GENERIC NAME: Valsartan

COMMON BRAND: Diovan

Valsartan is an oral prescription drug, belongs to a class of medication known as angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). It acts by blocking the effect of angiotensin II (a natural substance) and thereby relaxing blood vessels to flow blood smoothly and helps the heart to pump more efficiently. It also allows your kidney to get rid of extra water and salt which also helps in lowering your blood pressure. It is available as the brand-name drug and generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less.

What is Valsartan (Diovan) used to for?

Valsartan either used alone or in combination with other drugs to relieve high blood pressure and heart failure (heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body). This drug is also used to improve the chances of living longer after myocardial infarction (also known as heart attack). Valsartan is prescribed to adults and children above six years.

How to use Valsartan (Diovan)?

This drug comes with the medication guide read all the instruction carefully before you start taking valsartan. If you have any query, discuss with your doctor or pharmacist.

The dose of the drug is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Take valsartan orally as directed by your doctor, usually once per day with or without food.

Take the whole tablet with water or other liquids. Do not crush, break, or chew it. If you are using liquid form, shake the bottle well before each dose and use special measuring device/spoon.

Different valsartan dosage form releases the medication differently in your body and cannot interchange with another dosage form. Take valsartan dosage form that prescribed to you do not switch to another type without consulting your doctor.

Take this drug regularly even if you feel better to get the full benefit from it. Preferably take medicine at the same time each day to avoid confusion.

Talk to your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse (your blood pressure readings increase).

What side effects does Valsartan (Diovan) have?

High blood pressure: The most commonly observed side effects with valsartan if you are taking it for high blood pressure such as a headache, dizziness, tiredness, abdominal pain.

Heart failure: The most commonly observed side effects with valsartan if you are taking it for heart failure such as dizziness, low blood pressure, diarrhoea, joint and back pain, tiredness, muscle weakness.

Increase survival: The most commonly observed side effects with valsartan if you are taking it to increase survival after you have had a heart attack include low blood pressure, cough and skin rash.

If any of the above side effects remain or get worse, talk to your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

9Get emergency medical assistance right away, if any of these severe side effects occur such as fainting, symptoms of hyperkalemia (high potassium blood level) like a slow/irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness.

This drug very rarely causes serious kidney problems or make them worse. Inform your doctor promptly, if you notice any signs of kidney problems like a change in the amount of urine

Allergic reaction to this medicine is very rare. However, get medical help promptly if you notice any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as rash, itching/swelling (face/tongue/throat), breathlessness.

This is not a full record of all possible side effects. If you mark other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

What are the precautions while using Valsartan (Diovan)?

Before using this drug, notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies.

Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist about medical history, mainly of liver disease, kidney problems, dehydration (severe loss of body water and minerals).

This medication may increase your blood potassium levels. Seek advice from your doctor before you use medicines, supplements, or salt substitutes that contain potassium.

Do not take alcoholic beverages until you have discussed with your doctor as alcohol may make the low blood pressure effect worse or increase the possibility of dizziness or fainting.

Do not take other medicines without consulting your doctor, primarily such as prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines for asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems, and herbal or vitamin supplements.

The use of is this medicine is not recommended during pregnancy as it may harm to the fetus. Consult your doctor for further details.

It is not clear whether this drug can passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What are the drug interactions of Valsartan (Diovan)?

Valsartan may interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be using. A drug interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works which can be harmful or hinder the drug from working well.

Do not start, stop, or alter the dose of the drug without consulting your doctor as your doctor may be monitoring you for possible drug interactions.

Some products may interact with this drug such as lithium, aliskiren, drugs that may increase the blood level of potassium (like ACE inhibitors including lisinopril/benazepril, birth control pills containing drospirenone).

Some medications contain inactive ingredients that could raise your blood pressure or worsen your heart failure. Tell your doctor what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs like ibuprofen/naproxen).

This drug may cause low blood pressure, and the risk of low blood pressure is higher if you also take diuretics (water pills). Examples of diuretics include hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide, spironolactone.

WARNINGS:

Pregnancy: Using this drug while you are pregnant can cause serious (possibly fatal) harm to your unborn baby. Therefore, it is essential to use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. Discuss with your doctor to use more reliable forms of birth control while taking this medication. If you think or you get pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Children: The safety of this medicine is not established in children below six years.

Low blood pressure: Valsartan may cause low blood pressure, which can make you feel faint or dizzy. If this occurs, inform your doctor right away.

Kidney problem: Taking valsartan when your renin-angiotensin system is activated, it may damage your kidneys. This medication in people with kidney problems can make kidney disease worse.

What are the forms and strengths of Valsartan (Diovan)?

Generic: Valsartan
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 40mg, 80mg, 160mg, 320mg

Brand: Diovan
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 40mg, 80mg, 160mg, 320mg

Brand: Prexxartan
Form: Oral solution
Strengths: 4mg/mL

What is the dosage of Valsartan (Diovan)?

Adult (17 to 64 years):

For Hypertension (high blood pressure):

Initial dose: 80 to160mg taken once per day.
Dose range: 80 to 320mg taken once per day.

For Heart Failure:

Initial dose: 40mg taken twice per day.
Dose range: 40 to160mg taken twice per day.
Maintenance dosage: 160mg taken twice per day.

For Increasing Survival after Heart Attack:

Initial dose: 20mg taken twice per day.
Dose range: 20 to160mg taken twice per day.
Maintenance dose: 160mg taken twice per day.

Pediatric:

Children (6 to 16 years):

Initial dose: 1.3mg/kg of body weight taken orally once per day (up to 40mg in 24 hours).
Dosage range: 1.3–2.7mg/kg of body weight taken once daily (up to 40 to 160mg total in 24 hours).

Child dose (0–5 years):

The use of valsartan is not recommended in children below 6 years of age as safety and efficacy has not been established.

For heart failure:

The use of valsartan is not recommended in children below 18 years.

For increasing survival after heart attack:

The use of valsartan is not recommended in children below 18 years.

Geriatric:

Older adults (65 years and above):

In older adults, the dose of the drug needs to be reduced, or given at a different schedule because older adults eliminate drugs more slowly. This causes the accumulation of medicine in the body. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose if you are an older person.

Dose considerations:

Valsartan has not been studied in people with severe kidney or liver problems. If possible, a different drug should be used. If valsartan must be used, your doctor may use a lower dosage and monitor for side effects.

Most common questions asked about Valsartan (Diovan) / Q&A’s:

Is Valsartan (Diovan) a blood thinner?

No, valsartan is not a blood thinner. It is a drug used for the treatment of high blood pressure.

is Valsartan (Diovan) safe for the kidneys?

Yes, it is not only safe, but it protects the kidneys in hypertensive patients. High blood pressure increases the workload on your heart and arteries, and if left untreated, it may result in kidney failure, heart failure and damage blood vessels present in the brain. However, lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes.

Can Valsartan (Diovan) be taken at night?

Most of the blood pressure medications are taken at night if prescribed once a day. However, valsartan is a long-acting, anti-hypertensive drug, and is usually taken once a day (in some cases twice a day), at night before bedtime, as it may cause dizziness in some patients at the beginning of the treatment. You can take valsartan at any time once you adjust to this drug. The best practice is to take this drug at the same time every day.

Disclaimer

TheMedPharma has made every effort to make sure that all the information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this website should not be considered as a substitute for the advice, knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or licensed health care professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subjected to changes if required. The lack of warnings or other information for a given drug does not mean that the drug or its combination is safe, effective or appropriate for use in all patients.