Valsartan is indicated to treat high blood pressure or also known as hypertension. It is a long-term force of the blood against your artery walls that are high enough that it may eventually cause health problems like heart disease. Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps. It is also determined by the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. You can have this condition for years without any symptoms. Hypertension generally develops over years and it affects nearly everyone eventually.

This medication may also be used to treat heart failure. This condition is also known as congestive heart failure. It occurs when your heart muscle does not pump blood as well as it should. Heart failure can be ongoing or it may start suddenly. Some signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Shortness of breath when you exert yourself or when you lie down
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet
  • Persistent cough or wheezing
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Swelling of your abdomen
  • Increased need to urinate
  • Lack of appetite and nausea
  • Very rapid weight gain from fluid retention
  • Sudden or severe shortness of breath
  • Chest pain if your heart failure is caused by a heart attack

Valsartan belongs to the class of medications called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). This relaxes blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent heart attacks, strokes, and kidney problems. In heart failure, this drug lowers the chance of having to go to the hospital for heart failure. This is a prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Valsartan is supplied as an aqueous solution for oral use. It is formulated at a concentration of 4 mg/mL. Each contains Valsartan as an active ingredient which is slightly soluble in water and soluble in methanol and ethanol.

How does Valsartan work?

Valsartan works by blocking receptors in the body known as angiotensin II receptors. This prevents the action of a hormone called angiotensin II. It is involved in regulating blood pressure and fluid balance. It has two main actions that cause the blood vessels to narrow and the kidneys to retain salt and water. This drug blocks the receptors that angiotensin II acts on and so prevents its actions. The main result of this is that the peripheral blood vessels are allowed to widen. It means that there are more space and less resistance in these blood vessels. This is the main mechanism by which the pressure in the blood vessels is lowered. Blocking the actions of angiotensin II also increases the amount of fluid removed from the blood by the kidneys. This lessens the quantity of fluid in the blood vessels, which similarly decreases the pressure and resistance in the blood vessels. The combined effect of these changes is to lower blood pressure.

In treating heart failure, this medication reduces the workload of the heart. It also has been shown to improve survival in people who have these problems following a heart attack.

How to use Valsartan?

Valsartan is to be taken by mouth usually once or twice a day. You may take the medication with or without a meal as directed by your doctor. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, shake the bottle well for at least 10 seconds before each dose. Measure carefully the dosing using a special measuring spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. The prescribed dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment. You must take this medication exactly as it is given by your doctor. You should not take less or more often than the prescription. Your doctor may direct you to start at a lower dose and eventually increase it. Do not suddenly stop taking Pindolol without the consent of your doctor. It is important to continue taking this even if you feel well. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Let your doctor know if your condition worsens or does not improve.

What are the side effects of Valsartan?

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Joint or back pain
  • Cough
  • High potassium
  • Increased blood creatinine

Call for emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction such as:

  • Hives
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, and throat

Warnings and Precautions

  • Before using Valsartan, let your doctor know if you any medical history especially of liver disease or loss of too much body water and minerals.
  • Inform your doctor if you ever had an allergic reaction to this medication. Tell also if you have any allergies. This drug may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction.
  • This medication may increase your potassium levels. Before using any potassium supplements, consult your doctor first.
  • Let your doctor know if you have any current medications including herbal remedies or vitamins.
  • Weariness and dizziness may occasionally occur while having this treatment with blood pressure-lowering drugs. Dizziness can be relieved by lying down until the symptoms pass. If you experience this, caution is needed when driving or operating machinery.
  • This product is not recommended for triple therapy in combination with both ACE inhibitors and beta-blocker when treating heart failure.

This medication should be used with caution in people:

  • Who are having kidney dialysis and who have had a kidney transplant
  • With severe heart failure
  • With mild to moderately decreased liver function
  • With heart valve disease and heart disease characterized by thickening of the internal heart muscle and a blockage inside the heart

This should not be used in:

  • People with severe liver problems
  • People with failure of the normal flow of bile from the liver to intestines
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding