Valsartan is used for:
Treating high blood pressure alone or with other medicines. It is used to treat heart failure. It is used in certain patients to decrease the risk of death after a heart attack. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Valsartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). It works by relaxing the blood vessels. This helps to lower blood pressure.
Do NOT use Valsartan if:
you are allergic to any ingredient in Valsartan
you are pregnant
the patient is a child with severe kidney problems
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, planning 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 food, medicines or other substances
if you are able to become pregnant
if you have a history of angioedema (eg, swelling of the hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing; hoarseness), including angioedema caused by treatment with an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor (eg: lisinopril)
if you have a history of heart problems (eg: heart failure), blood vessel problems, blood flow problems, liver or kidney problems, gallbladder problems or diabetes
if you have a history of stroke or recent heart attack
if you are dehydrated or have low blood volume
if you have electrolyte problems (eg: high blood potassium levels, low blood sodium levels) or are on a low-salt (sodium) diet
if you are on dialysis or are scheduled to have major surgery
if you take another medicine for blood pressure or heart problems
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Valsartan. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
Diuretics (eg: furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide) because the risk of low blood pressure may be increased
Potassium-sparing diuretics (eg, spironolactone, triamterene) or potassium supplements because the risk of high blood potassium levels may be increased
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, celecoxib, ibuprofen, indomethacin) because they may decrease Valsartan's effectiveness
Lithium because the risk of its 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.
An extra patient leaflet is available with Valsartan. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
Take Valsartan by mouth with or without food.
Take Valsartan on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Taking Valsartan at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
Continue to take Valsartan even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
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 drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision. 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 lightheadedness, dizziness 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.
Valsartan may cause a serious side effect called angioedema. Contact your doctor at once if you develop swelling of the face, hands, lips, eyes, throat or tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing; or hoarseness.
Valsartan may not work as well in black patients. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
Dehydration, vomiting, excessive sweating or diarrhea may increase the risk of low blood pressure. Contact your health care provider at once if any of these occur.
Check with your doctor before you use a salt substitute or a product that has potassium in it.
Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Valsartan before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care or surgery.
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.
If you have high blood pressure, do not use nonprescription products that contain stimulants. These products may include diet pills or cold medicines. Contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Lab tests, including blood pressure, blood electrolyte levels and heart, kidney or liver function, 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 younger than 6 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Valsartan may cause birth defects or fetal death if you take it while you are pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor immediately. 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:
Diarrhea; dizziness; headache; joint or back pain; mild flu-like symptoms; stomach pain; tiredness.
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); blurred vision; dark urine; change in the amount of urine produced; chest pain; fainting; difficulty swallowing; fast, slow or irregular heartbeat; muscle pain or cramps; severe or persistent stomach pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); symptoms of low blood pressure (eg, fainting, lightheadedness, severe dizziness); unusual bruising or bleeding; yellowing of the eyes or skin.