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- What is valsartan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for valsartan?
- Is valsartan available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for valsartan?
- What are the side effects of valsartan?
- What is the dosage for valsartan?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with valsartan?
- Is valsartan safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about valsartan?
What is valsartan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Valsartan is an oral medication that is used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. It belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) which also includes irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), and candesartan (Atacand). Angiotensin, formed in the blood by the action of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), is a powerful chemical that attaches to angiotensin receptors found in many tissues but primarily on smooth muscle cells of blood vessels. Angiotensin's attachment to the receptors causes the blood vessels to narrow (vasoconstrict) which leads to an increase in blood pressure (hypertension ). Valsartan blocks the angiotensin receptor. By blocking the action of angiotensin, valsartan dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. Valsartan was approved by the FDA in December 1996.
What are the side effects of valsartan?
Valsartan is generally well-tolerated. The most common side effects are:
Other important side effects are:
Quick GuideHow to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips
What is the dosage for valsartan?
The usual dose of valsartan for adults with high blood pressure is 80 to 160 mg once daily. The maximum dose is 320 mg daily. Maximum blood pressure reduction occurs within 4 weeks. For congestive heart failure, the usual dose is 40 mg twice daily. The doses may be increased to 80-160 mg twice daily. The initial dose after a heart attack is 20 mg twice daily. The dose may be increased to 160 mg twice daily if tolerated without side effects.
Which drugs or supplements interact with valsartan?
Combining valsartan with potassium-sparing diuretics (for example., spironolactone (Aldactone), triamterene, amiloride), potassium supplements, or salt substitutes containing potassium may lead to hyperkalemia (elevated potassium in the blood) and in heart failure patients, it increases serum creatinine, a blood test used for monitoring function of the kidneys.
Combining valsartan or other ARBs with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in patients who are elderly, fluid-depleted (including those on diuretic therapy), or with poor kidney function may result in reduced kidney function, including kidney failure. These effects are usually reversible. There have been reports that aspirin and other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, etc.), indomethacin (Indocin, Indocin-SR), and naproxen (Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve) may reduce the effects of ARBs.
Is valsartan safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
When used in the second or third trimester of pregnancy , valsartan and similar drugs can cause injury and even death to the fetus. Valsartan should not be used during pregnancy. When pregnancy is detected, valsartan should be stopped as soon as possible.
It is not known whether valsartan is secreted into human milk. Valsartan is secreted into the milk of rats.
What else should I know about valsartan?
What preparations of valsartan are available?
Tablets: 40, 80, 160 and 320 mg. Tablets are scored and can be split.
How should I keep valsartan stored?
Capsules should be stored at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F).
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
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Valsartan (Diovan) is an ARB drug prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy efficacy should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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Angiotensin II Receptor BlockersAngiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are a class of drugs prescribed to control blood pressure, treat heart failure, and prevent kidney failure in people with diabetes or high blood pressure. Examples of ARBs include candesartan (Atacand), eprosartan (Teveten), irbesartan (Avapro), telmisartan (Micardis), valsartan (Diovan), losartan (Cozaar), and olmesartan (Benicar). Side effects, drug interactions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
candesartanCandesartan cilexetil (Atacand) is a medication prescribed to treat high blood pressure. It is also used for reducing the chance of death or hospitalization due to heart failure. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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losartanLosartan (Cozaar) is a medication prescribed fro the treatment of high blood pressure. Losartan (Cozaar) belongs to a class of drugs referred to as ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers). Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
losartan and hydrochlorothiazideLosartan and hydrochlorothiazide (Hyzaar) is a combination drug ( losartan [Cozaar] and hydrochlorothiazide prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
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telmisartanTelmisartan (Micardis) is in the drug class of angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and is prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes (in patients aged 55 years and older). Side effects, dosing information, drug interactions, and warnings and precautions should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
VALSARTAN W/ HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE-ORALValsartan and hydrochlorothiazide (Diovan HCT) is a combination of two prescription medicaiton used to treat high blood pressure. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.