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Generic Name: valsartan (val SAR tan)
What is valsartan?
Valsartan is in a group of drugs called angiotensin II receptor antagonists. Valsartan keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.
Valsartan is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) or heart failure. It is also used to reduce the risk of death after a heart attack.
Valsartan may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about valsartan?Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. Valsartan may cause injury and even death to the unborn baby if you take it during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Use an effective form of birth control. Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Do not use this medication if you are allergic to valsartan, or if you are unable to urinate. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can lower your blood pressure and may increase some of the side effects of valsartan. Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking valsartan, unless your doctor has told you to.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking valsartan?Do not use this medication if you are allergic to valsartan, or if you are unable to urinate.
Before using valsartan, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use valsartan, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Valsartan may cause injury and even death to the unborn baby if you take it during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Do not use valsartan without your doctor"s consent if you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control. Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether valsartan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take valsartan?
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.Take this medication with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood pressure will need to be checked on a regular basis. Your kidney function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medication even if you feel fine. High blood pressure often has no symptoms.Store valsartan at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Symptoms of a valsartan overdose may include fast or slow heartbeat, feeling light-headed, or fainting.
What should I avoid while taking valsartan?Avoid drinking alcohol. It can lower your blood pressure and may increase some of the side effects of valsartan. Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking valsartan, unless your doctor has told you to.
Valsartan side effectsGet emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
Keep taking valsartan and talk with your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
What other drugs will affect valsartan?
Before taking valsartan, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use valsartan, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.
There may be other drugs not listed that can affect valsartan. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Where can I get more information?
What does my medication look like?
Valsartan is available with a prescription under the brand name Diovan. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.
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