Diovan Precautions and Warnings
There are a number of Diovan precautions and warnings to be aware of, including drug interactions, the safety of taking the drug while pregnant or nursing, and side effects that can occur (such as a decrease in kidney function). Before taking Diovan, tell your healthcare provider if you have heart or liver disease, among other conditions.
Diovan: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Diovan® (valsartan) if you have:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease or kidney failure
- Gallstones or other gallbladder problems
- Any allergies, including allergies to other angiotensin II receptor blockers, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or trying to become pregnant
- On dialysis
Tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
- There are a couple of medicines that Diovan can interact with (see Diovan Interactions).
- Diovan may cause extremely low blood pressure in some people. Extremely low blood pressure is more likely to happen in people who are taking a diuretic, who are on dialysis, who have diarrhea or vomiting, who have excessive sweating, who have congestive heart failure, or who have recently had a heart attack. This is why it is important to drink fluids regularly while taking Diovan. If you have any possible symptoms of extremely low blood pressure, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting, contact your healthcare provider. If you have fainted, stop taking Diovan until you have talked to your healthcare provider.
Also, make sure not to drive, operate any heavy machinery, or perform any other tasks that require alertness before you know how Diovan affects you.
- Diovan is a pregnancy Category D medicine, meaning that it has health risks to your unborn child. Prior to taking Diovan, let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking Diovan, contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Diovan and Pregnancy for more information).
- While taking Diovan, do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes with potassium unless you have discussed this with your doctor. This is because in some people taking Diovan, potassium in the blood can increase to dangerous levels.
- Diovan may cause a decrease in kidney function, especially in people who are elderly, have kidney disease, have severe congestive heart failure (CHF), or are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or diuretics (water pills). Your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your kidney function with a blood test while you are taking it. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice a decrease in urination or swelling in your hands, legs, ankles, or feet, which can be signs of kidney problems.
- It is not known whether or not Diovan passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are nursing and taking Diovan, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should stop taking Diovan or stop breastfeeding.