Diovan, which is available as the generic formulation of Valsartan, is a selective angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). The medication’s mechanism of action is different from other ACE inhibitors and it works by blocking the action of angiotensin II. This in turn helps to prevent the narrowing of blood vessels and aids in bringing down the blood pressure. The medication has a biological half-life of about six hours.
Diovan may be prescribed for long-term treatment of hypertension or high blood pressure. The medication may also be used to treat congestive heart failure and to reduce the risk of death in people after a heart attack. The pills may be prescribed along with other blood pressure medicine to treat the condition.
The medication should be administered exactly as instructed by the prescribing physician without modifying the dose. If there are symptoms of very low blood pressure like vomiting or diarrhea, contact the healthcare provider immediately. Blood pressure and kidney function should be monitored regularly for any adverse effects.
One should continue taking Diovan even when the patients is feeling improved health as hypertension symptoms are not usually visible. However, if after four weeks of therapy there is no improvement in health, the medication may not be as effective and requires immediate consultation with the doctor.
For people diagnosed with diabetes, the medication should never be taken along with the medication Aliskiren.
Pregnant women should refrain from using this medication as it can harm the developing fetus. In case of pregnancy while on this medication course, the individual should stop taking Diovan and immediately consult with the healthcare provider for suitable blood pressure pills.
The patient should also inform the doctor if he or she has liver disease, kidney problems, any other heart condition, dehydration, or is following a low-salt diet.
Common adverse effects include flu like symptoms, stomach ailments, back pain, cough, joint pain, headache, tiredness, and dizziness. Symptoms that require immediate medical attention are trouble breathing, trouble urination, swelling in different body parts, rapid weight gain, changes in the heartbeat, high potassium levels, and feeling light-headed. Even if there are any unusual changes to the body or other symptoms, the person should seek emergency medical help as it may be a sign of kidney failure.
Interaction with other medications
Diovan should be taken with a few precautions in mind, particularly any harmful medication interactions that may occur. It is not recommended to use the pills along with lithium, diuretics, cyclosporine, ritonavir, rifampin, and NSAIDs. For any clarifications regarding other medication use, contact the healthcare provider.