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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Valsartan

IMPORTANT WARNING:

Do not take valsartan if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking valsartan, call your doctor immediately.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Valsartan is used to treat high blood pressure. It blocks the action of certain chemicals that tighten the blood vessels, so blood flows more smoothly.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Valsartan comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a 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.

Valsartan controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. Continue to take valsartan even if you feel well. Do not stop taking valsartan without talking to your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

Valsartan is sometimes used to treat congestive heart failure. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking valsartan,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to valsartan, candesartan (Atacand), benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril (Monopril), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), irbesartan (Avapro), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), losartan (Cozaar), moexipril (Univasc), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), sulfas, telmisartan (Micardis), trandolapril (Mavik), or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially barbiturates; cholestyramine (Questran); colestipol (Colestid); diuretics (''water pills''); lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid); medications for diabetes; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen [Motrin, Advil], naproxen [Naprosyn, Aleve], and others); other medications for high blood pressure; potassium supplements; and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart, kidney, or liver disease or diabetes.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking valsartan.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how valsartan will affect you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Talk to your doctor before using salt substitutes containing potassium. If your doctor prescribes a low-salt or low-sodium diet, follow these directions carefully.

What should I do if I forget 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 medication cause?

Although side effects from valsartan are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • congestion
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • trouble sleeping
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • fever
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • excessive tiredness

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, arms, or legs
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • fainting
  • rash

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.

In case of emergency/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.

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.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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