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Pharmacologic class: Angiotensin II receptor antagonist
Therapeutic class: Antihypertensive
Pregnancy risk category C (first trimester), D (second and third trimesters)
Blocks the vasoconstrictive and aldosterone-producing effects of angiotensin II at various receptor sites, including vascular smooth muscle and adrenal glands
Tablets: 40 mg, 80 mg, 160 mg, 320 mg
Indications and dosages
Adults: Initially, 80 to 160 mg P.O. daily. May increase as needed to a maximum of 320 mg P.O. daily, or a diuretic may be added.
Children ages 6 to 16: Initially, 1.3 mg/kg (up to 40 mg total) P.O. once daily; dosage range is 1.3 to 2.7 mg/kg (40 to 160 mg total).
➣ Heart failure
Adults: 40 mg P.O. b.i.d., titrated to 80 mg or 160 mg P.O. b.i.d., as tolerated
➣ Reduction of cardiovascular mortality in clinically stable patients with left ventricular failure or left ventricular dysfunction following myocardial infarction
Adults: 20 mg P.O. b.i.d., followed by titration to 40 mg P.O. b.i.d., with subsequent titration to a target maintenance dosage of 160 mg P.O. b.i.d., as tolerated
• Symptomatic hypotension
• Renal dysfunction
• Left ventricular hypertrophy
• Diabetic nephropathy
Use cautiously in:
• severe heart failure; volume or sodium depletion; hepatic or renal impairment; obstructive biliary disorders; angioedema; aortic, mitral valve, or renal artery stenosis; hyperkalemia, hypotension
• pregnant or breastfeeding patients
• children younger than age 6 (safety not established).
• Give with or without food.
• For children who can't swallow tablets or children for whom calculated dosage doesn't correspond to available tablet strength, use a suspension but be aware that exposure to the suspension is 1.6 times greater than the tablet.
• To prepare 160 ml of a 4-mg/ml suspension, add 80 ml of Ora-Plus to bottle containing eight valsartan 80-mg tablets and shake for at least 2 minutes. Allow suspension to stand for at least 1 hour. Then shake for at least 1 additional minute. Add 80 ml of Ora-Sweet to bottle and shake for at least 10 seconds before giving appropriate dose. May store suspension for 30 days at room temperature or up to 75 days if refrigerated.
Be aware that drug isn't recommended for children with glomerular filtration rate of less than 30 ml/minute/1.732.
CNS: dizziness, fatigue, headache
CV: hypotension, palpitations
EENT: sinus disorders, rhinitis, pharyngitis
GI: nausea, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, dry mouth
GU: albuminuria, renal impairment
Musculoskeletal: back pain, joint pain, muscle cramps
Respiratory: cough, upper respiratory tract infection
Skin: alopecia, angioedema
Other: dental pain, fever, viral infection, edema
Drug-drug. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors: increased risk of renal impairment including acute renal failure in elderly patients, volume-depleted patients, or those with compromised renal function; loss of valsartan antihypertensive effect
Other antihypertensives: increased risk of hypotension
Potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements: increased risk of hyperkalemia
Drug-diagnostic tests. Serum creatinine, serum and urine albumin, urine potassium: increased levels
Drug-food. Salt substitutes containing potassium: increased risk of hyperkalemia
Drug-herbs. Ephedra (ma huang): reduced hypotensive effect of valsartan
Drug-behaviors. Alcohol use: increased CNS depression
• Monitor blood pressure closely, especially during initial therapy and dosage adjustments.
• Assess potassium level. Stay alert for hyperkalemia.
• Be aware that in black patients, drug may be ineffective when used alone. Additional agents may be required.
• Tell patient he may take with or without food.
• For children who can't swallow tablets or children for whom calculated dosage doesn't correspond to available tablet strength, show caregiver how to prepare a suspension.
Instruct female of childbearing age to report pregnancy immediately.
• Advise breastfeeding patient to avoid breastfeeding while taking drug.
• Advise patient to avoid potassium-containing salt substitutes.
• Caution patient to avoid alcohol.
• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs, tests, foods, herbs, and behaviors mentioned above.