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Valsartan (Generic Diovan)
What Is Valsartan?
Valsartan is a medication that is taken to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and certain heart-related conditions.
The drug belongs to a group of angiotensin II receptor blockers which work by blocking the hormone angiotensin II to lower blood pressure.
Valsartan is available in generic form (generic Diovan) as well as under the brand names Diovan and Prexxartan.
How Does Valsartan Work?
Being a receptor blocker, Valsartan works by blocking the effects of the hormone angiotensin. This means it cannot bind to the receptors that are found on blood vessels and other tissues stopping them from restricting and narrowing which helps enhance blood flow and improve blood pressure as well as stimulate aldosterone production.
Valsartan also indirectly reduces the secretion of the hormone aldosterone, which in turn encourages the kidneys to excrete sodium and water, further helping to lower blood pressure.
What Is Valsartan Used For?
Valsartan is used for a variety of different conditions, mainly lowering blood pressure. Through dilating the blood vessels, blood can flow through more easily and is less likely to become blocked.
Other uses for Valsartan include:
- Managing heart failure
- As a treatment post-heart attack to help reduce the risk of further events or complications
- As part of combination therapy with other medicines
- Treating diabetic nephropathy, a kidney disorder common in people with diabetes, usually as part of a broader treatment plan
What Are the Side Effects of Valsartan?
Valsartan can come with certain side effects. So before taking Valsartan, it’s important to consult with your doctor or healthcare professional to discuss any potential side effects
If you do experience any adverse effects, get in touch with a healthcare professional immediately to ensure they are kept under control.
Some of the more common side effects of Valsartan include:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fatigue or weakness
- Higher blood potassium levels
- Stomach pain
- Back pain
Some of the more serious side effects, and those you need to get urgent medical attention for, include:
- An allergic reaction that impacts the skin such as a rash, severe itching, or swelling
- Low blood pressure which can result in fainting or blurred vision
- A reduction in your kidney function
- Angioedema where swelling happens in the deeper layers of the skin and can lead to difficulty breathing
- Changes to your liver function
The listed side effects above are not an exhaustive list. Also, not everyone will experience these side effects and individual reactions can vary. If any side effects do occur that are not listed above, please contact your healthcare professional for further advice.
How to Take Valsartan?
The exact dose for Valsartan will depend on guidance given by your healthcare provider as it can depend on the individual case and whether you are using it alone or as a combination drug.
Try to take Valsartan at the same time every day – whether this is morning or evening is up to you and it can be taken both with or without food. If you forget to take a dose, take your next one as soon as you remember, but never take a double dose to make up for it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Valsartan
What Is the Most Common Side Effect of Valsartan?
The exact side effects of Valsartan will depend on the individual and can vary, but generally speaking, the most common side effect of Valsartan is dizziness or lightheadedness.
This can happen when you stand up suddenly as the medication causes a drop in blood pressure. To avoid this, take your time when standing from a seated or lying position and move gradually to an upright one.
Other common side effects include headaches, fatigue, coughing, and stomach pain. If any of these or any other side effects occur that are not listed here, please contact your healthcare provider for further advice.
Is Valsartan Safe?
When taken according to the instructions provided by a healthcare provider, Valsartan is considered safe.
But just like any other medication, Valsartan does have its own set of risks and side effects associated with it. Make sure to discuss these with your healthcare provider before taking the drug and follow their instructions closely to ensure your safety.
What to Avoid While Taking Valsartan?
When taking Valsartan you should avoid the following:
- Alcohol – Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure.
- Potassium supplements – Valsartan can elevate the potassium levels in your blood. Combining it with potassium supplements can lead to dangerously high levels of potassium in your blood.
- NSAIDs – NSAIDs like ibuprofen can interact with Valsartan and may increase your risk for kidney problems.
- Some diuretics – Certain diuretics can increase the risk of low blood pressure when taken with Valsartan.
Also, try to avoid operating any heavy machinery or driving when you start taking Valsartan. You should wait and see how the mediations affects you before carrying out any activities that require full concentration.
It is also important to avoid taking any other medication without consulting with your healthcare provider first, as they may interact negatively with Valsartan. This may include herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications.
The list above and all of the mentioned things are just an overview of a few things you should avoid and are not exhaustive. Make sure to converse with your healthcare professional for full details and further advice.
Is Valsartan a Strong Blood Pressure Medicine?
While the term “strong” can be very subjective and the actual effectiveness of Valsartan can depend on the individual, it is considered to be an effective medication for treating high blood pressure.
How Long Does It Take for Valsartan to Work?
Valsartan starts lowering your blood pressure within 2 hours and the peak blood pressure-lowering effect is usually achieved within 2 to 4 weeks of starting the medication.
What Is the Typical Dosage for Valsartan?
The specific dosage of Valsartan will depend on the condition being treated as well as other factors such as your age, other medication you take, and overall health.
For hypertension, the typical starting dose of Valsartan is 40 mg per day. This can be increased to a maximum of 320 mg per day.
