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Valsartan (By mouth)

Valsartan (val-SAR-tan)

Treats high blood pressure and heart failure. May lower the risk of death 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:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to valsartan, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you. Take this medicine at the same time each day.
  • Oral 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.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Store the oral liquid at room temperature for up to 30 days or in the refrigerator for up to 75 days.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Do not use this medicine together with aliskiren if you have diabetes.
  • Some medicines can affect how valsartan works. Tell your doctor if you also use any of the following:
    • Cyclosporine
    • Diuretic (water pill), such as spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride
    • Lithium
    • NSAID pain or arthritis medicine, such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib
    • Rifampin
    • Ritonavir
  • Ask your doctor before you use any medicine, supplement, or salt substitute that contains potassium.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems, liver disease, heart or blood vessel problems (including heart failure), or a mineral imbalance (such as high potassium or low sodium levels).
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Kidney problems
    • High potassium levels
  • This medicine could lower your blood pressure too much, especially when you first use it or if you are dehydrated. Stand or sit up slowly if you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
  • Do not stop using this medicine without asking your doctor, even if you feel well. This medicine will not cure high blood pressure, but it will help keep it in a normal range. You may have to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

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 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


Last Updated: 12/4/2014


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