The angiotensin II antagonist Diovan (valsartan) is now licensed for the treatment of symptomatic heart failure when ACE inhibitors cannot be used, or as add-on therapy to ACE inhibitors when beta-blockers cannot be used.
The recommended starting dose is 40mg twice daily, the dose may be titrated upwards to 80mg and 160mg twice daily at intervals of two weeks to the highest dose as tolerated by the patient.
The maximum daily dose administered in clinical trials was 320mg in divided doses.
Diovan may be administered with other heart failure therapies although the triple combination of an ACE inhibitor, a beta-blocker and Diovan is not recommended. An assessment of the patient's renal function should be carried out when initiating therapy with valsartan.
Further information: Novartis