Your doctor prescribed valsartan and explained the possible benefits and risks of the blood pressure regulating medication to you. However, as with any drug, it is essential to know as much as you can about it before you take it.
What Is Valsartan?
Valsartan is a type of blood pressure medication known as an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). Angiotensin II is a type of hormone that causes blood vessels to narrow and raises blood pressure. ARBs block the angiotensin II receptor and prevent the narrowing of blood vessels to lower blood pressure.
The first form of valsartan was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996. The drug, made by Novartis, was known as Diovan. Novartis held a patent for Diovan until 2012. By 2020, there were approximately 30 generic versions of valsartan available in the United States.
Numerous studies have confirmed valsartan’s effectiveness when compared to placebos and other blood pressure lowering medications. However, that doesn’t mean that valsartan is always safe.
How to Take Valsartan Safely
You can help minimize the potential side effects of Valsartan by:
- Taking the dose prescribed by your doctor. Confirm the dose with the pharmacist before taking the medication and do not skip a dose or take an extra dose. Valsartan comes in different doses, and your doctor will consider things such as your age, whether you have hypertension, whether you have heart failure, and whether you have previously had a heart attack before prescribing valsartan.
- Taking the medication at the same time every day. Valsartan stays in your system for 24 hours. Therefore, it is important to take the medicine at the same time each day.
- Store the medication properly. Valsartan should be stored at room temperature and be kept dry.
If you experience dizziness, a rapid or slow heartbeat, or any other signs of a potential valsartan overdose, then you should seek emergency medical care.
There are known side effects that are included in the valsartan medication insert. These are risks that should be discussed with your doctor when you weigh the pros and cons of taking valsartan. They include:
- Stomach pain
- Flu-like symptoms
- Low blood pressure
- Joint pain
- Decreased kidney function
- Fetal toxicity (for pregnant women)
Valsartan is not defective because of these risks, and you do not necessarily have a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer if you experience any of these side effects.
Valsartan Contamination Injury Lawsuits
You and your doctor may have done everything right. Valsartan may have been the right prescription for you, and you may have taken it correctly after weighing the potential benefits and risks. However, you may experience another side effect that you were not warned about before you took the medicine.
You could develop cancer from your valsartan medication if your valsartan was contaminated with N-Nitrosodiumethylamine (NDMA), N-Nitroso-N-methyl-4-aminobutyric acid (NMBA), or N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). Since 2018, the FDA has found contamination by one or more of these chemicals at more than one valsartan manufacturing facility. Multiple pharmaceutical companies have issued recalls because of this potentially dangerous contamination.
Multiple lawsuits have already been filed against pharmaceutical companies with contaminated batches of valsartan. If you have used valsartan for at least one year since 2015, then you may be eligible to join one of these mass tort lawsuits. Even if you don’t have cancer yet, you may benefit from free medical monitoring to detect any potential cancer early.
Mass tort medication lawsuits can be tricky. You may not know how to start protecting your rights or what actions to take. Our experienced New England attorneys are here to help you. If you’ve taken valsartan and you live in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or New Hampshire, then we invite you to contact us as soon as possible for a free and confidential consultation. We will answer all of your questions and make sure that you have all of the information that you need to decide what to do next.