Compare Diovan vs. Catapres

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Diovan
(Valsartan)

Catapres
(Clonidine)

Lowers blood pressure. Diovan (Valsartan) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects kidney function like an ACE inhibitor, but with fewer side effects.Lowers blood pressure. Catapres (Clonidine) is a good addition if you need more than one medicine to control your blood pressure, but it has a lot of side effects. You can't miss doses.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.1850117096018735Diovan
Reviews for Diovan (Valsartan)
65%
of people say Diovan (Valsartan) is worth it
54%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Catapres (Clonidine)
42%
23% vs. Diovan (Valsartan)
33%
21% vs. Diovan (Valsartan)
34%
19% vs. Diovan (Valsartan)
Side effects
DiovanCatapres
  • Dizziness 8%
  • Low blood pressure 5%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • High blood potassium 1%
  • Dizziness, postural 1%
  • Abdominal pain 1%
  • Positional low blood pressuren, postural 1%
  • Cough 1%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Joint pain 1%
More Diovan side effects »

The Catapres FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Catapres side effects »
How it works
DiovanCatapres
Diovan (Valsartan) is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). It blocks a chemical that tightens blood vessels. This makes blood vessels relax, which lowers blood pressure and allows more blood and oxygen to get to your heart and other organs.Catapres (Clonidine) is an alpha-2 agonist. It works in the brain to tell your blood vessels to relax, and it lowers the activity of certain stress hormones. This lowers blood pressure.
Type of medication
DiovanCatapres
Antihypertensive
Angiotensin receptor blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Alpha agonist
Prescription only
Available as
DiovanCatapres
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Patch
Used for (click to learn more)
DiovanCatapres
Risk factors for serious side effects
DiovanCatapres
  • Women of childbearing age
  • African descent
  • Current kidney problems
  • Medicine that increase potassium
  • Use of salt substitute
Detailed Diovan (Valsartan) risks & warnings »
  • Sudden discontinuation of medicine
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Using other medicine(s) that slows the heart
Detailed Catapres (Clonidine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
DiovanCatapres
DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
  • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
  • Requires routine blood tests to check kidney function.
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.
  • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and dry mouth.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
DiovanCatapres
  • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
  • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Similar to ACE inhibitors (like Lisinopril), with fewer side effects like cough and swelling.
  • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
  • Recommended for anyone with heart failure since it lowers the risk of death and further damage to your heart.
  • Can be added to other blood pressure-lowering medicines if you need additional blood pressure control.
  • Available in a weekly patch for people that aren't good at taking medicine by mouth.
  • Works in the brain, so it can help treat some nervous system and psychiatric conditions.
  • Under the brand name Kapvay, it's used to treat ADHD in children and teenagers.
Downsides and risks
DiovanCatapres
  • Requires a yearly blood test to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Has a lot of side effects compared to other blood pressure-lowering medicine because it works in the brain.
  • The pill form can make some people sleepy, dizzy, and have dry mouth.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Clonidine suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
DiovanCatapres
  • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
  • Tell your doctor about any dizziness, fatigue, cough, or throat irritation that doesn't go away.
  • Requires routine blood tests to check kidney function.
  • Don't take it if you're pregnant.
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • Usually taken together with other medicines for better blood pressure control.
  • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and dry mouth.
  • If side effects don't go away, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
  • The weekly patch form can have fewer side effects.
  • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
  • Extended release tablet also used to treat ADHD.
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
Learn more
More about DiovanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about CatapresSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert