Valsartan is an oral medication that belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). It is orally active and specific angiotensin II antagonist acting on the AT1 subtype. Angiotensin’s attachment to the receptors cause the blood vessels to narrow (vasoconstrict) which leads to an increase in blood pressure (hypertension). Valsartan blocks the angiotensin II receptor. By blocking the action of angiotensin, Valsartan dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure without affecting pulse rate. Valsartan has much greater affinity (about 20,000-fold) for the AT1 receptor than for the AT2 receptor. It does not bind or block other hormone receptors or ion channels known to be important in cardiovascular regulation.
Valsartan is indicated:
- For hypertension
- To reduce hospitalizations in patients with congestive heart failure
- To reduce death in patients who developed congestive heart failure after myocardial infarction
Dosage & Administration:
Hypertension: The usual dose of Valsartan is 80 to 160 mg once daily. The maximum dose is 320 mg daily. Maximum blood pressure reduction occurs within 4 weeks.
Heart failure: The usual dose is 40 mg twice daily and may be increased to 80-160 mg twice daily.
Post-Myocardial Infarction: The initial dose after myocardial infarction is 20 mg twice daily. The dose should be increased with a target of 160 mg daily if tolerated without side effects.
Administration of Valsartan with food decreases the absorption of Valsartan by about 40 %, so it should be taken on an empty stomach. No initial dosage adjustment is required for elderly patients with mild to moderate renal and hepatic insufficiency.
Pediatric use: Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
Geriatric use: No overall difference in the efficacy or safety without some exception.
Valsartan is generally well tolerated and side effects are rare. The most common side effects include headache, dizziness, fatigue, abdominal pain, cough, diarrhea and nausea. Patient may also experience hyperkalemia, impotency, reduced renal function, allergic reactions, dyspnea, constipation, back pain, muscle cramps, rash, anxiety, insomnia and vertigo. Hypotension may also occur if patient have been taking diuretics along with Valsartan.
Valsartan is contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to any component of this product.