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Diovan

What is Diovan

Diovan is in a class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor antagonists. Diovan prevents the constriction (narrowing) of blood vessels (veins and arteries).

Diovan is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart failure.

Diovan may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Diovan

Do not take Diovan if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. When used during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, Diovan can cause injury and even death to the developing baby. Notify your doctor immediately if you think you might be pregnant.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Diovan may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities. Also use caution when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may further lower blood pressure and increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking Diovan.

What you should find out before taking Diovan

Before taking Diovan, tell your doctor if you
- have kidney disease;
- have liver disease;
- are on a salt-restricted diet or have high levels of potassium in your blood; or
- are 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 Diovan, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Diovan is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that it is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. When used during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, Diovan can cause injury and even death to the developing baby. Do not take Diovan if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether Diovan passes into breast milk. Do not take Diovan without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should take Diovan

Take Diovan exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take Diovan with a full glass of water.

Diovan can be taken with or without food.

Do not stop taking Diovan without first talking to your doctor. If you stop taking the medication, your condition could become worse.

Your doctor may want to monitor your blood pressure or perform other tests periodically during treatment with Diovan.

Store Diovan at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a Diovan overdose are not well known but may include dizziness, weakness, fainting, and fatigue.

Avoid while taking Diovan

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Diovan may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities. Also use caution when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may further lower blood pressure and increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking Diovan.

Do not use salt substitutes or take potassium supplements without first talking to your doctor. Diovan can affect potassium levels in the body.

Possible side effects of this drug

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Diovan and call your doctor immediately or 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.

Other less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Diovan and talk to your doctor if you experience
- diarrhea or upset stomach,
- dizziness or headache,
- insomnia, or
- congestion or cough (very unlikely).

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Diovan

Before taking Diovan, tell your doctor if you
- take a potassium supplement such as K-Dur, Klor-Con, and others;
- take a potassium-sparing diuretic (water pill) such as amiloride (Midamor), spironolactone (Aldactone), or triamterene (Dyrenium, Dyazide, Maxzide); or
- use a salt substitute.

Diovan can affect potassium levels in the body. You may not be able to take Diovan, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Tell your doctor about any other medicines you take to treat high blood pressure or another heart condition. Diovan may cause very low blood pressure if it is taken with other heart medications.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Diovan or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

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