Losartan, sold under the brand name Cosaar, is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).
It is also used to reduce the risk of stroke in some patients with heart disease.
Losartan is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), which blocks a substance that causes blood vessels to be tightened.
Weakening blood vessels, Losartan helps a person maintain lower blood pressure, increasing the supply of oxygen from the blood to the heart.
Losartan is also used to slow kidney damage in people with type 2 diabetes, and it is sometimes used to treat congestive heart failure.
Losartan was the first angiotensin receptor blocker, which was sold after its approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1995.
Losartan is marketed as Hyzaar (hydrochlorothiazide / losartan), a combination drug with a low dose of a diuretic, to enhance its antihypertensive effect.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to Losartan.
Avoid alcohol while using Losartan, because it can further reduce blood pressure and increase side effects.
Make sure your blood pressure is checked frequently. Continue to use the drug even if you feel fine, because high blood pressure often does not have symptoms.
Losartan and pregnancy
In 2014, the FDA issued a warning stating that Losartan can cause fetal toxicity and should be discontinued once pregnancy is detected.
The drug may cause fetal damage or death if taken within the last 6 months of pregnancy.
The safety of the use of losartan in breastfeeding is not defined. Talk with your doctor about breastfeeding and taking Losartan.
Seek immediate medical attention if signs of an allergic reaction occur, including shortness of breath or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Rarely, Losartan can cause a condition that leads to the destruction of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure.
You should call your doctor immediately if you experience fever, nausea, vomiting, or dark urine.
Other side effects of Losartan include:
- Feeling that you can die
- Pale skin, trouble concentrating
- Shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain
- Irregular or rapid heart rate, weak pulse, sensitivity
- Decreased urination
Less serious side effects include:
- Dry cough
- Symptoms of a cold or flu, sore throat, fever
- Muscle spasms
- Headache, dizziness
- Pain in the legs or back
- Diarrhea, pain in the stomach
Tell your doctor about any allergies that you have, and about all the medicines that you take, as they can affect the work of Losartan.
If you have diabetes or kidney disease, avoid using Losartan along with medications containing aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamio, Valturna).
Consult your doctor if you are taking the following medicines:
- Aspirin (Anacin, Bayer or Bufferine)
- Ibuprofen (Advil)
- Naproksen (Aflaksen, Aleve)
- Potassium-sparing diuretics (amiloride)
- Fluconazole (Diflucan)
- Lithium (Escalite)
- Phenobarbital (Solphoton)
- Additives of potassium
Lozartan tablets are available in 25 mg, 50 mg or 100 mg.
The usual initial dose is 50 mg, but people who use diuretics can start with 25 mg once or twice a day.
Effects are usually observed during the week with a maximum effect of three to six weeks.
For pediatric patients with hypertension over 6 years, the recommended initial dose is 0.7 mg, once a day, up to 50 mg.
Losartan can be taken with and without food.
Losartan: an overdose
Overdose can cause rapid or slow heartbeat, dizziness.
If you experience these symptoms, call 911 or contact the Toxicology Center
Missed dose of Losartan
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. Leave it if it’s time to take the next scheduled dose. Do not take additional medication to make up for the missed dose.