(val sar' tan)
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Do not take valsartan if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while you are taking valsartan, stop taking valsartan and call your doctor immediately. Valsartan may cause death or serious injury to the fetus when taken in the last 6 months of pregnancy.
WHY is this medicine prescribed?
Valsartan is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. It is also used to treat congestive heart failure (condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to the rest of the body) and to improve survival after a heart attack. Valsartan is in a class of medications called angiotensin II receptor antagonists. It works by blocking the action of certain natural substances that tighten the blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow more smoothly and the heart to pump more efficiently.
HOW should this medicine be used?
Valsartan comes as a tablet to take by mouth. For the treatment of high blood pressure, it is usually taken once a day with or without food. For the treatment of heart failure or heart attack, it is usually taken twice a day with or without food. To help you remember to take valsartan, take it at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take valsartan exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of valsartan and gradually increase your dose.
Valsartan controls high blood pressure and heart failure but does not cure them. Your blood pressure may decrease during the first 2 weeks of your treatment, but it may take 4 weeks for you to notice the full benefit of valsartan. Continue to take valsartan even if you feel well. Do not stop taking valsartan without talking to your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?
Valsartan is also sometimes used to treat diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease in people with diabetes and high blood pressure). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?
Before taking valsartan,
What SPECIAL DIETARY instructions should I follow?
Do not use salt substitutes containing potassium without talking to your doctor. If your doctor prescribes a low-salt or low-sodium diet, follow these directions carefully.
What should I do IF I FORGET to take a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?
Valsartan may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately:
Valsartan may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at Web Site] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly to determine your response to valsartan.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.