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Diovan

Generic Name: valsartan (val SAR tan)
Brand Names: Diovan

Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD. Last updated on May 1, 2019.

What is Diovan?

Diovan (valsartan) is an type of blood pressure medication called an ARB (angiotensin II receptor antagonist). Diovan keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.

Diovan is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults and children who are at least 6 years old. It is sometimes given together with other blood pressure medications.

Diovan is also used in adults to treat heart failure, and to lower the risk of death after a heart attack.

Important Information

Do not use Diovan if you are pregnant. Stop using this medicine and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

If you have diabetes, do not use valsartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

In rare cases, Diovan 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 unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Diovan if you are allergic to valsartan.

If you have diabetes, do not use Diovan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

You may also need to avoid taking valsartan with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.

To make sure Diovan is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);

  • liver disease;

  • a heart condition other than one being treated with valsartan;

  • diabetes;

  • if you are on a low-salt-diet; or

  • if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any blood pressure medication.

Do not use if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away. Valsartan can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester.

You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Diovan should not be given to a child younger than 6 years old.

How should I take Diovan?

Take Diovan exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.

Take Diovan at the same time(s) each day, with or without food.

If a child taking Diovan cannot swallow a capsule whole, your pharmacist can mix the medicine into a liquid. Shake this liquid well just before you measure a dose. Measure the medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Your kidney function may also need to be checked.

You may have very low blood pressure while taking Diovan. Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual.

It may take 2 to 4 weeks of using this medicine before your blood pressure is under control. Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose can lead to low blood pressure and high heart rate, causing symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, sweating, chest pain, or a fast heartbeat. Heart failure and shock could occur.

What should I avoid while taking Diovan?

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of valsartan.

Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes unless your doctor has told you to.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy.

Diovan side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Diovan: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In rare cases, Diovan 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 unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);

  • little or no urinating, swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • weakness, confusion, increased thirst, loss of appetite, vomiting;

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out; or

  • muscle weakness, tingly feeling.

Common Diovan side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness, tired feeling;

  • flu symptoms;

  • stomach pain, diarrhea; or

  • back pain, joint pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Diovan?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using during your treatment with Diovan, especially:

  • cyclosporine;

  • a diuretic (water pill) such as spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride, and others;

  • blood pressure medications;

  • lithium;

  • rifampin;

  • ritonavir; or

  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)--aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with valsartan, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Diovan only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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