Diovan (valsartan) is a medicinal product used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and heart attack.
In particular, the drug is prescribed to people who have problems with the functioning of their left ventricle.
Manufactured by Norvartis Pharmaceuticals, Diovan was originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996.
Capsules were removed from the market. Currently Diovan is available only in the form of tablets, which were approved by the FDA in 2001.
Diovan belongs to a group of drugs known as angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) that work by preventing the binding of angiotensin to its receptor.
Angiotensin – a chemical substance that produces an organism that can raise blood pressure, causing a narrowing of blood vessels. Its receptors are located on the blood vessels throughout the body.
You should not take Diovan if you are allergic to the active ingredient or any other ingredients of the drug. Before taking Diovan, talk with your doctor if you:
- Have diabetes and take Tekturna (aliskiren)
- Have a kidney disease
- A condition called angioedema
- Heart failure
- Stenosis of the mitral valve or stenosis of the aortic valve
- Take a combination of other blood pressure medications known as ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers
Pregnancy and Diovan
Diovan can lead to ugliness and death of the fetus.
Diovan should be taken only in situations where there are no other options available.
Regardless, you should tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking this medication.
You should also tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not recommended that nursing mothers take this medication.
- An increase in the laboratory indicator, called blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
In rare cases, people who take Diovan can develop a cough or complain of a headache. People who develop cough from taking Diovan, can find that it does not disappear when taking the drug.
Headache usually occurs in those who have just started taking Diovan. If the headache does not disappear or if you develop a cough, talk with your doctor.
Serious side effects
- High level of potassium
- Low blood pressure
- Viral infection
- Inflammation of the liver
- Low white blood cell count
- Loss of consciousness
- Pain in the upper abdomen
It is always important to share with your doctor and pharmacist all the medicines that you take.
You should not take Diovan if you take the following drugs:
- Tekturna (aliskiren)
- Any blood pressure medication belonging to a group called ACE inhibitors such as Lotensin (benazepril), Capoten (captopril), and Vasotec (enalapril)
Be careful if you take:
- Beta-blockers, such as Sectral (acebutolol), Kerlone (betaxolol), Zebeta (bisoprolol), and Coreg (carvedilol)
- Aspirin and aspirin-containing products
- Other angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), such as Atacand (candesartan) or Tevetan (eprosartan)
- Midadmor (Amiloride)
- Biaxin (clarithromycin)
- NSAIDs such as sulindac, diclofenac, etodolac, feniprofen, flurbiprofen, ibuprofen, etodolac
- Betapace and Betapace AF (sotalol)
- Azulphidine (sulfasalazine)
Diovan and salt substitutes
If you take Diovan, avoid using salt substitutes while cooking. Salt substitutes usually use potassium in place of sodium, and since Diovan alone can increase the potassium level, the intake of additional potassium can cause complications.
You should also avoid taking over-the-counter (OTC) potassium tablets without going to the doctor.
Diovan and alcohol
Drinking alcohol can increase blood pressure. You must avoid or limit the use of alcohol by taking Diovan.
Diovan and grapefruit juice
You should avoid eating grapefruit and its juice while taking Diovan.
Grapefruit juice slows down the process when the body is able to destroy the medicine, which can lead to the fact that the content of Diovan in the blood will rise to a dangerous level.
Diovan tablets are available in doses of 40 mg, 80 mg, 160 mg and 320 mg. For high blood pressure, doses range from 80 mg to 160 mg per day, but once your doctor finds the appropriate dose for you, you can take up to 320 mg per day.
If you have congestive heart failure, you can take 40 mg twice daily. Adults should take no more than 320 mg.
Diovan can be taken with or without food, but taking Diovan with food can actually reduce the absorption of the drug by almost 50 percent. For best results, try to take Diovan on an empty stomach.
If you suspect an overdose, immediately contact a poison control center or an emergency room.
Missed dose of Diovan
If you miss a dose of Diovan, try to take it as soon as you remember.
However, if it is time for the next dose, skip it and resume the regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed one.