What is losartan, and what is it used for?
Brand name: Cozaar
Generic name: losartan
Dosage forms: tablets: (25, 50, and 100 mg)
Drug class: ARBs
Losartan is an oral medication that belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). Other ARBs include irbesartan (Avapro), valsartan (Diovan), and candesartan (Atacand). Angiotensin formed in the blood by the action of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) is a powerful chemical that attaches to angiotensin receptors found in many tissues but primarily on smooth muscle cells of blood vessels.
Angiotensin's attachment to the receptors causes the muscle cells to contract and the blood vessels to narrow (vasoconstrict) which leads to an increase in blood pressure (hypertension). Losartan (more specifically, the chemical formed when the liver converts the inactive losartan into its active form) blocks the angiotensin receptor. By blocking the action of angiotensin, losartan relaxes muscle cells and dilates blood vessels thereby reducing blood pressure.
Losartan is used for treating hypertension, reducing the risk of stroke in patients with hypertension, and left ventricular hypertrophy (over developed heart muscle), and treating people with type 2 diabetes, and hypertensive patients with diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease). Losartan may be used alone or in combination with other drugs.
What are the side effects of losartan?
Side effects include:
- Chest pain
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Muscle cramps
- Nasal congestion
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Losartan also may cause:
Losartan may reduce kidney function in some patients and should not be used by patients who have bilateral renal artery stenosis (narrowing of both arteries going to the kidneys).
Rare cases of rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown) have been reported.
What is the dosage for losartan?
- The starting dose of losartan for adults is 25-50 mg daily.
- The maximum dose is 100 mg daily. The total daily dose of losartan may be divided and administered two doses daily.
- The starting dose of losartan for pediatric patients 6 years of age or older is 0.7 mg/kg up to 50 mg once daily. Doses more than 1.4 mg/kg or 100 mg daily have not been
- Losartan may be given with or without food.evaluated in pediatric patients.
Which drugs interact with losartan?
Losartan drug interactions
Losartan may increase levels of blood potassium (hyperkalemia), which can lead to serious heart problems (arrhythmias). Therefore, concomitant use of other drugs or substances that increase blood-such as potassium-sparing diuretics (for example, spironolactone [Aldactone], triamterene, and amiloride), potassium supplements, or salt substitutes containing potassium may lead to dangerous increases in serum potassium.
Combining losartan or other ARBs with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in patients who are elderly, fluid-depleted (including those on diuretic therapy), or with poor kidney function may result in reduced kidney function, including kidney failure. These effects usually are reversible.
The antihypertensive effect of losartan may be reduced by aspirin and other NSAIDs such as:
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, etc.),
- indomethacin (Indocin, Indocin-SR), and
- naproxen (Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve).
Combining ARBs, ACE inhibitors, or aliskiren (Tekturna) increases risk of hypotension (low blood pressure), hyperkalemia, and reduces kidney function compared to each drug used alone and there is no additional benefit on preventing end stage kidney disease or death.
Aliskiren and losartan should not be combined in patients with diabetes or with renal impairment.
Latest High Blood Pressure News
Daily Health News
Is losartan safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- When used in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, ARBs can cause injury and even death to the fetus. Losartan should not be used during pregnancy. When pregnancy is first detected, losartan should be stopped.
- It is not known whether losartan is excreted in breast milk, but losartan and its active form are excreted in rat milk. Due to the possibility of harm to the nursing infant, if possible, losartan should be discontinued by females who are nursing.
Losartan (Cozaar) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure. Losartan (Cozaar) belongs to a class of drugs referred to as ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers). Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
What Is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)? Symptoms, Treatments
What causes high blood pressure (hypertension)? What is normal blood pressure? Know the warning signs and symptoms of high blood...
Hypertension: What High Blood Pressure Can Do to Your Body
High blood pressure puts you at risk for a number of other conditions. Here's what to look out for.
Diabetes: What Raises and Lowers Your Blood Sugar Level?
Want to lower your blood sugar? Learn to better control your glucose levels by preventing blood sugar spikes and swings to avoid...
What Happens After a Stroke? Signs, Symptoms, Types
What is a stroke? Learn about the different types of stroke, as well as many symptoms like sudden numbness or weakness,...
Diabetes Nerve Pain: Improving Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
Learn how to cope with the symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy through pain management exercises. Find relief for diabetic...
Hypertension: Worst Foods for High Blood Pressure
Diagnosed with high blood pressure or trying to avoid it? Stay away from these foods.
Diabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating
Discover the best and worst meals for diabetes-savvy dining. See how to avoid carbs and control your blood sugar with healthier...
Stroke Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the Stroke Quiz to learn about stroke risks, causes, treatment, and most importantly, prevention.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Quiz: Symptoms, Signs & Causes
Take this quiz and test your IQ of high blood pressure (hypertension), the cardiovascular disease that causes most strokes and...
Diabetes Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the Diabetes Quiz and learn the causes, signs, symptoms, and types of this growing epidemic. What does diabetes have to do...
Kidney Disease Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Kidney disease is common. Take this kidney disease quiz to test your knowledge and learn the symptoms, causes and types of kidney...
Picture of Hypertension
High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg -- a systolic pressure above 140...
Picture of Kidneys
The kidneys are a pair of organs located in the back of the abdomen. See a picture of the Kidneys and learn more about the health...
Diabetes: 15 Famous Celebrities With Diabetes
See pictures of celebrities that have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes including Mary Tyler Moore, Salma Hayek, and...
Slideshow: Diabetes Management in 10 Minutes
Learn 10 simple ways to better manage your diabetes. See tips for controlling blood sugar, diet and exercise and other helpful...
10 Muscle-Building Exercises for Diabetes
Watch this slideshow on Diabetes and Exercise. If you have diabetes, see how strengthening your muscles with these 10 weight...
Related Disease Conditions
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million people in the US have hypertension (1 in 3 adults), and only half of them are able to manage it. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because it often has no has no warning signs or symptoms. Systolic and diastolic are the two readings in which blood pressure is measured. The American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure in 2017. The guidelines now state that blood normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. If either one of those numbers is higher, you have high blood pressure. The American Academy of Cardiology defines high blood pressure slightly differently. The AAC considers 130/80 mm Hg. or greater (either number) stage 1 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is considered 140/90 mm Hg. or greater. If you have high blood pressure you are at risk of developing life threatening diseases like stroke and heart attack.REFERENCE: CDC. High Blood Pressure. Updated: Nov 13, 2017.
What Is Considered Stroke-Level High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure readings above 180/120 mmHg are considered stroke-level, dangerously high, and require immediate medical attention.
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin dependent). Symptoms of diabetes include increased urine output, thirst, hunger, and fatigue. Treatment of diabetes depends on the type.
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding (hemorrhagic). Symptoms of a stroke may include weakness, numbness, double vision or vision loss, confusion, vertigo, difficulty speaking, or understanding speech. A physical exam, imaging tests, neurological exam, and blood tests may be used to diagnose a stroke. Treatment may include administration of clot-busting drugs, supportive care, and in some instances, neurosurgery. The risk of stroke can be reduced by controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stopping smoking.
Raynaud's phenomenon is characterized by a pale-blue-red sequence of color changes of the digits, most commonly after exposure to cold. Occurring as a result of spasms of blood vessels, the cause is unknown. Symptoms and signs of Raynaud's phenomenon depend on the severity, frequency, and duration of the blood vessel spasm. Treatments include protection of the digits, medications, and avoiding emotional stresses, smoking, cold temperature, and tools that vibrate the hands.
High Blood Pressure Treatment (Natural Home Remedies, Diet, Medications)
High blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include lifestyle modifications (alcohol, smoking, coffee, salt, diet, exercise), drugs and medications such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), alpha blockers, clonidine, minoxidil, and Exforge.
Marfan syndrome is hereditary (genetic) condition affecting connective tissue. A person with Marfan syndrome may exhibit the following symptoms and characteristics: Dislocation of one or both lenses of the eye A protruding or indented breastbone Scoliosis Flat feet Aortic dilatation Dural ectasia (a problem with the sac surrounding the spinal cord) Stretch marks Hernia Collapsed lung Though there is no cure for Marfan syndrome, there are treatments that can minimize and sometimes prevent some complications.
Diabetes Treatment: Medication, Diet, and Insulin
The major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is treated with: insulin, exercise, and a diabetic diet. Type 2 diabetes is first treated with: weight reduction, a diabetic diet, and exercise. When these measures fail to control the elevated blood sugar, oral medications are used. If oral medications are still insufficient, insulin medications are considered.
Can High Blood Pressure Hurt My Eyes?
Unfortunately, yes. Suffering from untreated or poorly controlled high blood pressure for a long time can be detrimental to your eyes. Several eye diseases are directly or indirectly caused by high blood pressure (hypertension).
