Side effects of diovan

Ask Your Doctor

The newly reported trial included just over 8,200 men followed for more than two decades. The men were participants in a larger, ongoing health study.

The participants were asked to recall the frequency of their pain-reliever use over a six-year period. None had high blood pressure at the beginning of the observation period, but about a quarter had it six years later.

After controlling for high blood pressure risk factors such as being overweight, smoking, and sedentary lifestyle, researchers found no obvious association between the frequency of pain- reliever use and hypertension.

The findings are published in the Sept. 12 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine.

Baltimore cardiologist David A. Meyerson, MD, tells WebMD that the findings are interesting but far from definitive because the participants may have underreported or even overreported their use of pain relievers.

Meyerson practices at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and is a national spokesman for the American Heart Association.

“I would hate for people who have heart or blood vessel disease or even hypertension to take from this study that they can use these drugs with impunity,” he says. “They need to discuss with their doctor whether taking these medications is safe and reasonable for them.”

Many common over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers have been shown to increase blood pressure. This effect can occur in both people with normal blood pressure and in those with already diagnosed high blood pressure (hypertension). Many common medications, not just pain relievers, can affect blood pressure because of the way that they affect signaling systems within the body. It is not commonly appreciated that pain relief drugs can have side effects that involve changes in blood pressure.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and others all have the capacity to increase blood pressure. The average increase is small, but the actual amount of increase can vary widely from individual to individual. This effect occurs at doses that are typically used for pain relief and reduction of inflammation. Moreover, these drugs can reduce the effect of many types of drugs used to treat elevated blood pressure. The effect on blood pressure seems to be due to a reduction in excretion of sodium and increased retention of water. Studies of NSAIDs showed that only low-dose aspirin (81 mg a day) did not have measurable effects on blood pressure.

Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol and other drugs, has been shown in some studies to cause a mild increase in blood pressure, but it hasn’t been associated with stroke or heart attack. Still, this medication has its own side effects and poses a risk of liver damage when taken in overly large doses. Prolonged use at high doses can also cause kidney failure.

Diovan

SIDE EFFECTS

Clinical Studies Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Adult Hypertension

Diovan (valsartan) has been evaluated for safety in more than 4,000 patients, including over 400 treated for over 6 months, and more than 160 for over 1 year. Adverse reactions have generally been mild and transient in nature and have only infrequently required discontinuation of therapy. The overall incidence of adverse reactions with Diovan was similar to placebo.

The overall frequency of adverse reactions was neither dose-related nor related to gender, age, race, or regimen. Discontinuation of therapy due to side effects was required in 2.3% of valsartan patients and 2.0% of placebo patients. The most common reasons for discontinuation of therapy with Diovan were headache and dizziness.

The adverse reactions that occurred in placebo-controlled clinical trials in at least 1% of patients treated with Diovan and at a higher incidence in valsartan (n=2,316) than placebo (n=888) patients included viral infection (3% vs. 2%), fatigue (2% vs. 1%), and abdominal pain (2% vs. 1%). Headache, dizziness, upper respiratory infection, cough, diarrhea, rhinitis, sinusitis, nausea, pharyngitis, edema, and arthralgia occurred at a more than 1% rate but at about the same incidence in placebo and valsartan patients.

In trials in which valsartan was compared to an ACE inhibitor with or without placebo, the incidence of dry cough was significantly greater in the ACE-inhibitor group (7.9%) than in the groups who received valsartan (2.6%) or placebo (1.5%). In a 129-patient trial limited to patients who had had dry cough when they had previously received ACE inhibitors, the incidences of cough in patients who received valsartan, HCTZ, or lisinopril were 20%, 19%, and 69% respectively (p <0.001).

Dose-related orthostatic effects were seen in less than 1% of patients. An increase in the incidence of dizziness was observed in patients treated with Diovan 320 mg (8%) compared to 10 to 160 mg (2% to 4%).

