Diovan (valsartan) is a prescription drug used to treat high blood pressure and some heart conditions. The drug comes as a tablet that you swallow. You usually take it once or twice per day.
Diovan is used to:
- treat high blood pressure in adults and some children
- lower the risk of cardiovascular death in adults after a heart attack caused by left ventricular failure or left ventricular dysfunction*
- lower the risk of being hospitalized from heart failure in adults
* “Cardiovascular” comprises the heart and blood vessels. “Left ventricular” comprises the left side of the heart.
The active ingredient in Diovan is valsartan. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
Diovan belongs to a group of drugs called angiotensin 2 receptor blockers.
This article describes the dosages of Diovan as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Diovan, see this in-depth article.
The table below highlights the basics of Diovan’s dosage. All doses are listed in milligrams (mg).
|treat high blood pressure
|80–160 mg once per day
|320 mg once per day
|lower the risk of cardiovascular death after a heart attack
|20 mg twice per day
|160 mg twice per day
|lower the risk of being hospitalized from heart failure
|40 mg twice per day
|160 mg twice per day
Keep reading for more details about Diovan’s dosage.
What is Diovan’s form?
Diovan is available as an oral tablet.
What strengths does Diovan come in?
Diovan comes in several strengths:
- 40 mg
- 80 mg
- 160 mg
- 320 mg
What are the usual dosages of Diovan in adults?
The dosage of Diovan your doctor prescribes depends on several factors. These include the severity of your condition, your age, and other medications you take.
Your doctor will likely start you on a low dosage. They may adjust it over time to reach the right dosage for you. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. Be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for high blood pressure
The typical starting dosage of Diovan for adults to treat high blood pressure is 80–160 mg once per day. Your doctor may increase your dosage if this doesn’t manage your condition. The dosage range is 80–320 mg once per day.
The maximum dosage of Diovan for high blood pressure is 320 mg once per day. If this doesn’t manage your condition, your doctor may suggest a different medication to treat it.
Dosage for lowering the risk of cardiovascular death after heart attack
The typical starting dosage of Diovan for adults after a heart attack is 20 mg twice per day. Your doctor may start you on the medication as soon as 12 hours after a heart attack. After 7 days, they may increase your dosage to 40 mg twice per day, if needed. The dosage range is 20–160 mg twice per day.
The maximum dosage is 160 mg twice per day, which is 320 mg total per day.
Dosage for lowering the risk of being hospitalized from heart failure
The typical starting dosage of Diovan for adults to lower the risk of being hospitalized from heart failure is 40 mg twice per day. Your doctor may increase your dose slowly, if needed. The typical dosage range is 40–160 mg twice per day.
The maximum dosage is 160 mg twice per day, which is 320 mg total per day.
What’s the dosage of Diovan for children?
Diovan is used to help treat high blood pressure in children ages 1-16 years. The dosage in children is based on their body weight in kilograms (kg). For reference, 1 kg is about 2.2 pounds (lb).
The recommended starting dosage to treat high blood pressure in children is 1 mg per kg (mg/kg) once per day.
In some situations, a doctor may want to lower a child’s blood pressure faster. If so, the child’s doctor may prescribe a higher starting dosage of 2 mg/kg once per day.
For children weighing 40 kg or more, the maximum dosage is 160 mg per day. For children weighing less than 40 kg, the maximum dosage is 4 mg/kg per day.
As a dosage example, assume a doctor prescribes 1 mg/kg Diovan for a child who weighs 40 kg (about 88 lb). The child’s dosage would be 40 mg once per day.
For more information about Diovan’s dosage for children, talk with your child’s doctor or a pharmacist.
Is Diovan taken long term?
Yes, Diovan is usually taken as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely take it long term.
Tell your doctor if you have conditions that could increase your risk of serious side effects with Diovan. These include serious kidney disease and severe congestive heart failure.
Your doctor will discuss whether Diovan is safe for you and whether you’ll need a dosage adjustment. If your doctor prescribes Diovan, they’ll monitor you during treatment for side effects or other problems.
The dosage of Diovan you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition the drug is treating
- your age
- other conditions you may have (see the “Dosage adjustments” section above)
Diovan is available as an oral tablet. If you have difficulty swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on taking this form of medication. You can take Diovan with or without food. Try to take the medication around the same time each day. Doing so helps keep steady levels of the medication in your body.
For some dosages, you’ll need to cut the tablet your doctor prescribes to divide it into two equal doses. It’s safe to cut the Diovan tablet, but do not crush or chew it.
Some children find it hard to swallow tablets. In this case for children taking Diovan, your pharmacist will mix Diovan into a liquid suspension. Your child may find this liquid mixture easier to swallow. Before your child takes a dose, be sure to shake the suspension for at least 10 seconds. If you have questions about your child’s dose of Diovan, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Diovan, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also see the “Expiration” section of this article.
Accessible drug containers and labels
Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:
- have large print
- use braille
- feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
Let your pharmacist know if you have difficulty opening medication bottles. They may have tips to help, or they may be able to supply Diovan in an easy-open container.
If you miss a dose of Diovan, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at its usual time. Don’t take two doses of the medication at once to make up for a missed dose.
If you’re unsure whether you should take a missed dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you need help remembering to take your dose of Diovan on time, consider a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.
Do not take more Diovan than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to harmful effects.
What to do in case you take too much Diovan
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Diovan. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Diovan’s dosage.
Is Diovan’s dosage similar to the dosage of Lopressor or Zestril?
But the strengths, dosage forms, and some uses for each medication are different.
Lopressor is approved to:
- treat high blood pressure
- treat or prevent angina (chest pain)
- lower the risk of death from a heart attack
Lopressor also comes as an injection, which you receive in a vein as an intravenous (IV) injection. To lower the risk of death from a heart attack, you’ll likely first receive Lopressor by injection in the hospital. And then you’ll likely switch to Lopressor oral tablet.
Zestril is approved for the same uses as Diovan. But for treating high blood pressure, Zestril is approved for children ages 6 years and older. Zestril comes in different strengths, and you take it once per day.
To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.
How long does it take for Diovan to start working?
The length of time it takes Diovan to start working depends on the condition being treated and other factors. For lowering blood pressure, Diovan starts to work within about 2 hours after you take a dose. And it takes about 6 hours for it to have the maximum effect.
For other conditions, the length of time it takes Diovan to start working depends on several factors. These include the severity of the condition and other medications you may be taking. During treatment, your doctor will monitor you to check whether the drug is working to treat your condition.
If you have questions about what to expect from your Diovan treatment, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Diovan for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you should not change your dosage of Diovan without your doctor’s recommendation. Take Diovan only exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- Does my dosage of Diovan affect the cost of the medication?
- Would I have a higher risk of side effects if I take the maximum dosage of Diovan?
- Will I need a lower dosage of Diovan if I’m taking other medications?
To learn more about Diovan, see this overview article.
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.