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Generic Name: Valsartan (val-SAR-tan)
Brand Name: Diovan

When used in pregnancy after the third month, Valsartan can cause injury and even death to the developing fetus. Stop taking Valsartan and contact your health care provider as soon as possible if you suspect that you are pregnant.

Valsartan is used for:

Treating high blood pressure alone or with other medicines. It is also used for treating heart failure in patients who do not tolerate angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

Valsartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker. It works by blocking a hormone that tightens blood vessels. This causes blood vessels to relax (dilate), which lowers blood pressure and decreases the workload on the heart.

Do NOT use Valsartan if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Valsartan
  • you are past your first trimester of pregnancy

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Valsartan :

Some medical conditions may interact with Valsartan . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have dehydration or low blood sodium, or kidney or liver problems
  • if you have heart failure or you have had a heart attack

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Valsartan . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Potassium-sparing diuretics (eg, amiloride) and potassium supplements because high blood potassium levels may occur and cause listlessness, confusion, abnormal skin sensations of the arms and legs, heaviness of limbs, slowed heart rate, irregular heart rhythm, or stopping of the heart when used with Valsartan
  • Lithium because its actions and side effects may be increased by Valsartan

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Valsartan may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Valsartan :

Use Valsartan as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Valsartan by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Take Valsartan on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
  • If you miss a dose of Valsartan , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Valsartan .

Important safety information:

  • Valsartan may cause dizziness or drowsiness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Valsartan with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Valsartan may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
  • Patients who take medicine for high blood pressure often feel tired or run down for a few weeks after starting treatment. Be sure to take your medicine even if you may not feel "normal." Tell your doctor if you develop any new symptoms.
  • Check with your doctor before you use a salt substitute or a product that has potassium in it.
  • Lab tests, including blood pressure monitoring, may be performed while you use Valsartan . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Valsartan should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not take Valsartan after the third month of pregnancy. It may cause injury or death to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor right away. It is not known if Valsartan is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Valsartan , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Valsartan :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Back pain; cough; diarrhea; dizziness; headache; joint pain; nausea; runny nose; sinus inflammation; sore throat; stomach pain; swelling; tiredness; upper respiratory tract infection; viral infection.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); decreased urination; fainting; irregular heartbeat; muscle pain; severe or persistent dizziness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include lightheadedness especially upon standing; very fast or slow heartbeat.

Proper storage of Valsartan :

Store Valsartan at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Valsartan out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Valsartan , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Valsartan is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Valsartan . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: November 1, 2006
Database Edition
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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Typical mistypes for Valsartan
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