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How can I minimize the side effects of Diovan?

To minimize the side effects of Diovan (valsartan), a drug prescribed to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, and to increase the odds of long-term survival after heart attack:
  • Before you begin treatment with Diovan, give your doctor a detailed medical history. Be sure to mention if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine or if you have experienced angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, tongue and/or throat and difficulty breathing) from taking other types of blood pressure medicine. Also mention if you have had problems with your heart, liver or kidneys. Once you are taking Diovan, update your doctor about any changes in your health status.
  • Realize that other drugs and supplements can interact with Diovan, possibly raising your risk for side effects or other problems. Before you start taking Diovan, give your doctor and pharmacist a list of all your other medicines (prescription and nonprescription), as well as any supplements that you take. Once you're on Diovan, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new drug or supplement.
  • Take Diovan exactly as your doctor tells you to. Do not take more or less, or take it more or less frequently than prescribed. Do not stop taking Diovan without talking to your doctor first.  
  • Avoid becoming pregnant. Diovan may harm or even be fatal to a developing fetus, particularly in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. If you do become pregnant, stop taking Diovan immediately and call your doctor.
  • Do not breastfeed. Doctors are not sure if Diovan can pass into breast milk and possibly harm a nursing infant.
  • Avoid driving a car or operating machinery until you know how Diovan affects you. Diovan may cause fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision and other side effects that could raise your risk for accidents.
Call your doctor if you experience any severe or persistent side effect. Some of Diovan's side effects include:
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • flu-like symptoms
  • fatigue
  • stomach pain
  • dizziness
  • low blood pressure
  • diarrhea
  • joint and back pain
  • fatigue
  • low blood pressure
  • cough
  • high levels of creatinine in your blood (a sign of kidney problems)
  • rash

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.