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Why it's used

Valsartan is used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and post-heart attack. It is a prescription medicine. This medicine works by preventing the activity of certain natural substances which tightens the blood vessels. Thus, the blood flows more smoothly, and the heart pumps more efficiently. Valsartan is also used to treat kidney disease caused by high blood sugar (diabetic nephropathy).
Valsartan may also be taken in combination with other medicines to treat certain conditions as recommended by the doctor. Valsartan is used together with other Anti-Hypertensives to treat high blood presssure.
Angiotensin 2 Receptor Blocker
Valsartan belongs to a class of medicines called Angiotensin 2 Receptor Blocker. Angiotensin II receptor blockers are used for the treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure. These medicines act by relaxing the blood vessels and makes it easier for your heart to pump blood.

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How to use

Read the directions on the product label, patient guide, or medicine guide provided by the medicine company or your pharmacist before starting to use Valsartan. If you have any questions related to this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Use this medicine as recommended by your doctor.
Valsartan is used with or without food. Swallow the whole tablet with a glass of water.

Typical Dosage

The typical dose of Valsartan is 80-320 mg/day for high bp, and 40-160 mg twice daily for heart-failure. The usual dose for children is 1.3-2.7 mg/kg (0.6-1.22 mg/lb) once daily for high blood pressure. The maximum adult dose of Valsartan is 320 mg in divided doses for heart failure, 160 mg twice daily for post heart attack and 320 mg for high blood pressure in a day. This medicine is typically used for a period of 2-4 weeks for high blood pressure. Valsartan is commonly used at the same time every day. It takes 2-6 hours (for high blood pressure) for this medicine to start to work.
You should continue to use this medicine as directed by the doctor even if you feel well.
If using the liquid form of this medicine, measure the dose using the provided measuring cup, spoon, or dropper. Before pouring the medicine into the measuring device, you should check the measurement markings carefully. Then, pour the dose amount into the device. After use, clean and store the measuring device in a safe place for your next use. You should not use a tablespoon or teaspoon as the dose measuring devices since it can result in an incorrect dose. If indicated on the product package, shake the medicine before use.

Talk to Your Doctor

Talk to your doctor if you develop new or worsening symptoms. Tell your doctor if worsening of kidney problems, swelling in the feet, ankles, or hands, and unexplained weight gain.
Your doctor may recommend a lower initial dose of this medicine to see the impact of this medicine on the body. Please follow your doctor's directions. Older patients may see an increase in the incidence of side-effects with this medicine. As a result, a lower dose may be recommended for older patients.

Use in Children

If you are giving Valsartan to a child, be sure to use a product that is meant for children. Before giving this medicine to a child, use the child's weight or age to find the right dose from the product package. You can also read the dosage section of this page to know the correct dose for your child. Else, consult with your doctor and follow their recommendation.

Lab Tests

Your doctor may request that specific lab tests be performed before you start using Valsartan. You may need to have Kidney Function Panel test. Kidney parameters should be checked before starting treatment with this medicine because the use of Valsartan may affect the functioning of the kidney. Your doctor may request Sodium test. Blood sodium levels should be maintained before starting treatment with this medicine.

Storage

You should store Valsartan tablet at room temperature between 15ºC to 30ºC (59º to 86ºF). Store suspension at room temperature less than 30ºC (86ºF) for up to 30 days or refrigerate between 2ºC - 8ºC (35ºF - 46ºF) for up to 75 days, and away from moisture. Store the medicine away from the reach of children and pets.
Medicines may be prescribed for uses other than those listed in the medicine guide. Do not use Valsartan for conditions for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Valsartan to other people who might have the same conditions or symptoms that you have. Self-medication may harm them.

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How to take Valsartan

The dose and frequency of using Valsartan will depend on the following factors:
  • age of the patient
  • the weight of the patient
  • patient's health
  • medicines recommended by the doctor
  • any other medicines being used
  • herbal supplements being used
  • response to the medicine

Valsartan Dosage

Dosage for High blood pressure

Adult
  • Recommended: 80-320 mg once daily
  • Initial: 80-160 mg once daily
  • Maximum: 320 mg once daily
Children (6 to 16 years)
  • Recommended: 1.3-2.7 mg/kg (0.6-1.22 mg/lb) once daily
  • Initial: 1.3 mg/kg (0.6 mg/lb) once daily
  • Maximum: 2.7 mg/kg (1.22 mg/lb) once daily

Dosage for Heart failure

Adult
  • Recommended: 40-160 mg twice daily and the target maintenance dose is 160 mg twice daily
  • Initial: 40 mg twice daily
  • Maximum: 320 mg/day in divided doses

Dosage for Post-heart attack

Adult
  • Recommended: 20-160 mg twice daily and the target maintenance dose is 160 mg twice daily
  • Initial: 20 mg twice daily
  • Maximum: 160 mg twice daily

Minimum Age

6 years

Dosage calculation for children

To calculate the dosage for children please use the weight based dose calculator to calculate the appropriate dosage as per the weight of your child.

