Diovan HCT (Valsartan/HCTZ) Dosage and Side Effects
DIOVAN HCT lowers high blood pressure. DIOVAN HCT is used to treat people after a heart attack when an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, considered part of standard therapy for this condition, is not appropriate. DIOVAN HCT is used in patients with chronic heart failure, when they are unable to tolerate the standard treatment with medications called ACE inhibitors. There is no evidence that DIOVAN HCT provides added benefit when it is used with ACE inhibitors.
Proper Use of this medication
Take DIOVAN exactly as prescribed. Swallow DIOVAN tablets with a glass of water. It is recommended to take your dose at about the same time everyday preferably in the morning. You can take DIOVAN with or without food, but it should be taken the same way each day. Do not exceed the recommended dose.
Usual adult dose:
High blood pressure (hypertension):
Recommended initial dose: 80 mg once a day. Dose should be increased gradually.
Maximum dose: 320 mg a day
Following a heart attack (myocardial infarction):
Recommended starting dose: 20 mg twice a day.
Dose can be increased gradually.
Target maintenance dose: 160 mg twice a day.
Chronic heart failure:
Recommended starting dose: 40 mg twice a day. Dose should be increased gradually.
Maximum dose: 160 mg twice a day.
If you think you have taken too much DIOVAN contact your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, hospital emergency department or regional Poison control Centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms.
If you have forgotten to take your dose during the day, carry on with the next one at the usual time. Do not double dose.
Side effects may include:
Dizziness, light headedness,
Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea,
Back or leg pain, muscle cramps,
Muscle pain, muscle weakness,
Unusual tiredness, weakness,
Blistering skin (sign of dermatitis bullous)
If any of these affects you severely, tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
DIOVAN can cause abnormal blood test results. Your doctor will decide when to perform blood tests and will interpret the results.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take DIOVAN if you:
Are allergic to valsartan or to any nonmedicinal ingredient in the formulation.
Have experienced an allergic reaction (angioedema) with swelling of the hands, feet, or ankles, face, lips, tongue, throat, or sudden difficulty breathing or swallowing, to any ARB. Be sure to tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist that this has happened to you.
Are taking a medicine that contains aliskiren (such as Rasilez) and you have diabetes or kidney disease.
Are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Taking DIOVAN during pregnancy can cause injury and even death to your baby.
Are breastfeeding. It is possible that DIOVAN passes into breast milk.
Serious Warnings and Precautions—Pregnancy
DIOVAN should not be used during pregnancy. If you discover that you are pregnant while taking DIOVAN, stop the medication and contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist as soon as possible.
BEFORE you use DIOVAN talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you:
- Have experienced an allergic reaction to any drug, including drugs used to lower blood pressure, such as angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB).
- Have narrowing of an artery or a heart valve.
- Have had a heart attack or stroke.
- Have heart failure.
- Have diabetes, liver or kidney disease.
- Are on dialysis.
- Are dehydrated or suffer from excessive vomiting, diarrhea, or sweating.
- Are taking a salt substitute that contains potassium, potassium supplements, or a potassium-sparing diuretic (a specific kind of “water pill” that makes your body keep potassium).
- Are on a low-salt diet.
- Are taking a medicine that contains aliskiren, such as Rasilez, used to lower high blood pressure. The combination with DIOVAN is not recommended.
- Are taking an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor.
- Are less than 18 years old.
Driving and using machines:
Before you perform tasks which may require special attention, wait until you know how you respond to DIOVAN. Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting can especially occur after the first dose and when the dose is increased.
Interactions with this medication
As with most medicines, interactions with other drugs are possible. Tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about all the medicines you take, including drugs prescribed by other doctors, vitamins, minerals, natural supplements, or alternative medicines.
The following may interact with DIOVAN:
Agents increasing serum potassium, such as a salt substitute that contains potassium, potassium supplements, a potassium-sparing diuretic (a specific kind of “water pill”) or other drugs that may increase potassium levels.
Lithium, a medicine used to treat some types of psychiatric illness such as bipolar disease.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), used to reduce pain and swelling. Examples include ibuprofen, naproxen, and celecoxib.
Other blood pressure lowering drugs, including diuretics (“water pills”), ACE inhibitors or aliskiren.
Rifampin an antibiotic.
Cyclosporine a drug used to protect against transplant rejection.
Ritonavir an antiretroviral drug used to treat HIV/AIDS infection.