Generic Cozaar (Losartan): Angiotensin-receptor antagonist
- Type of Drug: Angiotensin-receptor antagonist.
- Prescribed for: High blood pressure.
Losartan is the first of a new class of drug products for high blood pressure called angiotensin-receptor antagonists. Losartan works by interfering with the special sites in blood vessels and other tissues where angiotensin II, a potent hormone that normally works as part of the body’s system for maintaining blood pressure, exerts its effect. Losartan works best when taken with a thiazide-type diuretic. Don’t confuse this drug with the many angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors that are in use today; they interrupt the body’s production of angiotensin II.
After you take Losartan, most of it is transformed in the liver to another, longer-lasting, compound that is actually reponsible for most of the drug’s effect. Losartan’s effect lasts about 1 day.
Cautions and Warnings
Do not take Losartan if you are sensitive or allergic to it.
People with serious liver disease or cirrhosis should receive lower doses of Losartan.
Some people may develop, changes in kidney functioning while taking Losartan. This effect is similar to that seen in some people who take ACE inhibitor drugs.
Generic Cozaar Possible Side Effects
In clinical studies of Losartan, the reported chance of having a side effect was about the same for people taking Losartan and those taking a placebo.
- Most common: diarrhea, upset stomach, muscle cramps, muscle aches, back and leg pains, dizziness, sleeplessness, stuffy nose, cough, respiratory infection, and sinusitis and other sinus disorders.
- Less common: weakness, tiredness, swelling, abdominal pains, chest pains, nausea, headache, and sore throat.
- Rare: drug allergy or hypersensitivity and skin peeling. Other rare side effects can affect virtually every body system.
Generic Cozaar Drug Interactions
- Losartan may interfere with the breakdown of other drugs in the liver. Studies of Losartan have shown no important interactions with Hydrochlorothiazide, Digoxin, Warfarin, and Cimetidine.
- Taking Phenobarbital together with Losartan can reduce the amount of active Losartan in the blood by 20 percent.
- Combining Losartan with another blood-pressure-lowering drug, such as Hydrochlorothiazide, reduces blood pressure, more efficiently than either drug taken alone. People already taking a diuretic who start taking Losartan may experience rapid blood pressure lowering at first and should start with a lower Losartan dosage.
Food slows the absorption of Losartan into the blood, but does not affect overall response to the medicine, you can take Losartan without regard to food or meals.
Generic Cozaar Usual Dose
Adult: 25 to 50 mg once a day to start, increasing gradually up to 100 mg in one or two doses a day.
Child: Losartan has not been studied in children under age 18 and should not be given to young children.
Animal studies indicate that Losartan could be lethal in massive overdose, but little is known about human overdose. The most likely effects of Losartan overdose are very low blood pressure and rapid heartbeat. Overdose victims should be taken to a hospital emergency room for evaluation and treatment. ALWAYS bring the medicine bottle with you.
Generic Cozaar Special Information
Studies have shown that Losartan is much less effective in African-Americans than in people of other ethnic backgrounds.
Women tend to absorb twice as much Losartan as men, but the amount of active drug in the blood is about the same; no dosage adjustments are needed.
Avoid strenuous exercise and/or very hot weather because heavy sweating or dehydration can cause a rapid drop in blood pressure.
Avoid nonprescription diet pills, decongestants, and stimulants that can raise blood pressure.
If you take Losartan once a day and forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is within 8 hours of your next dose, skip the one you forgot and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose.
If you take Losartan twice a day and forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is within 4 hours of your next dose, take one dose as soon as you remember and another in 5 or 6 hours, then go back to your regular schedule.
Generic Cozaar Special Populations
Losartan should not be taken during the last 6 months of pregnancy because it can directly affect the developing fetus, possibly causing fetal injury or death. You should take a different medicine for high blood pressure if you are, or may become, pregnant.
Animal studies have shown that Losartan passes into breast milk, but it is not known if this happens in humans. Nursing mothers should avoid Losartan or bottle-feed their babies because of the chance that it will affect the nursing infant.
Older adults may take Losartan without special precautions.
Disclaimer: The information you can find in this article is presented purely for educational purposes. Any drugs and their exact dosages should be selected only after consulting a medical professional that is aware of your medical history. The article doesn’t offer in-depth information regarding Losartan so it shouldn’t be used as a guideline in your treatment. Taking this drug without consulting a specialist can be dangerous and increase the risk of side effects. If you are interested in taking this medication, you may need to undergo a physical examination and perform laboratory tests to assess your current state of health. This site doesn’t bear responsibility for the information presented here and any instances that may arise from following these recommendations.