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What should I know before my child uses Diovan?

Before your child takes Diovan (valsartan), you should understand why your child's doctor is prescribing this drug and what to expect from it. Doctors prescribe Diovan to children ages 6 and older to treat high blood pressure (it is not recommended for children younger than age 6). Diovan works by relaxing and dilating blood vessels, improving blood flow.

The doctor will probably start your child on a dose of 40 milligrams (mg) or less per day, adjusting the dose if necessary. Doses larger than 160 mg per day have not been studied in children and may not be safe. If your child cannot swallow pills, a pharmacist may be able to mix Diovan into a liquid for easier consumption.
 
In studies, the most common side effects of Diovan in children were high blood levels of potassium (especially in children who also had kidney problems) and headache. Call your child's doctor or 911 immediately if your child experiences any of these rare but potentially serious side effects:
  • swelling in the face, eyes, throat, tongue, hands, lower legs, ankles and feet
  • trouble breathing
  • difficulty swallowing
  • hoarseness
  • unexplained weight gain
Also call your child's doctor if any other side effect is severe or persistent.

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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.