Diovan: Uses – Side Effects – Warnings

Diovan, also known by its generic name valsartan, is a medication that belongs to a group of drugs known as angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). It is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart failure. Diovan works by blocking the action of angiotensin II, a hormone that constricts blood vessels and causes the heart to work harder.

Uses

Diovan is primarily used to treat hypertension, but it can also be used to treat heart failure and reduce the risk of death following a heart attack. Diovan can be used alone or in combination with other medications. It is important to take Diovan exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Benefits

Diovan can reduce blood pressure and improve heart function by reducing the workload on the heart. This can help prevent damage to the heart and lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. Diovan can also improve symptoms of heart failure, such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling in the legs and feet.

Side Effects

Like all medicines, Diovan can cause side effects, although not everyone will experience them. Common side effects of Diovan include:
– Dizziness
– Fatigue
– Headache
– Diarrhea
– Nausea
– Back pain
– Flu-like symptoms
– Low blood pressure
– High potassium levels in the blood

Serious side effects of Diovan are rare, but they can occur. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:
– Severe allergic reactions (swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat; difficulty breathing; hives)
– Fainting
– Rapid or irregular heartbeat
– Severe stomach pain
– Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)

Warnings

Diovan should not be taken by pregnant women or women who are planning to become pregnant, as it can harm the unborn baby. It is also important to let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding, as Diovan can be passed on to the baby through breast milk. If you have liver or kidney problems, you may need a lower dose of Diovan.

Diovan can interact with other medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and diuretics. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements.

Diovan can cause dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when standing up after sitting or lying down. To reduce the risk of falls, get up slowly and steady yourself before walking.

FAQs

1. What should I do if I miss a dose of Diovan?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time.

2. Can I drink alcohol while taking Diovan?

It is best to avoid alcohol while taking Diovan, as it can increase the risk of dizziness or lightheadedness.

3. Can Diovan cause weight gain?

Weight gain is not a common side effect of Diovan, but it can occur in some people. If you are concerned about weight gain, talk to your doctor.

4. How long does it take for Diovan to work?

Diovan can start working within a few hours, but it may take up to four weeks to see the full effect.

5. Can I stop taking Diovan if my blood pressure is under control?

Do not stop taking Diovan without first consulting your doctor. Stopping Diovan suddenly can cause your blood pressure to rise, which can be dangerous. Your doctor may need to gradually reduce your dose over time before you can stop taking Diovan.

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