Diovan has been used concomitantly with hydrochlorothiazide without evidence of clinically important adverse interactions.

Other adverse reactions that occurred in controlled clinical trials of patients treated with Diovan (>0.2% of valsartan patients) are listed below. It cannot be determined whether these events were causally related to Diovan.

Body as a Whole: Allergic reaction and asthenia

Cardiovascular: Palpitations

Dermatologic: Pruritus and rash

Digestive: Constipation, dry mouth, dyspepsia, and flatulence

Musculoskeletal: Back pain, muscle cramps, and myalgia

Neurologic and Psychiatric: Anxiety, insomnia, paresthesia, and somnolence

Respiratory: Dyspnea

Special Senses: Vertigo

Urogenital: Impotence

Other reported events seen less frequently in clinical trials included chest pain, syncope, anorexia, vomiting, and angioedema.

Pediatric Hypertension

Diovan has been evaluated for safety in over 400 pediatric patients aged 6 to 17 years and more than 160 pediatric patients aged 6 months to 5 years. No relevant differences were identified between the adverse experience profile for pediatric patients aged 6 to 16 years and that previously reported for adult patients. Headache and hyperkalemia were the most common adverse events suspected to be study drug-related in older children (6 to 17 years old) and younger children (6 months to 5 years old), respectively. Hyperkalemia was mainly observed in children with underlying renal disease. Neurocognitive and developmental assessment of pediatric patients aged 6 to 16 years revealed no overall clinically relevant adverse impact after treatment with Diovan for up to 1 year.

Diovan is not recommended for pediatric patients under 6 years of age. In a study (n=90) of pediatric patients (1 to 5 years), two deaths and three cases of on-treatment transaminase elevations were seen in the one-year open-label extension phase. These 5 events occurred in a study population in which patients frequently had significant co-morbidities. A causal relationship to Diovan has not been established. In a second study in which 75 children aged 1 to 6 years were randomized, no deaths and one case of marked liver transaminase elevations occurred during a 1 year open-label extension.

Heart Failure

The adverse experience profile of Diovan in heart failure patients was consistent with the pharmacology of the drug and the health status of the patients. In the Valsartan Heart Failure Trial, comparing valsartan in total daily doses up to 320 mg (n=2,506) to placebo (n=2,494), 10% of valsartan patients discontinued for adverse reactions vs. 7% of placebo patients.

The table shows adverse reactions in double-blind short-term heart failure trials, including the first 4 months of the Valsartan Heart Failure Trial, with an incidence of at least 2% that were more frequent in valsartan-treated patients than in placebo-treated patients. All patients received standard drug therapy for heart failure, frequently as multiple medications, which could include diuretics, digitalis, beta-blockers. About 93% of patients received concomitant ACE inhibitors.

Discontinuations occurred in 0.5% of valsartan-treated patients and 0.1% of placebo patients for each of the following: elevations in creatinine and elevations in potassium.

Other adverse reactions with an incidence greater than 1% and greater than placebo included headache NOS, nausea, renal impairment NOS, syncope, blurred vision, upper abdominal pain and vertigo. (NOS = not otherwise specified).

From the long-term data in the Valsartan Heart Failure Trial, there did not appear to be any significant adverse reactions not previously identified.

Post-Myocardial Infarction

The safety profile of Diovan was consistent with the pharmacology of the drug and the background diseases, cardiovascular risk factors, and clinical course of patients treated in the post-myocardial infarction setting. The table shows the percentage of patients discontinued in the valsartan and captopriltreated groups in the Valsartan in Acute Myocardial Infarction Trial (VALIANT) with a rate of at least 0.5% in either of the treatment groups.

Discontinuations due to renal dysfunction occurred in 1.1% of valsartan-treated patients and 0.8% of captopril-treated patients.

Postmarketing Experience

The following additional adverse reactions have been reported in postmarketing experience:

Hypersensitivity: There are rare reports of angioedema. Some of these patients previously experienced angioedema with other drugs including ACE inhibitors. Diovan should not be re-administered to patients who have had angioedema.

