September 24, 2023
Does Valsartan cause weight gain? While concerns have been raised, the evidence suggests that this is not a common side effect. In this article, we explore the science behind Valsartan and weight gain, practical tips for managing weight, and alternative treatments for heart conditions.

Does Valsartan Cause Weight Gain?

As concerns about cardiovascular disease continue to grow, more and more people are being put on medications like Valsartan. Valsartan is a medication used to treat hypertension, heart failure, and other heart conditions. Although this medication can be a lifesaver for many, there have been concerns raised about whether it can cause weight gain. In this article, we will explore this topic by examining the science behind Valsartan, its potential impact on body weight, and practical advice for managing weight while taking the drug.

What is Valsartan?

Before we dive into the question of whether Valsartan causes weight gain, let’s first understand what this medication is and how it works. Valsartan is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) that works by blocking the action of a hormone called angiotensin II. This hormone plays a role in regulating blood pressure, and by blocking its action, Valsartan can lower blood pressure and help reduce the risk of certain heart conditions.

While Valsartan can be an effective medication for many people, there are potential side effects that patients should be aware of. According to the Mayo Clinic, some common side effects of Valsartan include dizziness, headache, fatigue, and stomach pain. More serious side effects may include chest pain, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, or tongue. Patients who experience any of these symptoms should seek medical attention right away.

Does Valsartan Cause Weight Gain?

So, what about the question of weight gain? There have been some concerns raised that Valsartan may cause weight gain, but what does the research say?

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looked at the effects of Valsartan on body weight over a period of six months. The study, which involved over 1,200 patients, found that there was no significant difference in weight gain between those taking Valsartan and those taking placebo. However, it’s worth noting that this study only looked at six months of treatment, so it’s possible that longer-term use of Valsartan could lead to weight gain.

While the results of this study are reassuring, it’s important to remember that everyone’s body is different. Some patients may experience weight gain while taking Valsartan, even if the medication itself is not the direct cause. This could be due to a number of factors, such as changes in diet or activity levels or the presence of other health conditions.

It’s also worth noting that Valsartan is not the only medication that can potentially cause weight gain. Many medications, including antidepressants, corticosteroids, and antihistamines, can lead to weight gain as a side effect.

Understanding the Link between Medication and Weight Changes

While the exact mechanisms behind medication-induced weight gain are not always clear, there are a few ways in which medications can impact body weight. Some medications may increase appetite or cravings for certain foods. Others may slow down metabolism or affect how the body processes and stores fat.

It’s also important to note that individuals can react to medications differently. Some people may be more prone to weight gain than others, even if they are taking the same medication at the same dosage. Your genetics, lifestyle, and other health conditions can all play a role in how your body responds to medication.

Tips for Managing Weight While Taking Valsartan

If you are taking Valsartan and are concerned about weight gain, there are a few things you can do to manage your weight while still taking your medication. Here are a few tips:

  • Monitor your weight regularly: Keep track of your weight to detect any changes early.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet: Aim for a variety of healthy foods that provide the nutrients your body needs.
  • Stay active: Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
  • Be mindful of portion sizes: Overeating can contribute to weight gain, so pay attention to how much you’re eating.
  • Get support: Reach out to friends, family, or a healthcare professional for support and accountability.

Looking beyond the Rumors: The Truth about Valsartan and Weight Gain

There have been some rumors and misconceptions surrounding Valsartan and weight gain, so let’s clear the air:

  • Rumor: Valsartan causes significant weight gain. As we discussed earlier, the research does not support this claim. While some patients may experience weight gain while taking Valsartan, it’s not a common or well-documented side effect.
  • Rumor: Stopping Valsartan will cause you to lose weight. While it’s possible that stopping Valsartan could lead to weight loss, this is not a guaranteed outcome. Changing medications should always be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
  • Rumor: Valsartan is the only blood pressure medication that can cause weight gain. As we mentioned earlier, many medications can potentially cause weight gain as a side effect. It’s important to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about your medication regimen.

Alternative Treatments for Heart Conditions

If you are concerned about weight gain with Valsartan or would like to explore alternative treatment options, there are a few alternatives you can consider:

  • ACE inhibitors: This class of medication works similarly to ARBs and can be used to treat hypertension and other heart conditions. ACE inhibitors may be a good alternative for patients who experience side effects with ARBs.
  • Calcium channel blockers: This medication class can also be used to treat hypertension and other heart conditions. Calcium channel blockers are less likely to cause weight gain than ARBs or beta blockers.
  • Lifestyle modifications: In some cases, lifestyle changes like diet and exercise can be an effective way to manage hypertension and other heart conditions. Talk to your doctor about what lifestyle strategies might be appropriate for you.


In summary, while concerns have been raised about whether Valsartan can cause weight gain, the evidence suggests that this is not a common side effect. However, weight gain can still occur while taking Valsartan due to a variety of factors, including changes in diet or activity levels. Patients who are concerned about weight gain can take steps to manage their weight, such as monitoring their weight regularly, eating a well-balanced diet, and staying active. If you are experiencing side effects with Valsartan, or are concerned about your medication regimen, talk to your doctor about alternative treatment options.

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