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Valsartan

First introduced under the brand name Diovan in 1996, the blood pressure medicine valsartan is now available from more than 30 different companies in its generic form. The drug comes in dosages of 80 mg, 160 mg and 320 mg. Valsartan uses include treating high blood pressure and heart failure, and bettering the likelihood of living longer after a heart attack.

Suffering from cancer or liver damage after taking Valsartan?

If you or a loved one suffered from adverse events like liver damage or cancer after Valsartan use, you may be eligible for compensation.

Valsartan
Valsartan Facts
  1. Uses High blood pressure, heart failure, heart attack
  2. Side Effects Dizziness, headache, allergic reactions, reduced kidney function
  3. Manufacturers More than 30 different companies
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Doctors prescribe valsartan to treat high blood pressure in patients at least 6 years old. High blood pressure is one of the most common health problems in the U.S.

When patients have high blood pressure, their hearts have to work harder. This can cause the arteries to narrow and lead to heart disease, heart attack, kidney disease and stroke.

Valsartan brand name versions, such as Divoan, and its generic forms relax blood vessels and help blood flow more easily.

What Is Valsartan?

Valsartan is a type of drug called angiotensin II receptor antagonist. Other drugs in the valsartan drug class include irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), and candesartan (Atacand).

Valsartan is not an anticoagulant.

How Does Valsartan Work?

Valsartan blocks the angiotensin receptor. Angiotensin is a chemical produced in the body that can cause blood vessels to narrow, raising blood pressure.

By blocking the angiotensin receptor, the drug keeps blood vessels from narrowing. This lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.

Illustration of how Valsartan releases high blood pressure in blood vessels.
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What Is Valsartan Used For?

Doctors prescribe valsartan to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and heart attack. Valsartan uses also include trouble with the left ventricle, which pumps blood from the heart to the body.

What Are Side Effects of the Drug Valsartan?

The most common valsartan side effects include headache, nausea and dizziness. Less common but more serious side effects include allergic reactions and reduced kidney function.

Are you suffering from cancer or liver damage after Valsartan use? Get a Free Case Review

Valsartan Brand Name

Valsartan is mostly sold under its generic name.

Brand names for drugs containing valsartan include:
  • Diovan
  • Prexxartan
  • Amlodipine
  • Exforge
  • Entresto
  • Byvalson

Diovan

Novartis originally manufactured valsartan as Diovan. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it in December 1996 with 40 mg and 80 mg capsules.

The FDA approved Diovan in tablet form in 2001. Now, the capsules are not on the market.

Diovan is not a beta blocker. The drug generated $5.7 billion in worldwide sales in 2011.

Novartis’ patent on Diovan expired in September 2012. About two years later, other companies began introducing generic versions of valsartan.

Valsartan vs Losartan

A 2001 study in Clinical Therapeutics found valsartan and losartan similarly effective in reducing blood pressure in patients with mild to moderate hypertension.

Losartan was also associated with a decrease in serum uric acid levels. Valsartan did not decrease those levels. High levels of uric acid are associated with gout.

Valsartan vs Lisinopril

A study in Clinical Therapeutics in 2005 found both valsartan and lisinopril highly effective in controlling blood pressure in patients with mild to severe hypertension. But valsartan was associated with significantly fewer adverse events, especially cough.

Valsartan Precautions and Warnings

The American College of Cardiology says you should tell your doctor before taking valsartan if you have kidney, liver or heart disease, or if you are dehydrated. Women who are or may be pregnant should not take the drug.

Using valsartan and alcohol is not recommended. Do not use valsartan and potassium supplements or salt substitute.

Patients with liver disease should exercise care when taking valsartan, according to the drug’s label. The label does not mention valsartan and grapefruit.

In 2018, the FDA warned that the chemical N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) has been tainting certain valsartan medications for as long as four years.

A total of 10 companies recalled batches of valsartan because of contamination with the suspected cancer-causing chemical. The recalls are likely to result in a number of valsartan lawsuits being filed.

