Losartan belongs to a group of medicines which lower increased blood pressure (Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists).
Uses of Losartan
- High blood pressure
- Chronic heart failure
- Heart attack (myocardial infarction) causing dysfunction of left lower chamber of the heart
- Diabetic kidney disease
Contraindications of Losartan
When should one not use Losartan
- Allergic to the Losartan or any other ARAs
- Renal Artery Stenosis (a condition where a blood vessel in the kidney is narrow)
- Liver problems
- Kidney disease
Side effects of Losartan
Common side effects of this drug are:
- Excessive drop in blood pressure
- Headache, and dizziness
- Can cause allergic reactions like rash, swelling of face, lips and throat (serious). In such a scenario, seek emergency medical help
- High levels of potassium in the blood
- Low blood sugar
- Changes in kidney function including kidney failure
- Reduced number of red blood cells (anemia)
- Can cause skeletal muscle injury called rhabdomyolysis. Hence, report if you experience fever or pain/ tenderness
Precautions and Warnings of Losartan
Can I take Losartan during pregnancy?
Losartan can harm the fetus seriously. Do not take Losartan if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
Can I take Losartan while breastfeeding?
Losartan is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers. There is no sufficient data available to say whether Losartan can be harmful to the nursing infant if breastfed by a mother who is on Losartan. But it is advisable to seek a physician’s help to find a safer alternative.
Can I drive if I have consumed Losartan?
Losartan is not known to affect your driving ability. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness with Losartan, avoid driving.
Can I consume alcohol with Losartan?
Caution is advised as alcohol can the blood pressure level and can increase side effects like sedation or drowsiness.
Other General Warnings
Talk to your doctor if
- History of angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, throat, tongue)
- Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
- If you are known to have narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels leading to your kidneys or had a kidney transplant recently
- Liver disease
- You suffer from heart failure with or without renal impairment or concomitant severe life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias
- Heart disease
- If you have high blood pressure and diabetes-related kidney problems. Your doctor shall regularly ask you to do kidney tests and test for electrolytes (e.g. potassium)
Mode of Action of Losartan
How Does It Work?
Angiotensin-II is a substance produced in the body which causes constriction of blood vessels. This leads to an increase in blood pressure. Losartan prevents the binding of Angiotensin-II to it’s receptors, thus causing the blood vessels to relax and lowers the blood pressure.
Interactions of Losartan
Interactions with other medicines
- Many medicines are known to interact; hence any prescription that the patient is taking has to be reported
- Aspirin and NSAIDs reduce the action of Losartan on blood pressure
- All ACE inhibitors, Azathioprine, Lithium, Aspirin, and Aliskiren should be avoided
- Medicines which are known to increase potassium levels like Diuretics
Interactions with food items
No information is available on interactions of Losartan when taken with food, consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information.
Dietary Restrictions of Losartan
Avoid high potassium-containing foods (spinach, banana, peas, kidney beans). Low-salt diet is preferred. Avoid fruits, foods and health supplements with high potassium contents.
Dosage of Losartan
Overdose symptoms can include increased heart rate, extremely low blood pressure, dizziness, increased levels of potassium in the blood, kidney failure and loss of consciousness. Seek immediate emergency medical help if you suspect overdose.
Missed a Dose
Consume missed dose as soon as you remember it. If it is time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take extra doses to compensate for a missed one.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What should I inform my healthcare expert before I start treatment with Losartan?
A: You must give an account of your past and present diseases, especially diabetes, and all the ongoing medications, supplements and herbal medicines that you are taking. If you take antidiabetic medicines or insulin, track your blood sugar carefully while taking Losartan, particularly during the first month of its use. The combination of these diabetes medicines when on Losartan may cause a significant change in your blood sugar levels owing to drug-drug interactions. Aspirin and painkillers also diminish the positive effect on blood pressure of Losartan. Hence, sharing complete history is of utmost importance.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)
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