Digestive: Elevated liver enzymes and very rare reports of hepatitis

Renal: Impaired renal function, renal failure

Clinical Laboratory Tests: Hyperkalemia

Dermatologic: Alopecia, bullous dermatitis

Blood and Lymphatic: There are very rare reports of thrombocytopenia

Vascular: Vasculitis

Rare cases of rhabdomyolysis have been reported in patients receiving angiotensin II receptor blockers.

Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Diovan (Valsartan)

Diovan Side Effects

Generic Name: valsartan

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jan 29, 2019.

  • Overview
  • Side Effects
  • Dosage
  • Professional
  • Interactions
  • More

Note: This document contains side effect information about valsartan. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Diovan.

In Summary

Common side effects of Diovan include: dizziness and increased serum potassium. Other side effects include: hypotension. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to valsartan: oral tablet

Warning

Oral route (Capsule; Tablet; Solution)

When pregnancy is detected, discontinue valsartan as soon as possible. Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and death to the developing fetus.

Along with its needed effects, valsartan (the active ingredient contained in Diovan) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking valsartan:

Less common

  • Bloody urine
  • cold sweats
  • confusion
  • decreased frequency or amount of urine
  • difficult breathing
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying position
  • fainting
  • increased thirst
  • irregular heartbeat
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • weight gain

Rare

  • Chills
  • fever
  • hoarseness
  • sore throat
  • swelling of the mouth, hands, or feet
  • trouble with swallowing or breathing (sudden)

Incidence not known

  • Dark urine
  • general tiredness and weakness
  • light-colored stools
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • yellow eyes and skin

Some side effects of valsartan may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • back pain
  • blurred vision
  • cold or flu-like symptoms
  • coughing
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with moving
  • headache
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • pain, swelling, or redness in the joints

Incidence not known

  • Hair loss
  • thinning of the hair

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to valsartan: oral capsule, oral tablet

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 14%), dizziness (up to 14%)

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Vertigo

Respiratory

Common (1% to 10%): Cough

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dyspnea

Hypersensitivity

A 71-year-old woman experienced an acute onset of angioedema and a photosensitive pruritic rash after 3 months of valsartan (the active ingredient contained in Diovan) therapy. Her symptoms dissipated and the rash resolved after treatment with subcutaneous epinephrine, intravenous methylprednisolone, diphenhydramine, and emollient cream.

A unique case of dose-dependent, valsartan-induced angioedema has been reported. Two hours after initiating a dose increase (160 to 320 mg/day) of valsartan, a patient developed angioedema (i.e., swelling of lips and tongue). Symptoms resolved following a reduction in dose to the original dosage of 160 mg/day.

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Angioedema

Cardiovascular

Common (1% to 10%): Symptomatic hypotension in 5.5% of heart failure patients in clinical trials

Rare (less than 0.1%): Palpitations, chest pain

Frequency not reported: Dizziness related to orthostatic hypotension

Postmarketing reports: Heart failure

Metabolic

Common (1% to 10%): Hyperkalemia, hyponatremia

Renal

Frequency not reported: Impaired renal function, increases in serum creatinine concentrations, blood urea nitrogen, and potassium

Postmarketing reports: Renal failure

Dermatologic

Rare (less than 0.1%): Pruritus, rash, alopecia

Postmarketing reports: Bullous dermatitis

Gastrointestinal

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, dyspepsia, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, flatulence

Postmarketing reports: Taste disturbance (i.e., altered sensitivity of basic tastes) has been reported following repeated dosing

Musculoskeletal

Common (1% to 10%): Back pain, muscle cramps, myalgias

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Rhabdomyolysis

Psychiatric

Frequency not reported: Anxiety, insomnia, paresthesias, somnolence

Genitourinary

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Impotence

Hematologic

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hematocrit decreased, hemoglobin decreased, neutropenia

