Generic Name: valsartan (val SAR tan)Brand Names: Diovan
Valsartan is in a group of drugs called angiotensin II receptor antagonists. Valsartan keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.
Valsartan is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is sometimes given together with other blood pressure medications.
Valsartan may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood pressure will need to be checked on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
Keep using this medication even if you feel fine. High blood pressure often has no symptoms.In rare cases, valsartan can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, nausea or vomiting, and dark colored urine.
Before using valsartan, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
congestive heart failure; or
if you are dehydrated.
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Valsartan may cause injury and even death to the unborn baby if you take it during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Do not use valsartan without your doctor's consent if you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control. Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether valsartan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.
You may take valsartan with or without food.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood pressure will need to be checked on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.It may take 2 to 4 weeks of using this medicine before your blood pressure is under control. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 4 weeks of treatment.
Keep using this medication even if you feel fine. High blood pressure often has no symptoms.Store valsartan at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
See also: Valsartan dosage in more detail
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Overdose symptoms may include fast or slow heartbeat, dizziness, or feeling like you might pass out.
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.
feeling like you might pass out;
chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats;
numbness or tingly feeling; or
swelling, weight gain.
Less serious side effects may include:
runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough;
dry mouth, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
mild itching, skin rash;
sleep problems (insomnia);
headache, dizziness, anxiety;
impotence, loss of interest in sex, or trouble having an orgasm.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Usual Adult Dose for Congestive Heart Failure:
Initial dose: 40 mg orally twice a day.Maintenance dose: 80 to 160 mg twice daily. The dose should be increased to the highest dose tolerated by the patient. Concomitant beta blockers and ACE inhibitors are not recommended.
Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:
Initial dose: 80 to 160 mg orally once a day.Maintenance dose: 80 to 320 mg orally once a day.
Usual Adult Dose for Left Ventricular Dysfunction:
Initial dose: 20 mg orally twice a day. Maintenance dose: The initial dosage may be titrated upward within 7 days to 40 mg twice daily, with subsequent titrations to a target maintenance dose of 160 mg twice daily as tolerated by the patient. If symptomatic hypotension or renal dysfunction occurs, consideration should be given to a dosage reduction. Valsartan may be initiated as early as 12 hours after a myocardial infarction, and may be given with other standard post-myocardial infarction treatment, including thrombolytics, aspirin, beta blockers, and statins.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Hypertension:
6 to 16 years:Initial dose: 1.3 mg/kg once daily (up to 40 mg)Maintenance dose: up to 2.7 mg/kg (up to 160 mg) once daily titrated according to patient responseIf the calculated dosage does not correspond to the available tablet strengths, or if children are unable to swallow tablets, the use of a suspension (which can be prepared from the tablets) is recommended. The valsartan dose may need to be increased if the suspension is replaced by a tablet.
Before taking valsartan, tell your doctor if you are also taking a diuretic (water pill).
There may be other drugs that can interact with valsartan. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.