Losartan is an angiotensin receptor blocker drug. This drug is often prescribed under the brand name Cozaar. It is used to reduce the risk of stroke in people with high blood pressure. It is also used to treat a heart condition called left ventricular hypertrophy and protect the kidneys in patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and nephropathy.

Losartan can be used by itself or along with other medications. The drug works by blocking the chemical called angiotensin II. These substances are naturally occurring and cause the blood vessels to constrict in the body. Losartan is used to prevent angiotensin II from binding to angiotensin II receptors located in muscles and dilate the blood vessels.

Angiotensin II has additional impacts on the kidneys as it impacts noradrenalin. This contributes to vasoconstriction and increases heart rate. It also affects the aldosterone secretion from the adrenal cortex and sodium re-absorption and water retention by the kidneys. This is why Losartan is also often used to combat the risk of stroke, issues with the kidneys, type 2 diabetes, and nephropathy.

Losartan Precautions and Warnings

Losartan should not be used by those who are allergic to the drug or any of its ingredients. The drug should not be taken while using other certain medications, including some over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal [products, and other supplements. Losartan is not to be used unless prescribed by a licensed professional and used at the prescribed dosage.

Losartan may have an impact on the body’s alertness and coordination. Until the effects of the drug are known, patients should refrain from driving or doing other activities that pose a threat if they are not alert. Patients should tell their doctor about their health conditions before taking Losartan. Health conditions that should be discussed in particular include heart, kidney, or liver problems, as well as persistent vomiting or diarrhea.

Those who are pregnant, plan to be pregnant, or are breastfeeding should not take Losartan. Losartan may cause harm or even death to infants if taken during pregnancy. It is not yet known if Losartan passes into the breast milk while breastfeeding. Patients who become pregnant or plan to breastfeed should talk to a doctor immediately before continuing Losartan.

Losartan Side Effects

If a patient experiences hives, has trouble breathing, or experiences swelling in the face, lips, tongue, or throat, this may be an indication of an allergic reaction. If any of these symptoms are felt while taking Losartan, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Losartan can have a range of serious and more common side effects.

Common Side Effects

There are some common side effects of Losartan. These include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Diarrhea
  • Back pain
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat

Severe Side Effects

Severe side effects of Losartan are less common. These include:

  • Light-headedness
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Tingly feelings
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of movement
  • Swelling
  • Infrequent urination
  • Shortness of breath

Drug Interactions with Losartan

Individuals should talk with their healthcare provider before using any of these medications with Losartan.

Some medications may reduce or increase the side effects of Losartan when taken at the same time.

Known Interactions

Some medication types with known interactions include:

  • Diuretics or water pills
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
  • Heart medications
  • Blood medications

Major Interactions

Specific medications known to have major interactions include:

  • Aliskiren
  • Amiloride
  • Spironolactone
  • Triamterene

ACE Inhibitors Interactions

  • Finerenone
  • Lithium

Potassium Supplement Interactions

  • LVP (Large Volume Parenteral) solution with potassium
  • Parenteral nutrition solution with electrolytes
  • Apomorphine
  • Sparsentan
  • Tizanidine
  • Trimethoprim

Strengths and Dosages of Losartan

LLosartan is available in several dosage forms. The drug is available in 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg oral tablets. The typical adult dose is 50 mg orally once a day, with a maximum dose of 100 mg orally once a day for treating diabetic nephropathy or hypertension. The typical dose for children 6 years or older is an initial dose of 0.7 mg/kg orally once a day for up to 50 mg total.

Losartan Alternatives

There are many alternatives for Losartan, depending on what it is being used for. Specific common alternatives include:

  • Diovan (valsartan)
  • Prinivil, Zestril (lisinopril)
  • Hyzaar (losartan and hydrochlorothiazide)
  • Norvasc (amlodipine)
  • Thalitone, Hygroton (chlorthalidone)
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Calcium channel blockers (CCBs)
  • Diuretics
  • Beta-blockers
  • Alpha-blockers
  • Central alpha agonists
  • Aldosterone receptor antagonists
  • ARB combinations

Losartan FAQs

How much does Losartan lower blood pressure?

In multiple clinical trials, the average reduction in systolic blood pressure was 13 mmHg. Patients experienced an average decrease of 10 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure when given 50 mg to 100 mg of the drug daily. Blood pressure reduction with Losartan may vary based on factors such as dosage, concurrent use of other medications, and underlying medical conditions. Studies also indicate that ARBs like losartan may be less effective for individuals of Black descent. Patients’ responses to Losartan may vary.

How long does it take for Losartan to work?

If Losartan is being used to treat hypertension, a noticeable blood pressure drop may occur within a week of starting it. However, it may take 3 to 6 weeks for the medication’s full effects to occur.

How long does Losartan stay in your system?

Losartan has been shown to last less than 24 hours in the system when administered at dosages of 25 mg or 50 mg per day. Dosages of 100 mg or more per day will last for the full 24 hours. If administered in the morning, Losartan may cause a rise in blood pressure at night.

Does Losartan cause back pain?

Yes, some patients tasking Losartan have reported back, leg, and knee pain. Oftentimes, patients may get relief from over-the-counter creams, patches, or some medications. It is advised for patients to consult with their healthcare provider prior to using any over-the-counter medication.

What is the best time to take Losartan?

Losartan can be taken at any time of day. However, patients should take the drug at the same time each day for best results.

What not to eat or drink with Losartan?

Patients taking Losartan should refrain from drinking grapefruit juice. Grapefruit juice can impact the levels of Losartan in the bloodstream. This may compromise the effectiveness of the drug or lead to side effects. Alcohol should also be avoided if the patient is experiencing symptoms.

Do people take Losartan and Metoprolol together?

No serious interactions have been linked between Losartan and Metoprolol. However, this combination may lead to constipation. While Metoprolol does not typically need to be separated from other blood pressure medications, taking more than one blood pressure medication at a time may raise the risk for hypotension.

What happens if I miss a dose of Losartan?

Missing a single dose of Losartan should have no serious effects. In this case, the medication should be taken as soon as possible. This dose should be skipped if it is almost time for the next dose. A regular dosing schedule should be resumed. Do not double doses.

What happens if I take too much Losartan?

Too much Losartan can lead to abnormally low blood pressure. The patient may experience symptoms such as dizziness, sleepiness, or heart palpitations. If a patient takes too much Losartan, they should contact a doctor immediately.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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