Postmarketing reports: Thrombocytopenia, vasculitis

Hepatic

Valsartan-associated hepatotoxicity in a patient with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBs-Ag) positivity (without signs and symptoms) has been reported. After 1 month of treatment with valsartan (the active ingredient contained in Diovan) this patient developed pruritic erythematous skin changes, nausea, jaundice, right subcostal abdominal pain, elevated liver enzymes, and mild hepatomegaly. Signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity resolved within 2 to 3 weeks following discontinuation of valsartan and the patient remained asymptomatic after 6 months of follow-up.

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Hepatitis

Frequency not reported: Hepatic enzymes increased

1. “Product Information. Diovan (valsartan).” Novartis Pharmaceuticals, East Hanover, NJ.

2. McInnes GT “Clinical advantage of valsartan.” Cardiology 91 (1999): 14-8

3. Oparil S, Dyke S, Harris F, et al. “The efficacy and safety of valsartan compared with placebo in the treatment of patients with essential hypertension.” Clin Ther 18 (1996): 797-810

4. Cerner Multum, Inc. “UK Summary of Product Characteristics.” O 0

5. Waeber B, Burnier M, Nussberger J, Brunner HR “Experience with angiotensin II antagonists in hypertensive patients.” Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 23 ( Suppl (1996): s142-6

6. Holwerda NJ, Fogari R, Angeli P, et al. “Valsartan, a new angiotensin II antagonist for the treatment of essential hypertension: efficacy and safety compared with placebo and enalapril.” J Hypertens 14 (1996): 1147-115

7. Benz J, Oshrain C, Henry D, Avery C, Chiang YT, Gatlin M “Valsartan, a new angiotensin II receptor antagonist: a double-blind study comparing the incidence of cough with lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide.” J Clin Pharmacol 37 (1997): 101-7

8. Irons BK, Kumar A “Valsartan-induced angioedema.” Ann Pharmacother 37 (2003): 1024-7

9. Frye CB, Pettigrew TJ “Angioedema and photosensitive rash induced by valsartan.” Pharmacotherapy 18 (1998): 866-8

10. Burnier M, Roch-Ramel F, Brunner HR “Renal effects of angiotensin II receptor blockade in normotensive subjects.” Kidney Int 49 (1996): 1787-90

11. Ziai F, Ots M, Provoost AP, Troy JL, Rennke HG, Brenner BM, Mackenzie HS “The angiotensin receptor antagonist, irbesartan, reduces renal injury in experimental chronic renal failure.” Kidney Int Suppl 57 (1996): s132-6

12. Burnier M, Hagman M, Nussberger J, Biollaz J, Armagnac C, Brouard R, Weber B, Brunner HR “Short-term and sustained renal effects of angiotensin II receptor blockade in healthy subjects.” Hypertension 25 (1995): 602-9

14. Tsuruoka S, Wakaumi M, Ioka T, et al. “Angiotensin II receptor blocker-induces blunted taste sensitivity: comparison of candesartan and valsartan.” Br J Clin Pharmacol 60 (2005): 204-7

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.

Related questions

  • What is the strength of Prexxartan (valsartan) oral solution?
  • Losartan vs Valsartan – What’s the difference between them?

Medical Disclaimer

More about Diovan (valsartan)

  • During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
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  • Drug class: angiotensin receptor blockers
  • FDA Alerts (9)

Consumer resources

  • Diovan
  • Diovan (Valsartan Capsules)
  • Diovan (Valsartan Tablets)
  • Diovan (Advanced Reading)

Other brands: Prexxartan

Professional resources

  • Diovan (FDA)
  • … +2 more

Other Formulations

  • Diovan HCT

Related treatment guides

  • Heart Attack
  • Heart Failure
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Left Ventricular Dysfunction

How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Valsartan belongs to a family of medications known as angiotensin II receptor blockers. These medications are used to lower mild-to-moderate high blood pressure. Valsartan is also used to treat chronic heart failure or to reduce the risk of death after a heart attack in people who cannot use another type of medication called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor.

