What should I know when using Diovan?

When taking Diovan (valsartan), you should know that you will need to be in close communication with your doctor, especially when you are first taking the drug. Diovan belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), which relax and dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow. Doctors prescribe it to adults and to children ages 6 and up to treat high blood pressure, and to adults who have had a heart attack or who have heart failure.

Your doctor will check your blood pressure frequently, especially at the start of treatment, to monitor your response to Diovan and to adjust your dose if necessary. Your doctor may also order frequent blood and urine tests to see if your kidney or liver function is being affected by taking Diovan.

You should 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.

If you become pregnant while taking Diovan, tell your doctor immediately. Diovan is known to cause birth defects. 

Diovan is less likely than some other drugs used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems to cause side effects, but these may include headache, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, fatigue and stomach pain. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or persistent. Call your doctor or 911 immediately if you experience the following rare but serious side effects:  

  • hoarseness
  • trouble swallowing
  • trouble breathing
  • fainting
  • unexplained weight gain
  • swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue, throat, hands, lower legs, ankles or feet

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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.