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Valsartan

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

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Mar 28, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is valsartan?

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

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

Valsartan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Do not use if you are pregnant. Stop using valsartan 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).

Before taking this medicine

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

If you have diabetes, do not use valsartan 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.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

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

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • 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 valsartan 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.

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

How should I take valsartan?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

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

If a child taking valsartan 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 valsartan. 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.

Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 4 weeks of treatment.

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.

What should I avoid while taking valsartan?

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.

Valsartan side effects

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

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

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

  • swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • shortness of breath;

  • little or no urination;

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest; or

  • high potassium level--nausea, weakness, tingly feeling, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, loss of movement.

Common side effects may include:

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.

Valsartan dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Congestive Heart Failure:

Initial dose: 40 mg orally twice a day
Maintenance dose: 80 to 160 mg twice a day. The dose should be increased to the highest dose tolerated by the patient.

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 Myocardial Infarction:

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 a day as tolerated by the patient. If symptomatic hypotension or renal dysfunction occurs, consideration should be given to a dosage reduction.

Comment: Valsartan may be initiated as early as 12 hours after a myocardial infarction, and may be given with other standard postmyocardial 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 a day (up to 40 mg)
Maintenance dose: up to 2.7 mg/kg (up to 160 mg) once a day titrated according to patient response

Comments:
-If 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.
-No data are available in pediatric patients either undergoing dialysis or with a glomerular filtration rate less than 30 mL/min.

What other drugs will affect valsartan?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect 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 this medication 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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