Angiotensin II is a chemical that the body releases to cause the constriction of blood vessels. Valsartan blocks the action of angiotensin II, resulting in the relaxation of the blood vessels. This relaxation causes the blood pressure to drop. The full effects of valsartan are usually seen within 4 weeks. Valsartan may be used alone or in combination with a diuretic (water pill).

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

40 mg
Each yellow, ovaloid, scored on one side, slightly convex tablet with bevelled edges, debossed on one side with “DO” and with “NVR” on the other side, contains valsartan 40 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose; coating: black iron oxide, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, red iron oxide, titanium dioxide, and yellow iron oxide.

80 mg
Each pale red, round shaped tablet with bevelled edges, debossed with “DV” on one side and “NVR” on the other, contains valsartan 80 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose; coating: black iron oxide, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, red iron oxide, and titanium dioxide.

160 mg
Each grey orange, ovaloid shaped tablet with bevelled edges, debossed with “DX” on one side and “NVR” on the other, contains valsartan 160 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose; coating: black iron oxide, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, red iron oxide, titanium dioxide, and yellow iron oxide.

320 mg
Each dark grey-violet, ovaloid shaped tablet with bevelled edges, debossed with “DXL” on one side and “NVR” on the other, contains valsartan 320 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose; coating: black iron oxide, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, red iron oxide, titanium dioxide, and yellow iron oxide.

How should I use this medication?

To treat high blood pressure, the recommended starting dose of valsartan is 80 mg once daily. Reductions in blood pressure are often seen within 2 weeks, and the full effects on blood pressure are seen in about 4 weeks. Your doctor may recommend a dose increase if your blood pressure remains too high. The maximum recommended dose is 320 mg daily. A diuretic may also be added to help reduce blood pressure.

To treat heart failure, the recommended starting dose is 40 mg twice daily. This dose is then increased gradually to a maximum recommended dose of 160 mg twice daily.

After a heart attack, the recommended starting dose of valsartan is 20 mg twice daily. Your doctor may increase the dose slowly over 1 to 2 weeks to a target dosage of 160 mg twice daily if tolerated. Other medications, such as beta-blockers, may be taken in addition to valsartan to further reduce the risk of another heart attack.

Valsartan may be taken with or without food, but it should be taken the same way each day.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature and away from moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take valsartan if you:

  • are allergic to valsartan or any ingredients of the medication
  • have experienced angioedema as a reaction to any Angiotensin Receptor Blocker (ARB)
  • are pregnant or breast-feeding
  • are taking aliskiren and have diabetes or decreased renal function

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • back or leg pain
  • cough
  • decreased sexual ability
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty sleeping
  • dizziness or lightheadedness when rising from a lying or sitting position
  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • flu-like symptoms (sudden lack of energy, fever, cough, sore throat)
  • headache
  • muscle cramps
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Although most of the side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • abdominal pain
  • fainting
  • increased frequency of cold symptoms (ear, head, and nose congestion; sneezing; sore throat; fever)
  • irregular heartbeat
  • signs of anemia (low red blood cells; e.g., dizziness, pale skin, unusual tiredness or weakness, shortness of breath)
  • signs of bleeding (e.g., bloody nose, blood in urine, coughing blood, bleeding gums, cuts that don’t stop bleeding)
  • signs of heart problems (e.g., difficulty breathing when lying down, swelling feet or ankles, tiring easily)
  • signs of kidney problems (e.g., decreased urination, nausea, vomiting, swelling of the feet and ankles)
  • signs of inflamed blood vessels (e.g., purplish-red spots, fever, itching)
  • signs of liver problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools)
  • signs of too much potassium in the body (e.g., irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, generally feeling unwell)
  • unexplained muscle pain or weakness

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., swelling of face or throat, hives, or difficulty breathing)
  • signs of a severe skin reaction such as blistering, peeling, a rash covering a large area of the body, a rash that spreads quickly, or a rash combined with fever or discomfort

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Valsartan may cause drowsiness or dizziness, affecting your ability to drive or operate machinery. Avoid these and other hazardous tasks until you have determined how this medication affects you.

