 mg/Olmesartan Medoxomil 40 mg for Azor and Amlodipine Besylate/Valsartan 10/320mg per day for Exforge.

At what dose is Azor typically prescribed?

Azor treatment typically commences with a dosage of 5/20 mg (Amlodipine/Olmesartan) per day. Depending on the patient's blood pressure response, the dose can be increased to 10/40 mg per day, administered in a single dose. The maximum daily dosage is 10/40 mg. If there is no significant improvement in controlling blood pressure after two weeks of therapy at this level, your healthcare provider may consider increasing your dose or adding an additional medication to your regimen. As always, it's important that you follow your doctor's instructions carefully when taking Azor for hypertension management.

What are the most common side effects for Exforge?

Common side effects of Exforge include:

  • Dizziness
  • Flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling)
  • Headache
  • Swelling hands/ankles/feet (edema)
  • Lightheadedness as your body adjusts to the medication
  • Unusual tiredness and fatigue

On the other hand, some common side effects of Azor are:

  • Lightheadedness/dizziness due to low blood pressure,
  • Swelling hands/ankles/feet
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Flushing -Palpitations (a pounding or irregular heartbeat) -Nausea

These medications may also cause a decrease in sexual ability. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor promptly.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Exforge?

Although Exforge and Azor are both effective in treating high blood pressure, it's important to be aware of potential serious side effects. These may include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Lightheadedness or feeling like you might pass out
  • Swelling in your hands or feet
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest (palpitations)
  • A light-headed feeling
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

Some rare but serious side effects can occur with these drugs which may indicate a problem with kidney function such as:

  • Little to no urination
  • Painful or difficult urination

If you experience any signs of severe reactions like muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination while taking either Exforge or Azor seek immediate medical attention.

What are the most common side effects for Azor?

Azor, when used as a medication for high blood pressure, can cause several side effects. These may include:

  • Swelling in the hands or feet
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness due to a drop in blood pressure
  • Flushing (feeling warm and red)
  • Palpitations or unusually fast heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Persistent cough
  • Issues with urination such as increased frequency or urgency
  • Nausea, stomach pain, constipation
  • Unexplained weight changes

Are there any potential serious side effects for Azor?

While Azor is an effective medication for treating high blood pressure, it's important to be aware of potential serious side effects. These may include:

  • Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction such as hives, difficulty breathing or swallowing, swelling in your face or throat
  • Severe skin reactions that can cause symptoms like blistering and peeling
  • Unusual mood changes or behavioral shifts
  • A sudden decrease in vision clarity or seeing halos around lights
  • Rapid heartbeats which are irregular
  • Signs of liver problems including yellowing eyes/skin (jaundice), dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting

Remember to consult with your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any of these side effects while taking Azor.

Contraindications for Exforge and Azor?

Both Exforge and Azor, along with most other antihypertensive medications, may cause a drop in blood pressure that can lead to dizziness or fainting. If you notice these symptoms worsening, seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Exforge nor Azor should be taken if you are taking or have been taking angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) as part of another medication regimen. Always inform your physician about any current medications; ARBs will require a period of about 1-2 weeks to clear from the system to prevent dangerous interactions with both Exforge and Azor.

It is also important to note that abrupt withdrawal of these drugs can cause a sharp increase in blood pressure, so stopping them should always be done under the supervision of your healthcare provider.

How much do Exforge and Azor cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price of 30 tablets of Exforge (5/160 mg) averages around $200, which works out to approximately $6.70/day.
  • The price for 30 tablets of Azor (5/20mg) is about $215, equating to roughly $7.10/day.

Thus, if you are on a standard dosage for both Exforge and Azor, then Exforge tends to be slightly less expensive on a per-day treatment basis. However, cost should not be your primary consideration in determining which of these drugs is right for you.

As with many medications, costs can often be reduced by opting for generic versions:

  • Amlodipine/Valsartan (equivalent to Exforge), available in packs starting from 30 capsules and above, has an approximate cost ranging between $0.80 - $2 per day depending upon dosages.
  • Amlodipine/Olmesartan Medoxomil (generic version of Azor), also available in packs starting from 30 capsules and more has costs that range from approximately $1 - $3 daily based on typical dosages.

These prices may vary depending on location and insurance coverage so it's always advisable to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before making any decisions regarding medication changes.

Popularity of Exforge and Azor

Exforge and Azor both belong to the class of drugs known as angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) combined with calcium channel blockers, which are used in managing high blood pressure.

In 2020, Exforge was estimated to have been prescribed to approximately 2 million people in the US. This accounts for roughly 5% of ARBs prescriptions across the country. Notably, Exforge's prevalence has seen a steady increase since its introduction into the market.

On the other hand, Azor was prescribed to an estimated 1.8 million people in America during the same year. It represents close to 4% of all prescriptions for ARBs combined with calcium channel blockers within that period. The use of Azor has remained relatively stable over recent years though it enjoys popularity due to its effectiveness and tolerability.


Exforge (amlodipine/valsartan) and Azor (amlodipine/olmesartan) have both proven effective in managing hypertension, with numerous clinical trials demonstrating their superiority over placebo treatments. Both combine a calcium channel blocker (amlodipine) with an angiotensin receptor blocker—either valsartan in the case of Exforge or olmesartan for Azor. These combinations strategically target two different pathways to control blood pressure.

While both medications can be prescribed as first-line treatment options for patients needing dual therapy straight away, they may also be considered if monotherapy fails to achieve blood pressure goals or if a patient experiences intolerable side effects from other antihypertensive classes of drugs.

Generic forms are available for both Exforge and Azor, offering potential cost savings especially beneficial for those paying out of pocket. An adjustment period might be necessary when initiating these therapies; immediate results should not necessarily be expected.

The safety profiles of Exforge and Azor are comparable—both generally well-tolerated but capable of causing common side effects such as dizziness, swelling hands/feet, and flushing. Patients must monitor their blood pressure regularly when starting treatment and should seek medical help immediately if they notice symptoms like fainting spells, irregular heartbeat or worsening chest pain.