- High Blood Pressure Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Salt Quiz!
- Lowering Blood Pressure Exercise Tips Pictures
- What is losartan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for losartan?
- Is losartan available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for losartan?
- What are the side effects of losartan?
- What is the dosage for losartan?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with losartan?
- Is losartan safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about losartan?
What is losartan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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 was approved by the FDA in April 1995.
What are the side effects of losartan?
Side effects reported included:
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.
Quick GuideHow to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips
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 may be divided and administered two doses daily. Losartan may be given with or without food.
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 evaluated in pediatric patients.
Which drugs or supplements interact with losartan?
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.
- 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.
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.
What else should I know about losartan?
What preparations of losartan are available?
Tablets: 25, 50 and 100 mg
How should I keep losartan stored?
Tablets should be stored at room temperature in a tightly closed, light resistant container.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Quick GuideHow to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips
Losartan (Cozaar) is a medication prescribed fro 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
High Blood Pressure Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
What causes high blood pressure (hypertension)? Know the warning signs and symptoms of high blood pressure. Read about high blood...
Stroke Causes, Symptoms, and Recovery
What is a stroke? Learn about stroke symptoms like sudden numbness or weakness, confusion, vision problems, or problems with...
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...
Blood Sugar Swings: Tips for Managing Diabetes & Glucose Levels
Learn to better control your glucose levels by preventing blood sugar swings. Beware of caffeine, sugary foods, spices, exercise,...
Pictures of 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...
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Improve Diabetes Nerve Pain
Read about diabetic peripheral neuropathy and exercises to manage nerve pain. Learn how to cope with the symptoms of diabetic...
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...
Stroke Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the Stroke Quiz to learn about stroke risks, causes, treatment, and most importantly, prevention....
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...
Slideshow: Diabetes Management Tips and Preventing Complications
Learn 10 simple ways to better manage your diabetes. See tips for controlling blood sugar, diet and exercise and other helpful...
12 Tips to Avoid Diabetes Complications With Pictures
Diabetes complications can be serious problems for your health. Our experts suggest steps you can take to help cut your risk of...
Pictures of Famous People With Diabetes
See pictures of celebrities that have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes including Mary Tyler Moore, Salma Hayek, and...
Related Disease Conditions
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...
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure is defined as a pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher in the arteries. Genetic factors, high salt intake, and...
Raynaud's phenomenon is characterized by a pale-blue-red sequence of color changes of the digits, most commonly after exposure to...
Stroke (Signs, Symptoms, Warning Signs)
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...
Diabetes Treatment (Type 1 and Type 2 Medications and Diet)
The major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar....
Marfan syndrome is hereditary (genetic) condition affecting connective tissue. A person with Marfan syndrome may exhibit the...
High Blood Pressure Treatment
High blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include...
Febrile seizures, or convulsions caused by fever, can be frightening in small children or infants. However, in general, febrile...
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...
Stroke is the third leading killer in the United States. Some of the warning signs of stroke include sudden confusion, trouble...
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...
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...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- High Blood Pressure FAQs
- Diabetes FAQs
- Kidney Disease FAQs
- Stroke FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal - What to Do with Old or Unusable Medication
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- 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
Daily Health News
Heart Health Resources
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Heart Health Newsletter
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.
Top losartan Related ArticlesComplete List
Diabetes and Kidney DiseaseIn 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.
Diabetes MellitusDiabetes 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.
Take the Diabetes QuizTake the Diabetes Quiz and learn the causes, signs, symptoms, and types of this growing epidemic. What does diabetes have to do with obesity and diet? Learn about life as a diabetic.
Diabetes Diet PlansDiscover the best and worst meals for diabetes-savvy dining. See how to avoid carbs and control your blood sugar with healthier meal combinations that retain all the foods and flavors you love.
Diabetes TreatmentThe major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is treated with:
- and a diabetic diet.
- weight reduction,
- a diabetic diet,
- and exercise.
Febrile SeizuresFebrile 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,
- moving limbs on both sides of the body,
- lasts 1-2 minutes.
High Blood Pressure HypertensionHigh blood pressure is defined as a pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher in the arteries. Genetic factors, high salt intake, and increased arterial stiffness cause high blood pressure. Dizziness, headache, nausea, and shortness of breath are just a few symptoms of high blood pressure. Untreated high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, atherosclerosis, eye damage, stroke, and increased risk of aneurysms. High blood pressure can be managed with weight loss, lifestyle changes, and medication.
High Blood PressureWhat causes high blood pressure (hypertension)? Know the warning signs and symptoms of high blood pressure. Read about high blood pressure medications, diet, and long term treatments.
High Blood Pressure TreatmentHigh 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.
Kidney Disease QuizKidney disease is common. Take this kidney disease quiz to test your knowledge and learn the symptoms, causes and types of kidney disease and what foods to eat and avoid!
Kidneys PictureThe 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 topic.
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
- Flat feet
- Aortic dilatation
- Dural ectasia (a problem with the sac surrounding the spinal cord)
- Stretch marks
- Collapsed lung
Though there is no cure for Marfan syndrome, there are treatments that can minimize and sometimes prevent some complications.
ParathyroidectomyParathyroidectomy is the removal of one or more of the parathyroid glands to treat hyperparathyroidism. Risks of parathyroidectomy include:
- paralysis of the vocal cords,
- difficulty swallowing thin liquids,
- difficulty breathing,
- and drug reactions.
- damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve,
- bleeding or hematoma,
- problems maintaining calcium levels in the blood,
- need for further and more aggressive surgery,
- need for a limited or total thyroidectomy,
- prolonged pain,
- impaired healing,
- and recurrence of the tumor.
Raynaud's PhenomenonRaynaud'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 spasm of blood vessels, the cause is unknown. Symptoms 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.
Blood Sugar SwingsLearn to better control your glucose levels by preventing blood sugar swings. Beware of caffeine, sugary foods, spices, exercise, sleep, alcohol, and stress because these can all impact blood sugar levels and increase diabetes complications
Stroke SlideshowWhat is a stroke? Learn about stroke symptoms like sudden numbness or weakness, confusion, vision problems, or problems with coordination. Discover causes and recovery of a stroke.
Take the Stroke QuizTake the Stroke Quiz to learn about stroke risks, causes, treatment, and most importantly, prevention.
Stroke Symptoms and Treatment
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
- double vision or vision loss,
- vertigo, and
- 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.