Kidney problems: Valsartan may affect the function of the kidneys, especially for those people who already have kidney problems. Taking aliskiren can make these effects worse, and should not be taken with valsartan. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Liver function: Valsartan is broken down by the liver. Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.

This medication may also cause a decrease in liver function. If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.

Low blood pressure: Occasionally, a larger-than-expected decrease in blood pressure occurs after taking valsartan. In some cases, this happens after the first dose. It is more likely to occur if you take diuretics (water pills), are taking aliskiren, have a reduced salt intake, are on dialysis, or are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting. Blood pressure should be monitored more often in these situations. Those who have low blood pressure or are just starting this medication should move slowly from a reclining to an upright position to reduce the risk of dizziness.

Pregnancy: Valsartan should not be taken by pregnant women as it can cause harm to an unborn child. If you are planning to become pregnant, discuss alternative medications for blood pressure control with your doctor. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, stop taking it and tell your doctor at once.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if valsartan passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for children.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between valsartan and any of the following:

  • aldesleukin
  • aliskiren
  • alpha blockers (e.g., alfuzosin, doxazosin, tamsulosin)
  • alpha agonists (e.g., clonidine, methyldopa)
  • amifostine
  • amphetamines (e.g., dextroamphetamine)
  • angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs; e.g., captopril, lisinopril, ramipril)
  • other angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs; e.g., candasartan, irbesartan, losartan)
  • barbiturates (e.g., butalbital, pentobarbital phenobarbital)
  • beta-adrenergic blockers (e.g., atenolol, propranolol, sotalol)
  • brimonidine
  • calcium channel blockers (e.g., amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil)
  • canagliflozin
  • ciprofloxacin
  • cyclosporine
  • diuretics (water pills; e.g., furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, indapamide)
  • duloxetine
  • eltrombopag
  • ephedra
  • guanfacine
  • heparin and low-molecular weight heparins (e.g., dalteparin, tinzaparin)
  • hydralazine
  • lithium
  • methylphenidate
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs; e.g., moclobemide, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine)
  • medications that increase the level of potassium in the blood (e.g., spironolactone, amiloride, triamterene, or salt substitutes that contain potassium)
  • nitrates (e.g., nitroglycerin, isosorbide dinitrate, isosorbide mononitrate)
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs; e.g., diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)
  • pentoxifylline
  • phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors (e.g., sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil)
  • potassium supplements
  • quetiapine
  • quinine
  • risperidone
  • rituximab
  • sodium phosphates
  • tolvaptan
  • trimethoprim
  • yohimbine

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Diovan

Generic Name: valsartan (val SAR tan)
Brand Names: Diovan

Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD Last updated on May 1, 2019.

  • Overview
  • Side Effects
  • Dosage
  • Professional
  • Interactions
  • More

What is Diovan?

Diovan (valsartan) is an type of blood pressure medication called an ARB (angiotensin II receptor antagonist). Diovan 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 sometimes given together with other blood pressure medications.

Diovan is also used in adults to treat heart failure, and to lower the risk of death after a heart attack.

Important Information

Do not use Diovan if you are pregnant. Stop using this medicine and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

If you have diabetes, do not use valsartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

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.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Diovan if you are allergic to valsartan.

If you have diabetes, do not use Diovan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

You may also need to avoid taking valsartan with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.

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;

  • diabetes;

  • if you are on a low-salt-diet; or

  • if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any blood pressure medication.

Do not use if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away. Valsartan can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester.

You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Diovan should not be given to a child younger than 6 years old.