Diabetes and Kidney Disease
In the United States diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. High blood pressure and high levels of blood glucose increase the risk that a person with diabetes will eventually progress to kidney failure. Kidney disease in people with diabetes develops over the course of many years. albumin and eGFR are two key markers for kidney disease in people with diabetes. Controlling high blood pressure, blood pressure medications, a moderate protein diet, and compliant management of blood glucose can slow the progression of kidney disease. For those patients who's kidneys eventually fail, dialysis or kidney transplantation is the only option.
Febrile seizures, or convulsions caused by fever, can be frightening in small children or infants. However, in general, febrile seizures are harmless. Febrile seizure is not epilepsy. It is estimated that one in every 25 children will have at least one febrile seizure. It is important to know what to do to help your child if he/she has a febrile seizure. Some of the features of a febrile seizure include losing consciousness, shaking, moving limbs on both sides of the body, and lasts 1-2 minutes. Less commonly, a febrile seizure may only affect one side of the body.
Tips for Managing Type 1 and 2 Diabetes at Home
Managing your diabetes is a full time commitment. The goal of diabetic therapy is to control blood glucose levels and prevent the complications of diabetes. Information about exercise, diet, and medication will help you manage your diabetes better. Blood glucose reagent strips, blood glucose meters, urine glucose tests, tests for urinary ketones, continuous glucose sensors, and Hemoglobin A1C testing information will enable you to mange your diabetes at home successfully.
Stroke is the third leading killer in the United States. Some of the warning signs of stroke include sudden confusion, trouble seeing with one or both eyes, dizziness, loss of balance, and more. Stroke prevention and reatable risk factors for stroke include lowering high blood pressure, quit smoking, heart disease, diabetes control and prevention.
Diabetes: Caring for Your Diabetes at Special Times
Taking care of a disease such as diabetes is a life-long process. Learn how to care for yourself or loved one with diabetes in situations such as illness, work, school, travel, or a natural disaster.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels. In some patients, symptoms may include fatigue, headaches, dizziness, confusion, sweating, chest pain and vision problems.
How Does High Blood Pressure Affect Pregnancy?
High blood pressure during pregnancy can cause serious complications. Learn more about the signs of and risks associated with the condition.
What Is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?
High blood pressure or hypertension is when the blood pressure readings consistently range from 140 or higher for systolic or 90 or higher for diastolic. Blood pressure readings above 180/120 mmHg are dangerously high and require immediate medical attention.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- High Blood Pressure FAQs
- Diabetes FAQs
- Kidney Disease FAQs
- Stroke FAQs
- High Blood Pressure: Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Inherited High Blood Pressure in a Teenager
- Hypertension In The Elderly - Deserves More Attention
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Salt, DASH, High Blood Pressure
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- High Blood Pressure and Exercise
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Does Menopause Cause High Blood Pressure?
- Can I Lift Weights with High Blood Pressure?
- High Blood Pressure Symptoms
- Pain Relievers and High Blood Pressure
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- High Blood Pressure: Improve Your Lifestyle
Medications & Supplements
- High Blood Pressure Drugs (Hypertension)
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Beta Blockers vs. ARBs
- Drug Interactions
- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)
- Losartan vs. Valsartan (Differences between Side Effects and Uses)
- telmisartan, Micardis
- losartan and hydrochlorothiazide (Hyzaar)
- candesartan cilexetil, Atacand
- Side Effects of Cozaar (losartan)
- Side Effects of Hyzaar (losartan and hydrochlorothiazide)
Prevention & Wellness
- More Blood Pressure Drugs Recalled
- A New Way to Fight a Previously 'Inoperable' Pancreatic Cancer
- FDA Says Patients Can Take Tainted Blood Pressure Meds Until Shortages End
- FDA OKs Blood Pressure Drug to Ease Shortage Due to Recalls
- Making Sense of the Recent Blood Pressure Drug Recalls
- Device Plus 'Aggressive' Drug Strategy May Curb Severe Heart Failure
- Common Blood Pressure Meds May Cut Risk of Early Death in Kidney Patients: Study
- Statins Not Linked to Memory Loss, Dementia, Review Suggests
- Study Finds Two Drugs Aren't Better Than One for Kidney Disease
- Blood Pressure Drug Might Boost Chemo Success, Mouse Study Suggests
- Study of Genetic Condition May Yield Clues to Cause of Allergies
- Some Blood Pressure Drugs Might Help Slow Alzheimer's: Study
- Role of Screening, Monitoring in Early Kidney Disease Unclear
- Common Blood Pressure Drug Safe for Heart Failure: Study
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.