VALSARTAN (val SAR tan) treats high blood pressure and heart failure. It may also be used to prevent further damage after a heart attack. It works by relaxing the blood vessels, which decreases blood pressure and the amount of work the heart has to do. It belongs to a group of medications called ARBs.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
An unusual or allergic reaction to valsartan, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Keep taking it unless your care team tells you to stop.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be prescribed for children as young as 1 for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
ACE inhibitors, like enalapril or lisinopril
Diuretics, especially amiloride, eplerenone, spironolactone, or triamterene
NSAIDs, medications for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
Potassium salts or potassium supplements
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
High potassium level—muscle weakness, fast or irregular heartbeat
Kidney injury—decrease in the amount of urine, swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
Low blood pressure—dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, blurry vision
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Check your blood pressure as directed. Ask your care team what your blood pressure should be. Also, find out when you should contact him or her.
Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or pain while you are taking this medication without asking your care team for advice. Some medications may increase your blood pressure.
Women should inform their care team if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your care team for more information.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Avoid salt substitutes unless you are told otherwise by your care team.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from moisture. Keep the container tightly closed. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:
Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put it in the trash, take the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.