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Valsartan

Valsartan

Overview

Diovan is an angiotensin II blocker, similar to Cozaar. It is prescribed for high blood pressure, alone or in combination with other drugs. Because African-American patients benefit less than others from Cozaar, their response to Diovan should be monitored carefully to ensure their blood pressured is controlled adequately.

Side Effects and Interactions

Diovan is usually very well tolerated, with few side effects. Some people taking Diovan have experienced insomnia, fatigue, abdominal pain, indigestion, and dizziness.

Other side effects have been rare: headache, nausea, joint pains, sinusitis, diarrhea, and cough. Liver enzymes may become elevated and blood potassium levels may increase. Report any symptoms to the physician promptly.

Diovan is not appropriate during the second or third trimesters of pregnancy. If a woman taking Diovan becomes pregnant, she should consult her doctor as soon as possible.

See Cozaar nursing caution… Nursing mothers should not take this drug without first discussing benefits and risks with their physician.

As doctors gain more experience prescribing this medicine, more interactions may come to light.

Check with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure Diovan is safe in combination with any other drugs you take.

Special Precautions

People with liver disease may have trouble metabolizing Diovan. The dose should be adjusted if they do.

Severe kidney disease may also require dosage adjustment.

Taking the Medicine

Diovan may is taken once a day, with or without food. It should be taken the same way consistently because food reduces the concentration of the drug in the blood.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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