Frequently asked questions for Valsartan
Q. How long does it take for Valsartan to start working?A substantial decrease in blood pressure can be experienced within 2 weeks of starting Valsartan. The medicine may take up to 4 weeks to show its complete effects.
Q. Which medicine is considered safe for treating high blood pressure?There are many blood pressure-lowering medicines which can be considered safe. Use of these medicines varies from person to person and can be based on various factors such as age, gender, other co-existing diseases, etc. For instance, a person below 55 years of age having no other coexisting disease may be prescribed angiotensin II receptor antagonists (ARAs) (e.g., Valsartan, losartan, olmesartan) or Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors (e.g., ramipril, captopril, or enalapril) by the doctor.
Q. Is Valsartan bad for kidneys?Valsartan does not generally affect the working of a proper functioning kidney. However, it should be cautiously used in patients who have existing severe kidney impairment (creatinine clearance <10 ml/min) and are on dialysis as there is limited data to support the safety of these patients.
Q. Who should not be given Valsartan?Valsartan should not be given to patients who are allergic to it, have severe liver disease, have diabetes, or impaired kidney function. Its use should be restricted if you are being treated with blood pressure lowering medicine containing aliskiren. It is important to know that a pregnant lady or one who intends to become pregnant should not use Valsartan.
Q. What class of medicine is Valsartan?Valsartan belongs to a group of medicines called angiotensin II receptor antagonists (ARAs). Angiotensin II is a substance in the body that causes vessels to tighten which leads to increase in blood pressure. Valsartan works by blocking the effect of angiotensin II. As a result, blood vessels relax and blood pressure is lowered.
Q. Does Valsartan cause weight gain?No, Valsartan does not cause weight gain as a side effect. However, if your kidney function deteriorates, then your body may swell due to accumulation of water (fluid retention) because of which you may gain weight. Inform your doctor if you experience any unexplained weight gain or swelling in your feet, ankles, or hands.
Q. How long do I need to take Valsartan?Continue taking Valsartan as long as your doctor has prescribed. Do not stop taking it even if you start feeling better. You may even have to take it life long, since Valsartan does not cure high blood pressure or heart failure but controls them.
Q. What is the most important information I should know about Valsartan?Taking Valsartan during the last months of pregnancy can cause serious harm or even death of the unborn baby. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Do not take Valsartan if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking Valsartan, stop taking Valsartan and call your doctor immediately.
Q. Can I switch in between the brands of Valsartan, since currently the brand I am using is not available?No, do not switch to a different Valsartan product unless your doctor says that you should. Since you have to take it daily, keep a stock of it. Each Valsartan product releases the medication differently in your body and cannot be used interchangeably.