Diovan

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Generic Name: Diovan Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Diovan® (valsartan) used for?

Diovan® is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. Valsartan keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.

Diovan® is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults and children who are at least 6 years old. It is also used in adults to treat heart failure, and to lower the risk of death after a heart attack.

Diovan® is sometimes given together with other blood pressure medications.

How should I take Diovan® (valsartan)?

Take Diovan® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

You may take Diovan® with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.

If a child taking Diovan® cannot swallow a capsule whole, your pharmacist can mix the medicine into a liquid. Shake this liquid well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

You may have very low blood pressure while taking valsartan. Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Your kidney function may also need to be checked.

It may take 2 to 4 weeks of using this medicine before your blood pressure is under control. Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.

Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 4 weeks of treatment.

How do I store Diovan® (valsartan)?

Diovan® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Diovan® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Diovan® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Diovan® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Diovan® (valsartan)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Diovan® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

To make sure Diovan® is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • Kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis)
  • Liver disease
  • A heart condition, other than one being treated with valsartan
  • If you are on a low-salt-diet
  • If you are dehydrated
  • If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any blood pressure medication
  • If you have diabetes, do not use Diovan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo, Valturna)

In rare cases, Diovan® can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Diovan® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Diovan®. Diovan® is pregnancy risk category D, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Diovan® (valsartan)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction to Diovan®: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In rare cases, Diovan® can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Shortness of breath (even with mild exertion)
  • Little or no urinating, swelling, rapid weight gain
  • Weakness, confusion, increased thirst, loss of appetite, vomiting
  • Pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest
  • A light-headed feeling, like you might pass out
  • High potassium–slow heart rate, weak pulse, muscle weakness, tingly feeling

Common side effects may include:

  • Headache, dizziness, tired feeling
  • Flu symptoms
  • Stomach pain, diarrhea
  • Back pain, joint pain
  • Cough

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Diovan® (valsartan)?

Diovan® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Cyclosporine
  • A diuretic (water pill)
  • Lithium
  • Rifampin
  • Ritonavir
  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) – aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others

Does food or alcohol interact with Diovan® (valsartan)?

Diovan® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Diovan® (valsartan)?

Diovan® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Diovan® (valsartan).

What is the dose of Diovan® (valsartan) for an adult?

The recommended starting dose is 80 mg once daily when used as monotherapy in patients who are not volume-depleted. Diovan® may be used over a dose range of 80 mg to 320 mg daily, administered once-a-day.

The antihypertensive effect is substantially present within 2 weeks and maximal reduction is generally attained after 4 weeks. If additional antihypertensive effect is required, the dosage may be increased to 160 mg or 320 mg or a diuretic may be added. Addition of a diuretic has a greater effect than dose increases beyond 80 mg.

No initial dosage adjustment is required for elderly patients, for patients with mild or moderate renal impairment, or for patients with mild or moderate liver insufficiency. Care should be exercised with dosing of Diovan in patients with hepatic or severe renal impairment.

Diovan® may be administered with other antihypertensive agents. Diovan® may be administered with or without food.

Heart Failure

The recommended starting dose is 40 mg twice daily. Uptitration to 80 mg and 160 mg twice daily should be done to the highest dose, as tolerated by the patient. Consideration should be given to reducing the dose of concomitant diuretics. The maximum daily dose administered in clinical trials is 320 mg in divided doses.

Post-Myocardial Infarction

Diovan® may be initiated as early as 12 hours after a myocardial infarction. The recommended starting dose is 20 mg twice daily. Patients may be uptitrated within 7 days to 40 mg twice daily, with subsequent titrations to a target maintenance dose of 160 mg twice daily, as tolerated by the patient.

If symptomatic hypotension or renal dysfunction occurs, consideration should be given to a dosage reduction.

Diovan® may be given with other standard post-myocardial infarction treatment, including thrombolytics, aspirin, beta-blockers, and statins.

What is the dose of Diovan® (valsartan) for a child?

Hypertension

For children who can swallow tablets, the usual recommended starting dose is 1.3 mg/kg once daily (up to 40 mg total). The dosage should be adjusted according to blood pressure response. Doses higher than 2.7 mg/kg (up to 160 mg) once daily have not been studied in pediatric patients 6 to 16 years old.

For children who cannot swallow tablets, or children for whom the calculated dosage (mg/kg) does not correspond to the available tablet strengths of Diovan®, the use of a suspension is recommended. Follow the suspension preparation instructions below to administer valsartan as a suspension. When the suspension is replaced by a tablet, the dose of valsartan may have to be increased. The exposure to valsartan with the suspension is 1.6 times greater than with the tablet.

How is Diovan® (valsartan) available?

Diovan® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet: valsartan 40mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Diovan®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: August 14, 2017 | Last Modified: September 2, 2017

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