Valsartan is in a class of drugs called angiogenesis II receptor antagonists. This medicine works by preventing constriction (narrowing) of blood vessels (veins and arteries).
Valsartan is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), congestive heart failure and to reduce cardiovascular death in patients with a previous history of heart attack.
Before taking valsartan, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease; liver disease;
on a salt-restricted diet or have high levels of potassium in your blood (hyperkalemia); or
taking a potassium supplement (e.g., K-Dur, Klor-Con, others) or a potassium-sparing diuretic such as amiloride (Midamor), triamterene (Dyrenium, Dyazide, Maxzide), or spironolactone (Aldactone). You may not be able to take valsartan, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring before you are allowed to start with valsartan.
Valsartan is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. When used during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, valsartan can cause injury and even death to the developing baby. However, it is not known whether valsartan passes into breast milk. Do not take valsartan if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment or if you are breast-feeding a baby without informing your doctor.
Although symptoms of valsartan overdose are not well known, these may include dizziness, weakness, fainting, and fatigue. In this case, you must seek medical attention.
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Valsartan may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Also be careful when rising from a sitting or lying position. Valsartan can also affect potassium level in the body, so do not use salt substitutes or take potassium supplements without talking to your doctor. Moreover, use alcohol cautiously because it may further lower blood pressure and increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking valsartan.
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking valsartan and seek emergency medical treatment. an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); or little or no urine. For any other less serious side effects, you may continue to take valsartan but talk to your doctor if you experience these symptoms: diarrhea or upset stomach, dizziness or headache, insomnia, or congestion or cough (very unlikely). Before taking valsartan, tell your doctor if you are taking potassium supplements such as K-Dur, Klor-Con, and others; potassium-sparing diuretic (water pill) such as amiloride (Midamor), spironolactone (Aldactone), or triamterene (Dyrenium, Dyazide, Maxzide); a salt substitute and any other medicines you take to treat hypertension or another heart condition. Valsartan may cause hypotension if it is taken with other heart medications. Other drugs not listed here may also interact with valsartan so to avoid such interactions; always inform your doctor before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.
Valsartan is chemically described as N-(1-oxopentyl)-N-[[2' - (1H-tetrazol-5-yl) [1,1'-biphenyl]-4-yl] methyl]-L-valine. Its empirical formula is C24H29N5O3, its molecular weight is 435.5. Valsartan is available as tablets for oral administration, containing 40 mg, 80 mg, 160 mg or 320 mg of valsartan. The inactive ingredients of the tablets are colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, iron oxides (yellow, black and/or red), magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol 8000, and titanium dioxide.
Valsartan has the following structural formula: