Normally, high blood pressure (hypertension) occurs due to unknown causes. Obesity, alcohol abuse, high cholesterol, bad eating habits, smoking and diabetes are contributing risk factors. High blood pressure caused due to lifestyle patterns can be managed with natural remedies for high blood pressure that include diet changes, exercise, alternative therapies and a natural lifestyle.
However, persistently high blood pressure indicates that the malady has deep rooted causes and that the treatment requires high blood pressure medications like diuretics (water pills), calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II inhibitors like Valsartan, marketed under trade name of Diovan. Diovan is indicated for treatment of high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and post myocardial infarction.
Diovan was prescribed for more than 25 million times in USA in 2005. (Wikipedia) and is also used for reducing the risk of death following a heart attack. Diovan needs to be taken under the guidance of a specialist as it is a prescription drug and also because of its negative affect in certain conditions.
Diovan is not recommended for pregnant women. It can cause damage to the fetus and even cause the death of the unborn baby, especially if taken during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. If pregnancy happens during Diovan therapy, its use should be stopped immediately. In instances of chronic hypertension where mediation cannot be stopped, all possible measures should be taken to avoid pregnancy.
Diovan should also be avoided in cases of allergy to the drug and if it causes inability to urinate. While taking Diovan, avoid drinking alcohol as alcohol can increase blood pressure significantly and also lead to an increase in the side effects of the drug.
Before using Diovan, it is extremely necessary that you discuss the following with the doctor:
- The amount of salt or salt substitutes you can consume.
- Whether potassium supplements can be taken or not.
- Possible kidney or liver disorders need to be discussed in detail. In such cases, the doctor may look for a substitute and not prescribe Diovan.
Certain precautions that you may need to keep in mind include:
- To ensure that you derive full benefits of the drug, take it with a full (8 ounces) glass of water.
- Store Diovan at room temperature and in a cool dry place.
- If you miss a dose then take the missed dose as soon as you remember but do not take a double dose if it is already time for the next dose.
- Get your blood pressure checked regularly as their may be a need for dosage adjustments, change in medication or stopping the treatment altogether.
Most common side effects of Diovan are headache and dizziness. In certain cases there may be a slight weight gain, fast or pounding heartbeat, less than usual urination or complete cessation, dry mouth, increased thirst, drowsiness, restless feeling, confusion, nausea, vomiting, increased urination, muscle pain or weakness, fast heart rate, feeling light-headed, fainting, or seizure and jaundice.
If you have been diagnosed with chronic hypertension, Diovan may be needed for treatment but at the same time side effects should be monitored.