Forms

Tablet, film coated
Strength: 40 mg, 80 mg, 160 mg, 320 mg
Tablet
Strength: 40 mg, 80 mg, 160 mg, 320 mg
Capsule
Strength: 80 mg, 160 mg
Solution
Strength: 4 mg/1ml

Special Instructions

Suspension
Shake the suspension well before use.

Missed Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it's time for the next dose and follow your regular dosing schedule.

Overdose

What to do if you overdose on Valsartan?
The treatment of overdose depends upon the ingestion time, type and severity of the symptoms of overdose. In the case of low blood pressure, the patient should be placed in a lying position, and supportive treatment should be given. Blood volume correction should also be considered in such cases. Valsartan cannot be cleared from the body by using an artificial blood purifying technique (hemodialysis).
Symptoms of an overdose of Valsartan
If you use too much of this medicine, it could lead to dangerous levels of the medicine in your body. In such cases, symptoms of an overdose may include:
If you think you have overdosed on Valsartan, call a poison control center immediately. You can look up the poison control center information from the Poison Center Finder at TabletWise.com.

Precautions while using Valsartan

Before you use Valsartan, tell your doctor of your medical and health history including the following:
  • blockage of the bile duct
  • genetic problems
  • heart diseases
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood sugar
  • increased amount of aldosterone production
  • kidney damage due to high blood sugar
  • kidney problems
  • liver problems
  • neonates with a history of exposure to Valsartan
  • sodium or volume-depleted
  • swelling in the lower layer of the skin
  • taking water pills, potassium supplements, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, lithium, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, aspirin, selective cyclooxygenase inhibitors, diuretics, gemfibrozil, rifampin, ritonavir, medicines used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems
In neonates with a history of in-utero exposure, Valsartan may cause reduced urine production and low blood pressure.
Before you use Valsartan, discuss with your doctor if you are allergic to it or its ingredients. Your doctor may prescribe an alternative medicine and update your medical records to record this information. Tell your doctor if you are allergic any of the following substances: peanut oil, or soya oil.
The use of this medicine may change creatinine levels. Valsartan may cause an increased level of creatinine.
The use of this medicine may change hemoglobin. Valsartan may cause a low level of hemoglobin, which may lead to blood loss.
The use of Valsartan may change blood cell count. Valsartan may cause a decreased level of white blood cells.
The use of this medicine may change potassium levels. Valsartan may increase the levels of potassium in patients with heart failure or an abnormality in the functioning of the kidney.
The use of Valsartan may change liver parameters. Valsartan may cause an increased level of blood urea nitrogen and bilirubin.

Dizziness

Valsartan can make you feel sleepy. Be careful when using any machinery, driving a vehicle, or doing any other activity that needs you to be fully alert. The consumption of alcohol with Valsartan can worsen the sleepiness.

Use in Pregnancy

The use of Valsartan is known to be not safe for use in pregnant women. If you are planning to become pregnant or are currently pregnant, you should discuss with your doctor the potential impact of this medicine on the baby before you start to using it. Discontinue the use of Valsartan, as soon as pregnancy is detected. The use of Valsartan during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy may lead to fetal and neonatal injury, including reduced functioning of the kidney, low blood pressure, deficiency of amniotic fluid, abnormalities of the skull and lung, insufficiency to produce urine, kidney failure, increased levels of potassium and other fatal conditions.

Use while Breastfeeding

Consult with your doctor on the use of Valsartan during breastfeeding. It is unknown whether Valsartan passes into human milk or not. So, a decision to discontinue Valsartan or nursing should be made after considering the importance of the drug to the mother.

Use while Conceiving

Consult with your doctor on the use of Valsartan, if you are trying to conceive.

Alcohol

Side-effects in Children

Valsartan may cause an increased risk of side-effects in children. Children using this medicine may see an increased risk of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, low potassium level, and headache.