How to Take Valsartan

Take valsartan as prescribed for the dose and time directed. You should take the drug at the same time each day.

You can take it with or without food. Store the drug at room temperature. Keep it away from heat and moisture.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s close to your next dose, just take the one dose. Do not take extra valsartan to offset a missed dose.

Valsartan Dosage

The usual starting dose in valsartan tablets is 160/12.5 mg once daily, according to the drug’s label. A doctor may increase the dosage after one to two weeks of therapy. The maximum dosage is one 320/25 tablet once daily as needed to control blood pressure. 

FDA-approved valsartan strengths include:
  • Valsartan 80 mg
  • Valsartan 160 mg (usual starting dosage)
  • Valsartan 320 mg (maximum dosage)

Valsartan Overdose

If you overdose on valsartan, seek immediate, emergency medical help. You can also call the poison help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Possible symptoms of an overdose include fast or slow heartbeat. People who overdose on valsartan may feel dizzy or like they might pass out.

Valsartan Drug Interactions

Valsartan interacts with a number of drugs. Be sure to tell your doctor about any prescriptions, over-the-counter-medications and supplements you’re taking.

Drugs that may interact with valsartan include:
  • Diuretics
  • Ritonavir
  • Cyclosporine
  • Rifampin
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin or meloxicam

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.

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16 Cited Research Articles

  1. Emedicinehealth. (n.d.) valsartan (Diovan). Retrieved from https://www.emedicinehealth.com/drug-valsartan/article_em.htm
  2. EverydayHealth. (n.d.). Wat is Diovan (Valsartan)? Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/diovan
  3. American College of Cardiology. (n.d.). CardioSmart. Valsartan. Retrieved from https://www.cardiosmart.org/Healthwise/d041/13/d04113
  4. MedicineNet.com. (n.d.) Valsartan. Retrieved from https://www.medicinenet.com/valsartan/article.htm#what_is_valsartan_and_how_does_it_work_mechanism_of_action
  5. Fogan, R. and Zoppi, A. (2011, March). A drug safety evaluation of valsartan. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21142805
  6. National Center for Biotechnology Information. (n.d.) valsartan. Retrieved from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/valsartan
  7. U.S. Food and Drug Administration . (2002, August 14). Drug label for Diovan valsartan Capsules. Retrieved from http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/drugbank/fda_labels/DB00177.pdf?1265922797
  8. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Valsartan (By mouth). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0012598/
  9. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2011, October 24). Choosing Medicines for High Blood Pressure. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0033143/
  10. Husten, L. (2012, September 25). Another One Bites the Dust: Diovan Patent Expires But Generic Valsartan Is MIA. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryhusten/2012/09/25/another-one-bites-the-dust-diovan-patent-expires-but-generic-valsartan-is-mia/#54889eba2833
  11. Dailymed. (n.d.). Valsartan and Hydrochlorothiazide. Retrieved from https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=f1a2d5de-3b7f-40c0-a5bd-fd64fac59d7e&audience=consumer
  12. Sandoz. (2014, July 8). Sandoz launches authorized generic version of Diovan in the US. Retrieved from https://www.sandoz.com/news/media-releases/sandoz-launches-authorized-generic-version-diovanr-us
  13. Elliott W.J., et al. (2001, August 23). Losartan vs valsartan in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate essential hypertension: data from a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, 12-week trial. Clinical Therapeutics. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11558856
  14. Healthline. (n.d.). Uric Acid Test (Blood Analysis). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/uric-acid-blood
  15. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2018, August 9). FDA updates recalled valsartan-containing product information. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm613916.htm?utm_campaign=FDA%20MedWatch%20Recall%20Notice%20-%20Valsartan-Containing%20Product%20by%3A%20Hetero%20Labs&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua
  16. Malacco, E. et al. (2004, June). Comparison of valsartan 160 mg with lisinopril 20 mg, given as monotherapy or in combination with a diuretic, for the treatment of hypertension: the Blood Pressure Reduction and Tolerability of Valsartan in Comparison with Lisinopril (PREVAIL) study. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15262456
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