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Valsartan is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), prevention and treatment of heart attack (myocardial Infarction) and heart failure; when heart is unable to pump sufficient blood. It is also used in kidney disease due to diabetes.

How it works

Valsartan belongs to group of medicines called angiotensin-II receptor inhibitors. Angiotensin II is a chemical that causes muscles surrounding the blood vessels to contract, thereby narrowing the blood vessels. Valsartan blocks the action of angiotensin II resulting in relaxation of blood vessels, and thus, reduces blood pressure.

Common side effects

Abdominal pain, Cough, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Dizziness on standing, Fainting, Headache, Heart failure, Increased potassium level in blood, Increased creatinine level in blood, Renal failure, Renal impairment, Vertigo, Weakness, Fatigue


Expert advice

  • Do not drive because you may feel sleepy or dizzy while being treated with valsartan.
  • Do not start or continue valsartan, if you are dehydrated due to sickness, diarrhea or use of diuretics.
  • Do not take valsartan, if you have history of swelling of eyes and lips (angioedema) or any disease of the heart (eg. ischemic heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, cardiogenic shock, or heart attack).
  • Avoid taking valsartan if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is valsartan an ace inhibitor, beta blocker, statin, blood thinner, or ARB?
Valsartan is not an ace inhibitor, beta blocker, statin, or blood thinner drug. It is an angiotensin-II receptor blocker (ARB).

Q. Is valsartan the same as Diovan?
Yes, Diovan is the brand name for valsartan.

Q. Is valsartan generic?
Yes, valsartan is a generic drug.

Q. Can I take valsartan with Tylenol (acetaminophen), Viagra (sildenafil), Advil (ibuprofen) or amlodipine?
Valsartan should not be given with Advil. It is not reported to interact with Tylenol, Viagra, or amlodipine. Please follow the advice of the doctor regarding their simultaneous use.

Q. Does valsartan cause weight gain, cough, dry mouth, insomnia, itching, hair loss, erectile dysfunction (ED), or lower heart rate?
Valsartan may cause cough, weight gain, erectile dysfunction, or lower heart rate. It generally not been shown to cause dry mouth, insomnia, itching, or hair loss. Please consult your doctor if you experience these side effects.

Q. Is valsartan safe?
Valsartan is relatively safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.

Content on this page was last updated on 28 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)