Valsartan Side-effects

The following side-effects may commonly occur when using Valsartan. If any of these side-effects worsen or last for a long time, you should consult with your doctor:
The following side-effects may commonly occur in children when using Valsartan. Discuss with your doctor if any of these side-effects last for a long time or are severe:
Rarely, the use of Valsartan may cause the following side-effects:
The following severe side-effects may also occur when using Valsartan:
  • Immune system disorders
    Symptoms: allergy reaction including an allergic reaction to an injection of foreign protein
    If this happens, stop taking Valsartan and contact your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Heart and blood vessel disorders
    Symptoms: inflammation of the blood vessels heart failure
  • Symptoms: upper respiratory infection, inflammation of the nasal sinus (sinusitis), inflammation of the pharynx (pharyngitis) difficulty in breathing
    If this happens, stop taking Valsartan and contact your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Stomach and intestinal disorders
    Symptoms: eating disorder vomiting
  • Musculoskeletal disorder
    Symptoms: muscle pain
  • Symptoms: abnormally low count of neutrophils, abnormally low levels of thrombocytes a decrease in hemoglobin and hematocrit
  • Metabolism and nutrition disorders
    Symptoms: low sodium level increase potassium levels
  • Skin disorders
    Symptoms: swelling of the lower layer of the skin redness and peeling of the skin (bullous dermatitis)
    If this happens, stop taking Valsartan and contact your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Kidney and liver disorders
    Symptoms: increase in bilirubin levels, acute kidney failure swelling of the liver (hepatitis)
    If this happens, stop taking Valsartan.
  • Symptoms: anxiety drowsiness
Your doctor has prescribed Valsartan because they judge that the benefit is greater than the risk posed by side-effects. Many people using this medicine do not have serious side-effects. This page does not list all possible side-effects of Valsartan.
If you experience side-effects or notice other side-effects not listed above, contact your doctor for medical advice. You may also report side-effects to your local food and drug administration authority. You can look up the drug authority contact information from the Drug Authority Finder at TabletWise.com.

Warnings

Lecithin

Valsartan should not be used in patients allergic to peanut or soya.

Genetic Problems

This medicine should not be used in patients with rare genetic problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or disturbed absorption of glucose-galactose.

Heart Problems

Precaution should be taken in patients with obstruction in the blood flow of the heart (aortic and mitral valve stenosis) and thickening of the heart muscles (Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy).

Abnormality in the Functioning of the Liver

Patients with an abnormality in the functioning of the liver or in the bile flow (cholestasis) are at increased risk when using Valsartan. Take necessary precautions in such patients.

Swelling in the Lower Layer of the Skin

Patients with a history of swelling of the lower layer of skin or taking Valsartan are at an increased risk when using Valsartan. These patients may experience swelling of the larynx, lips, face, tongue, pharynx, an opening between the vocal folds (glottis), and airway obstruction. Valsartan should be discontinued immediately on the occurrence of swelling of the lower layer of the skin and should not be started again.

Dual Blockade of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System

Patients using angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, ramipril or aliskiren are at an increased risk while using Valsartan. Such patients are at an increased risk of low blood pressure, increased potassium level, and decreased functioning of the kidneys. Avoid the combined use of angiotensin II receptor blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, ramipril or aliskiren. Proper monitoring of the functioning of the kidney, blood pressure, and electrolytes should be considered.

Use of Valsartan in Children

Children with an abnormality in the functioning of the kidney/liver, fever, or dehydration are at an increased risk when using Valsartan. Valsartan should not be used in children with creatinine clearance less than 30 ml/min, severe abnormal functioning of the liver, and obstruction of bile flow (cholestasis, and obstructive biliary disorders). Monitoring of the functioning of the kidney and potassium levels should be considered. Also, patients with abnormal functioning of the kidney should not use angiotensin II receptor blocker or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors with aliskiren.

Increased Mortality in Infants

A fetus is at increased risk when pregnant women use this medicine. The use of Valsartan during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy may lead to fetal and neonatal injury, including reduced functioning of the kidney, low blood pressure, deficiency of amniotic fluid, abnormalities of the skull and lung, insufficiency to produce urine, kidney failure, or other fatal conditions. Discontinue the use of Valsartan immediately after diagnosis of pregnancy.

Low Blood Pressure

Patients with high blood pressure, heart diseases, and sodium or volume-depleted patients taking Valsartan are at increased risk. Symptomatic low blood pressure, increased level of potassium and decreased functioning of the kidney, and fatality may occur in these patients when taking Valsartan alone or in combination with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. The condition of the patient should be corrected and monitored before starting Valsartan therapy. Take necessary precautions while starting Valsartan therapy. On the occurrence of severe low blood pressure, the patient should be placed in the supine position or infusion of normal saline in the veins should be given to the patients.

Abnormality in the Functioning of the Kidney

Patients with an abnormality in the functioning of the kidney, narrowing of kidney arteries (renal artery stenosis), heart failure or volume-depleted patients are at increased risk when using Valsartan. Use of Valsartan may cause kidney failure in these patients. Precaution along with monitoring should be considered in such patients. Valsartan should not be used with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and aliskiren in patients with an abnormality in the functioning of the kidney.

