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(valsartan) Capsules

Read the Patient Information that comes with DIOVAN before you take it and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This leaflet does not take the place of talking with your doctor about your medical condition or treatment. If you have any questions about DIOVAN, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

What is the most important information I should know about DIOVAN?

DIOVAN can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. Talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your blood pressure if you plan to become pregnant. If you get pregnant while taking DIOVAN, tell your doctor right away.

What is DIOVAN?

DIOVAN is a prescription medicine called an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). It is used in adults to:

  • lower high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults and children, 6 to 16 years of age.
  • treat heart failure in adults. In these patients, DIOVAN may lower the need for hospitalization that happens from heart failure.
  • improve the chance of living longer after a heart attack (myocardial infarction) in adults.

DIOVAN is not for children under 6 years of age or children with certain kidney problems.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension). Blood pressure is the force in your blood vessels when your heart beats and when your heart rests. You have high blood pressure when the force is too much. DIOVAN can help your blood vessels relax so your blood pressure is lower. Medicines that lower your blood pressure lower your chance of having a stroke or heart attack.

High blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood throughout the body and causes damage to the blood vessels. If high blood pressure is not treated, it can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure and vision problems.

Heart Failure occurs when the heart is weak and cannot pump enough blood to your lungs and the rest of your body. Just walking or moving can make you short of breath, so you may have to rest a lot.

Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction): A heart attack is caused by a blocked artery that results in damage to the heart muscle.

What should I tell my doctor before taking DIOVAN?

Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions including whether you:

  • have any allergies. See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in DIOVAN.
  • have a heart condition
  • have liver problems
  • have kidney problems
  • are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. See “What is the most important information I should know about DIOVAN?”
  • are breast-feeding. It is not known if DIOVAN passes into your breast milk. You and your doctor should decide if you will take DIOVAN or breast-feed, but not both. Talk with your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take DIOVAN.
  • have ever had a reaction called angioedema, to another blood pressure medicine. Angioedema causes swelling of the face, lips, tongue and/or throat, and may cause difficulty breathing.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • other medicines for high blood pressure or a heart problem
  • water pills (also called “diuretics”)
  • potassium supplements. Your doctor may check the amount of potassium in your blood periodically
  • a salt substitute. Your doctor may check the amount of potassium in your blood periodically
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen or naproxen)
  • certain antibiotics (rifamycin group), a drug used to protect against transplant rejection (cyclosporin) or an antiretroviral drug used to treat HIV/AIDS infection (ritonavir). These drugs may increase the effect of valsartan.

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of your medicines with you to show to your doctor and pharmacist when a new medicine is prescribed. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you start taking any new medicine. Your doctor or pharmacist will know what medicines are safe to take together.

How should I take DIOVAN?

  • Take DIOVAN exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • For treatment of high blood pressure, take DIOVAN one time each day, at the same time each day.
  • For adult patients with heart failure or who have had a heart attack, take DIOVAN two times each day, at the same time each day. Your doctor may start you on a low dose of DIOVAN and may increase the dose during your treatment.
  • DIOVAN can be taken with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is close to your next dose, do not take the missed dose. Take the next dose at your regular time.
  • If you take too much DIOVAN, call your doctor or Poison Control Center, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

What are the possible side effects of DIOVAN?

DIOVAN may cause the following serious side effects:

Injury or death to an unborn baby. See “What is the most important information I should know about DIOVAN?”

Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension). Low blood pressure is most likely to happen if you also take water pills, are on a low-salt diet, get dialysis treatments, have heart problems, or get sick with vomiting or diarrhea. Lie down, if you feel faint or dizzy. Call your doctor right away.

Kidney problems. Kidney problems may get worse if you already have kidney disease. Some patients will have changes on blood tests for kidney function and may need a lower dose of DIOVAN. Call your doctor if you get swelling in your feet, ankles, or hands, or unexplained weight gain. If you have heart failure, your doctor should check your kidney function before prescribing DIOVAN.

The most common side effects of DIOVAN used to treat people with high blood pressure include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • flu symptoms
  • tiredness
  • stomach (abdominal) pain

Side effects were generally mild and brief. They generally have not caused patients to stop taking DIOVAN.

The most common side effects of DIOVAN used to treat people with heart failure include:

  • dizziness
  • low blood pressure
  • diarrhea
  • joint and back pain
  • tiredness
  • high blood potassium

Common side effects of DIOVAN used to treat people after a heart attack which caused them to stop taking the drug include:

  • low blood pressure
  • cough
  • high blood creatinine (decreased kidney function)
  • rash

Tell your doctor if you get any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of DIOVAN. For a complete list, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

How do I store DIOVAN?

  • Store DIOVAN capsules at room temperature between 59° to 86°F (15°C - 30°C).
  • Keep DIOVAN capsules in a closed container in a dry place.
  • Keep DIOVAN and all medicines out of the reach of children.

General information about DIOVAN

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for conditions that are not mentioned in patient information leaflets. Do not use DIOVAN for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give DIOVAN to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them.

This leaflet summarizes the most important information about DIOVAN. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about DIOVAN that is written for health professionals.

For more information about DIOVAN, ask your pharmacist or doctor, visit www.DIOVAN.com on the Internet, or call 1866-404-6361.

What are the ingredients in DIOVAN?

Active ingredient: valsartan

Inactive ingredients: cellulose compounds, crospovidone, gelatin, iron oxides, magnesium stearate, povidone, sodium lauryl sulfate, and titanium dioxide.

Last reviewed on RxList: 11/11/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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