For heart failure, the initial dose is 40mg twice daily. It can then be increased up to 320mg daily depending on your individual case and response to treatment.
For post-heart attack treatment, the typical starting dose is 20 mg twice a day.
Make sure to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider and not to change or increase the dosage without consulting with them first.
Can You Get Valsartan Over-The-Counter (OTC)?
No, Valsartan is not available over-the-counter and can only be obtained with a prescription from your healthcare provider.
For more detailed information about Valsartan, you can refer to the following sources:
- Diovan prescription label, Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Valsartan, Drugs.com.
- Valsartan, MedlinePlus.
The content on this page has been medically reviewed for accuracy and comprehensiveness by Amy Dougherty, FNP-BC, AGAC
Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.
Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.
If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.
Frequently asked questions
Can I Get a New Prescription or Refill an Existing One Through DrHouse?
Yes, you can get a new prescription or refill an existing one online through DrHouse. You just need to start a consultation with one of our licensed providers and they will be able to assess your needs and provide you with a prescription if necessary.
Please note that the final decision always rests with the doctor based on their professional judgment and your health needs.
What Medications Can't be Prescribed Online By DrHouse?
There are certain medications that cannot be prescribed online by DrHouse physicians due to safety reasons. These include controlled substances, such as opioids and other narcotics, as well as drugs with a high potential for abuse or dependence. DrHouse physicians also don’t prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, and HRT medications.
How Do I Get an Online Prescription from DrHouse?
With DrHouse getting a new prescription or a refill for your current Rx is a straightforward and quick process. All you need to do is follow a few easy steps:
- Download the DrHouse telehealth app on your mobile device.
- Create an account by providing basic information and medical history.
- Start an on-demand virtual video consultation with one of our licensed physicians.
- Discuss your medical needs and concerns with one of our physicians.
- A doctor will review your medical history, symptoms, and current medications (if any) to determine if an online prescription is appropriate for you.
- If a physician approves, they will electronically send a new prescription or refill request to the pharmacy of your choice.
- Pick up your medication from the pharmacy.
DrHouse makes it easy for you to get an online prescription from the comfort of your own home. No more waiting in line at the doctor’s office or pharmacy, and no need to take time off work to see a doctor. Our telehealth platform allows you to access quality medical care from anywhere with an internet connection.
For more information about how our telehealth platform works visit our “How DrHouse Works” page.
What Will My Appointment for a New Prescription or Refill Look Like?
During your virtual consultation with a DrHouse physician, you will have the opportunity to discuss your medical needs and concerns.
The consultation will consist of a video call where a physician will assess your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms and any other relevant information. This is to ensure that a physician has all the necessary information to make an informed decision about your prescription.
You can also ask any questions or clarify any doubts you may have about your condition or medication. Our physicians are happy to address any concerns you may have.
Once a physician has assessed your needs, they will determine if and what type of prescription is appropriate for you. If a new prescription or refill is approved, a doctor will send it electronically to your chosen pharmacy.
How Long Does It Get To Get a Prescription Online With DrHouse?
With our on-demand telehealth service, you have the opportunity to see the first available doctor in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. However, the exact consult time will depend on the complexity of your case and the thoroughness required by the healthcare provider to make an informed decision.
Is It Safe to Get an Online Prescription from DrHouse?
Absolutely, it is safe to get an online prescription from DrHouse. We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of patient safety and privacy.
All our providers are highly qualified US-based physicians and often affiliated with major hospitals. They are board-certified and from the top U.S. medical schools with an average of 20 years of experience.
We strictly adhere to HIPAA regulations, ensuring your personal and medical information is kept secure and confidential. Also, we comply with all applicable state and federal laws related to telehealth and the prescribing of medications.
Therefore, you can rest assured knowing that your safety and privacy are our top priorities when you use DrHouse’s services.
How Much Does DrHouse Cost?
DrHouse strives to provide accessible and affordable telehealth services. DrHouse urgent care, primary care, and specialist visits are $129 or your copay. This includes everything from your initial consultation through to the prescription of your medication.
The cost of a doctor’s visit may be covered fully by your insurance. A typical copay is around $25. We recommend checking with your insurance provider to understand the extent of your coverage for telehealth services.
To learn more about how much DrHouse costs, visit our pricing page
Does DrHouse Accept Insurance?
Yes, DrHouse accepts most major insurances, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and Medicare. The extent of coverage may vary depending on your individual plan.
What Is DrHouse’s Prescription Refill Policy?
Our physicians are able to prescribe up to a 90-day prescription without labs for any previously prescribed medication if it’s medically appropriate and is not classified as a controlled substance.
DrHouse physicians also don’t prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, and HRT medications.
DrHouse physicians use their medical judgment to determine whether to prescribe and the duration.
In certain cases, the prescription may be limited to 30 days or less. There also may be a 12-month cap for some prescriptions without labs. For medications requiring annual monitoring (such as blood work or imaging), the maximum prescription limit is 90 days within a year without labs.
DrHouse physicians can refer patients to labs for longer prescription periods or refills.