How should I take Diovan?

Take Diovan exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.

Take Diovan at the same time(s) each day, with or without food.

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 medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

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

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

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.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose can lead to low blood pressure and high heart rate, causing symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, sweating, chest pain, or a fast heartbeat. Heart failure and shock could occur.

What should I avoid while taking Diovan?

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of valsartan.

Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes unless your doctor has told you to.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy.

Diovan side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have 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; or

  • muscle weakness, tingly feeling.

Common Diovan side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness, tired feeling;

  • flu symptoms;

  • stomach pain, diarrhea; or

  • back pain, joint pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Diovan?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using during your treatment with Diovan, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with valsartan, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Diovan only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Copyright 1996-2020 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 17.01.

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Medical Disclaimer

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking valsartan (Diovan)?

You should not use valsartan if you are allergic to it.

If you have diabetes, do not use valsartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

You may also need to avoid taking valsartan with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • a heart condition other than one being treated with valsartan;
  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • if you are on a low-salt-diet; or
  • if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any blood pressure medication.

Do not use if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away. Valsartan can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester.

You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Valsartan should not be given to a child younger than 6 years old.

How should I take valsartan (Diovan)?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Take valsartan at the same time(s) each day, with or without food.

If a child taking valsartan 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 medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

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

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.

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.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

The reason isn’t fully known, but Goldberg says that these medications may interfere with the growth cycle of hair. Normally, hairs grow for a few years, then pause for weeks or months, then grow again. About 80 to 90 percent of your hair follicles are in the active growing phase at any given time. Drugs may increase the number of resting follicles, causing a diffuse shedding of the hair called telogen effluvium.

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Aromatase inhibitors, which block the production of the hormone estrogen and are given to some women with breast cancer, can also cause hair thinning and loss. Goldberg says the effect seems to mimic the genetic hair loss some women experience as they age and their hormone levels change. Cancer chemotherapy drugs also cause hair loss because the drugs attack rapidly growing cells like those in the hair follicles.

It’s not known why some people are more susceptible to these effects than others. “In general, most hair loss due to medications is reversible,” she says, though sometimes the volume is not the same as before. In the meantime, products can help mask hair loss or make the hair appear fuller.

Have a question? E-mail [email protected]

Common Medications That Cause Hair Loss

Some medications cause only temporary hair loss. However, some medications and forms of treatment can lead to male or female pattern baldness and permanent hair loss. Yikes!

It can be helpful to understand what medications cause hair loss. We’re all unique: not all medications with the potential to cause hair loss will affect everyone equally. The severity of the effects of drugs that cause hair loss can depend on the drug itself, the dosage you’re taking and your body’s sensitivity to the drug or treatment.

The Top 10 Medications that Cause Hair Loss

Wondering what medications cause hair loss? Here are 10 of the main medications that can cause temporary or permanent hair loss:

1.) Acne medications (that contain Vitamin A): The key ingredient in many acne medications is Vitamin A, but in its processed form (retinoids, retinol). When taken in large doses, processed Vitamin A can lead to telogen effluvium, which is when the hair follicles go into their resting phase (telogen) too early, causing more hair to fall out. The effects often begin two to four months after a person begins the medication. Medications with Vitamin A include Accutane (Isotretinoin) and Retin-A (Tretinoin). A possible solution for hair loss while taking a Vitamin A-based medication is to lower the dosage.

2.) Antibiotics and Antifungals: Antibiotics are known to reduce hemoglobin and Vitamin B levels, which can sometimes make hair fall out faster. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. Hemoglobin and myoglobin are also important for storing iron. Decreased hemoglobin leads to iron deficiency, which in turn causes hair to become brittle or dry, or even to fall out. Vitamin B and B-Complex Vitamins are important for maintaining healthy hair growth, thickness and shine.

3.) Anticonvulsants/Epileptic medications: Anticonvulsants, or anti-seizure medications, can also compromise hair health. Medications include trimethadione (Tridione) and valproic acid (Depakote).