Increased Levels of Potassium

Patients with heart failure or abnormality in the functioning of the kidney taking Valsartan are at increased risk. These patients may experience increased levels of potassium in the blood. Discontinuation of Valsartan or dose reduction should be considered in such patients. Patients should not use Valsartan with potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements, agents increasing potassium levels (heparin), and salt substitutes containing potassium.

Increased Production of Aldosterone

These patients do not respond to blood pressure lowering drugs. Valsartan should not be used in patients with increased production of aldosterone (primary hyperaldosteronism).

Interactions with Valsartan

When two or more medicines are taken together, it can change how the medicines work and increase the risk of side-effects. In medical terms, this is called as a Drug Interaction.
This page does not contain all the possible interactions of Valsartan. Share a list of all medicines that you use with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any medicines without the approval of your doctor.

Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Valsartan interacts with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors), which are used to reduce pain. When Valsartan is used with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as selective cyclooxygenase inhibitors, it may decrease the blood pressure lowering effects which may lead to worsening of the functioning of the kidney, kidney failure, and increased levels of potassium in the blood. This may occur in the volume-depleted patients, elderly patients or in patients with decreased functioning of the kidney. Precaution, adequate hydration, and monitoring of the functioning of the kidney should be considered in the starting of the therapy.

Potassium

There may be an interaction of Valsartan with spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride, potassium supplements, or heparin, which are used to treat heart diseases and to prevent blood clotting. When Valsartan is used with potassium-sparing diuretics, salt substitutes containing potassium, potassium supplements, drugs blocking renin-angiotensin system, or with drugs increasing potassium levels, it may lead to an increased levels of potassium. Heart failure patients may experience an increased level of creatinine in the blood. Patients should not use these medicines together. If necessary, monitoring of the potassium levels should be considered in patients using these combinations.

Inhibitors of Transporter

Valsartan may interact with inhibitors of the transporter (ritonavir, rifampin, or cyclosporin). When Valsartan is used with inhibitors of efflux or uptake transporters, it may increase the level of Valsartan. Special care should be taken when starting or stopping combined use of Valsartan with these drugs.

Lithium

Your doctor's guidelines may need to be followed while taking this medicine along with lithium, which is used to treat depression. When Valsartan is used with lithium, it may increase the levels of lithium in the blood which may lead to the harmful effect of lithium. This risk increases further if a diuretic is used along with this combination. Patients should not use Valsartan with lithium. If necessary, careful monitoring of the levels of lithium should be considered.

Dual Blockade of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System

Special instructions need to be followed while taking this medicine along with dual blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. When angiotensin-blockers, aliskiren, or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are used together, it may increase the risk of low blood pressure, high potassium level, kidney failure, and decreased functioning of the kidney. Using telmisartan with ramipril may increase the exposure of ramipril. Patients should not use two renin-angiotensin system inhibitors together. Patients including children using Valsartan with drugs affecting renin-angiotensin system inhibitors should be monitored for the functioning of the kidney, blood pressure, and electrolytes. Patients with high blood sugar or abnormality in the functioning of the kidney should not use Valsartan with aliskiren.

Traveling With Medication

  • Ensure that you carry enough doses of each of your prescription medicines to last the entire trip. The best place to store your medicines is in the carry on baggage. However, while flying, if carrying liquid medicines, make sure you do not go over the limits imposed for carry-on liquids.
  • While traveling overseas, make sure that you can carry each of your prescription medicines legally to your destination country. One way to ensure this is by checking with your destination country's embassy or website.
  • Make sure that you carry each of your medicines in their original packaging, which should typically include your name and address, and the details of the prescribing doctor.
  • If your travel involves crossing time zones, and you are required to take your medicine as per a fixed schedule, make sure that you adjust for the change in time.

Expired Medication

Taking a single dose of expired Valsartan is unlikely to cause a side-effect. However, please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, if you feel unwell or sick. An expired medicine may become ineffective in treating your prescribed conditions. To be on the safe side, it is important not to use an expired drug. You are much safer by always keeping a fresh supply of unexpired medicines.

Safe Disposal of Medication

  • If there are disposal instructions on the package, please follow the instructions.
  • If there are medicine take-back programs in your country, you should contact the respective authority to arrange for the disposal of the medicine. For example, in the USA, the Drug Enforcement Administration regularly hosts National Prescription Drug Take-Back events.
  • If there are no take-back programs, mix the medicine with dirt and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Throw the plastic bag in your household trash. Separately, remove all personal information including the prescription label from the medicine packaging and then dispose off the container.
  • If specifically indicated on the medicine package that it needs to be flushed down the toilet when no longer needed, perform the required step.
This page provides information for Valsartan .
High Blood Pressure
Heart Attack
Heart Diseases
Heart Failure

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