Diovan

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Diovan (valsartan) is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and to reduce mortality following a heart attack. The medication works by relaxing and widening blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure and reduces strain on the heart.

Diovan can be used in patients age 6 and up. In the majority of cases it is administered by tablet, but it also comes as a fluid for those who have difficulty swallowing pills.

What to Expect from Diovan

Treatment with Diovan is typically long-term, sometimes for the remainder of life if the underlying cause of the condition cannot be resolved. Regular doctor checkups are highly advisable for the duration of treatment, to ensure the medication is still providing benefit and to monitor for any developing complications. Conditions like high blood pressure are notorious for not producing symptoms until very serious damage has been done; it's critical that treatment continue even if feeling fine.

Tablets may be taken with or without food according to personal preference. They should be taken at the same time every day to keep levels of the medication consistent in the body.

Dosage will ultimately depend on age, other medications being taken, and individual response to treatment. Again it's important to work with a doctor to determine the ideal dosage.

For treating high blood pressure:

  • Treatment usually starts with 80 mg taken once per day.
  • Dosage may be increased in increments of 40 to 80 mg every one to two weeks if needed.
  • The maximum daily dose is 320 mg, taken once per day.
  • In most cases adding an additional hypertension treatment, such as a diuretic, provides more benefit than increasing Diovan dosage past 80 or 160 mg per day.

For congestive heart failure:

  • Treatment usually starts with 80 mg per day, divided into two 40 mg doses taken morning and evening.
  • Dosage may be increased after one to two weeks to 160 mg per day, taken in two 80 mg doses.
  • For heart failure the ideal dose is 320 mg per day, divided into two 160 mg doses.
  • Not all patients will be able to tolerate 320 mg doses without side effects; in these cases the highest tolerated dose is desirable.
  • Do not exceed 320 mg per day.

Following a heart attack:

  • Treatment usually starts with 40 mg per day, divided into two 20 mg doses.
  • Dosage may be increased weekly up to 320 mg per day, divided into two 160 mg doses.

In all cases substantial results should be seen after two weeks of treatment, though it may not be apparent outside of laboratory testing. Maximum benefit should be seen after four weeks of taking Diovan.

As a general rule, any medication that influences blood pressure should not be stopped abruptly; doing so can cause potentially serious complications. Speak with a doctor about a discontinuation plan before stopping treatment with Diovan.

Warnings & Side Effects

Patients should understand that no matter what Diovan is prescribed for it will lower blood pressure. At the start of treatment side effects associated with low blood pressure are relatively common, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Mild confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

The above symptoms are not cause for concern unless severe or persistent. In most cases they're mild and stop occurring as the body adjusts to its new blood pressure.

Unfortunately some individuals have more serious reactions. Warning signs that warrant immediate medical attention include:

  • Severe confusion
  • Weak heartbeat
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Cold, clammy, and/or pale skin
  • Fainting
  • Vision changes

Certain other medications or medical conditions put patients at greater risk of experiencing serious side effects. Stay alert for warning signs if:

  • Any other cardiovascular conditions are present
  • There is any history of liver or kidney impairment
  • Any other medications are being taken that influence blood pressure or heart rate

Diovan can cause harm or even death to unborn babies if taken while pregnant. Effects on breastfeeding babies are less clear.

Diovan

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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

Diovan Reviews

Overall rating:
  • 2017-07-21 17:18:17 EST
    I recently switched to Diovan. What a difference... went from 160/100 on high doses of labetalol to 135/90 on medium (160 mg) dosses of Diovan after just 4 weeks. Definitely not as much energy as before but it's a fair enough trade-off.
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