The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.
VALSARTAN - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Diovan
WARNING: This drug can cause serious fetal harm (possibly death) if used during the last six months of pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor immediately.
This drug is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart failure. This drug works by blocking the hormone angiotensin thereby relaxing blood vessels, causing them to widen. High blood pressure reduction helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.
This drug may also be used to help protect the kidneys from damage due to diabetes.
How To Use
Take this medication by mouth, with or without food, as directed by your doctor. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day. Do not take potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium without talking to your doctor or pharmacist first. This medicine can raise your potassium levels, which rarely can cause serious side effects such as muscle weakness or very slow heartbeats. Tell your doctor immediately if these effects occur. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take 4 weeks before the full benefit of this drug occurs. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.
You may experience dizziness, lightheadedness, tiredness, or blurred vision as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fainting, decreased sexual ability. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: change in the amount of urine, signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, persistent sore throat), stomach/abdominal pain, severe nausea, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, unusual fatigue, chest pain. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling (especially of the face, lips, tongue, or throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, high blood levels of potassium, heart problems, severe dehydration (and loss of electrolytes such as sodium), diabetes (poorly controlled), any allergies (especially to ACE inhibitors such as captopril, lisinopril). This drug may make you dizzy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the dizziness effect. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during the first three months of pregnancy. It is not recommended for use during the last six months of the pregnancy due to the risk for fetal harm. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. See also the Warning section. It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Breast-feeding is not recommended due to the potential harm to the nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription products you may use, especially of: ACE inhibitors (e.g., captopril, lisinopril), beta-blockers (e.g., atenolol, metoprolol), other heart drugs (e.g., digoxin), other high blood pressure medications, lithium, certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., indomethacin), potassium-sparing "water pills" (diuretics such as amiloride, spironolactone, triamterene), "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide), potassium supplements (e.g., potassium chloride) or salt substitutes. Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products, diet aids) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your heart rate or blood pressure. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include unusually fast or slow heartbeat, severe dizziness or fainting.
Do not share this medication with others. Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction programs, exercise and dietary changes may increase the effectiveness of this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., kidney function, potassium blood level) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details. Have your blood pressure checked regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to monitor your own blood pressure at home. Discuss this with your doctor.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature (77 degrees F or 25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 to 30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).