This drug is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and to help protect the kidneys from damage due to diabetes. It is also used to lower the risk of strokes in patients with high blood pressure and an enlarged heart. This drug works by blocking the hormone angiotensin thereby relaxing blood vessels, causing them to widen. High blood pressure reduction helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.
The usual recommended dose of losartan is 50mg or 100mg once daily. The usual starting dose is 50mg once daily. In some cases, a lower starting dose of 25mg once daily may be advisable. A dose of 100mg once daily should not be exceeded. Your doctor will adjust the dosage according to individual needs. Losartan may be taken with or without food, but should be taken the same way each day.
In clinical studies the overall incidence of side effects was similar to placebo. Side effects reported included diarrhea, muscle cramps, dizziness, insomnia, and nasal congestion. Losartan also may cause a persistent cough, increase serum potassium, and angioedema. 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.
Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause fetal and neonatal morbidity and death when administered to pregnant women. Several dozen cases have been reported in the world literature in patients who were taking angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. When pregnancy is detected, LOSARTAN should be discontinued as soon as possible.
Inhibitors of cytochrome P450 enzymes such as fluconazole (Diflucan) reduced the formation of the active drug metabolite in laboratory studies. Therefore, caution should be used when adding losartan in a patient taking Nizoral, as reduced activity of losartan may occur.
Losartan may increase levels of blood potassium which can lead to serious heart problems (arrhythmias). Therefore, concomitant use of other substances that increase blood-such as potassium-sparing diuretics (e.g., spironolactone, triamterene, and amiloride), potassium supplements, or salt substitutes containing potassium--may lead to dangerous increases in serum potassium.
The antihypertensive effect of losartan may be reduced by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., indomethacin, ibuprofen, aspirin , and naproxen).
If you miss a dose, take as soon as remembered; do not take if it is almost time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (between 15 and 30 degrees C) away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep away from children and pets.