Valsartan (By mouth)

Introduction

Valsartan (val-SAR-tan)

Treats high blood pressure. A lower blood pressure can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. Also treats heart failure, and may prolong life after a heart attack. This medicine is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB).

Brand Name(s)

Diovan

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to valsartan, or if you are pregnant. Do not use this medicine together with aliskiren (Tekturna®) if you have diabetes.

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.Take this medicine at the same time each day.
  • If you are given this medicine as a liquid, shake the bottle well for at least 10 seconds before you measure the dose. Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet. Drink plenty of fluids if you exercise, sweat more than usual, or have diarrhea or vomiting.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Store the liquid at room temperature for up to 30 days or in the refrigerator for up to 75 days.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you also use other medicine for high blood pressure (such as aliskiren, atenolol, metoprolol, Lotrel®, Tekturna®, Vasotec®, Zestril®) or a diuretic (water pill, such as amiloride, spironolactone, triamterene, Aldactone®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you also use cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), ritonavir (Norvir®), or an NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®).
  • Ask your doctor before you use any medicine, supplement, or salt substitute that contains potassium.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems, liver disease, or heart or blood vessel problems (including heart failure). Also tell your doctor if you have had angioedema that was caused by a blood pressure medicine.
  • This medicine could lower your blood pressure too much and cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded. Stand or sit up slowly if you are dizzy. This is more likely to happen when you begin to use the medicine or if you become dehydrated.
  • Do not stop using this medicine without asking your doctor, even if you feel well. This medicine will not cure your high blood pressure, but it will help keep it in normal range. You may have to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate
  • Confusion, weakness, uneven heartbeat, trouble breathing, numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or lips
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache
  • Mild dizziness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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