Valsartan (By mouth)

Introduction

Valsartan (val-SAR-tan)

Treats high blood pressure and heart failure. May also prolong life after a heart attack.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Diovan

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to valsartan, or if you are pregnant.

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.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • For children who cannot swallow the tablets, your pharmacist will mix this medicine as a liquid suspension. Shake the bottle of suspension well for at least 10 seconds before giving it to your child.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet.
  • Take all other medicines your doctor has prescribed to treat your condition.

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 bottle of suspension 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 leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • 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 are using potassium supplements, salt substitutes, or certain diuretics or "water pills" (such as amiloride, spironolactone, triamterene, Aldactazide®, Aldactone®, Dyazide®, Maxzide®, Midamor®, or Moduretic®). Tell your doctor if you are also using other blood pressure medicines (such as atenolol, metoprolol, Accupril®, Altace®, Lotensin®, Lotrel®, Monopril®, Prinivil®, Vasotec®, Zestril®, or Toprol®), cyclosporine (such as Gengraf®, Neoral®, or Sandimmune®), rifampin (Rifadin® or Rimactane®), or ritonavir (Norvir®).

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 disease, liver disease, congestive heart failure, dehydration, or hyponatremia (low sodium in your blood).
  • This medicine may make you dizzy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • If you stop using this medicine, your blood pressure may go up. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Even if you feel well, do not stop using the medicine without asking your doctor.

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.
  • Chest pain.
  • Confusion, weakness, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or lips.
  • Fast or slow heartbeat.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, or body aches.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

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

  • Back or joint pain.
  • Diarrhea or stomach pain.
  • Dry cough.
  • Headache.
  • Loss of strength.
  • Skin rash.

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

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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