4.) Antidepressants, anti-anxiety and mood disorder medications: Certain antidepressant medications are known to cause telogen effluvium, such as:

5.) Birth control pills/female hormones: Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapies can affect hormonal balance and are among the drugs that cause hair loss. Estrogen and Progesterone (female hormones) are hormonal medications that have been linked to female pattern baldness and telogen effluvium in women.

6.) Blood pressure medications: Does Lisinopril cause hair loss? Blood pressure lowering medications such as Beta-blockers and Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) can lead to telogen effluvium, such as:

7.) Blood-clotting medications: Blood thinners such as warfarin sodium (Panwarfarin, Sofarin, Coumadin) and heparin can cause hair loss.

8.) Chemotherapy and anti-cancer drugs: Chemotherapy does more than attack cancer cells; it attacks all of our healthy cells, including hair follicles. Some chemotherapies that can cause hair loss include: Adriamycin, Cyclophosphamide, Cactinomycin, Docetaxel, and Doxorubicin.

9.) Cholesterol-lowering drugs: Cholesterol drugs including Atromid-S (clofibrate) and Lopid (gemfirbozil) can cause hair loss. Hair loss is a very rare side effect of statin-based cholesterol-lowering drugs. According to studies, cholesterol inhibitors such as Lipitor can cause an increase in hair shedding in only 1% of cases.

10.) Male hormones: Testosterone or anabolic steroids may cause male pattern baldness.

Other medications that cause hair loss

What medications cause hair loss aside from the top 10? Some additional medications that can cause hair loss include:

  • Gout treatment drugs
  • Immunosuppressant drugs
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
  • Drugs for Parkinson’s disease
  • Steroids
  • Thyroid medications
  • Weight loss drugs

Ensuring the proper balance

It’s important to ensure proper balance when taking medications. Getting the right amounts of vitamins and minerals in your diet is crucial for maintaining healthy hair and to prevent excessive hair shedding. While many drugs may not be widely associated with hair loss, almost every drug impacts nutrient deficiency, which can contribute to hair health. One helpful resource is MyTavin.com, where you can check drugs for nutrient depletion.

If an adverse effect of your medication is hair loss, you might consider taking a comprehensive supplement for hair to support a strong, healthy environment in which hair can flourish.

For example, if you are taking an antibiotic or antifungal that causes hair loss as a side effect, it would be smart to incorporate a B-Complex Vitamin dietary supplement and/or iron supplement to replenish any Vitamin B and iron deficiencies. Conversely, if you are taking too much Vitamin A, you might consider decreasing the dosage. The key is getting the right dosage your body needs to do its job.

One way you can maintain proper amounts of vitamins and minerals in your diet is to take a hair health supplement. A good hair health supplement provides nutrition to hair and will include all of the necessary vitamins and minerals your hair needs for healthy growth in the appropriate amounts.

Many herbs have historically been used in Chinese or Ayurvedic cultures and medicine to treat symptoms of certain diseases such as hypertension, blood clotting, bacterial and fungal infections, cholesterol, etc. Today, research is showing that some of these herbs can support healthy hair growth.

For example, Ashwagandha is an Indian herb that historically has been used to alleviate or help with some symptoms of a number of diseases, including depression and anxiety. Ashwaghanda is a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger, providing benefits for healthier hair, and can decrease cortisol, the “stress hormone.”

Curcumin is a substance found in turmeric, a plant that is a main ingredient in curry powder. Turmeric has been used in Indian and Asian medicine to treat a variety of health conditions because of its potential anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and even anticancer properties. Studies show that Curcumin’s properties help to optimize the immune system and other things that can slow hair growth.

If you have concerns about any medications you’re taking comprising your hair health, talk to your doctor. And remember, Nutrafol is 100% drug-free and has on-staff naturopathic doctors available for personal consultations when you subscribe.

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