Losartan (or Cozaar) is a medication for the treatment of high blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure might damage your brain, heart and kidneys. Other uses of losartan include the therapy for diabetic nephropathy and decrease of stroke risk in patients suffering from high blood pressure and LVH (left ventricular hypertrophy).
Losartan is used two times a day, with or without food, and a daily dosage for adults is 50 mg. Dose for children (older than 6 years) is 0.7mg per kg of body weight, maximally 50mg per day, taken once a day.
The most common side effects when using losartan are musculoskeletal problems: pains and cramps in the muscles, back or the legs. Dizziness and problems with congestion, respiratory infection and sinusitis are often reported.
Swelling, abdominal and chest pain are common side effects. Some patients suffer from the nausea, headaches, insomnia, dyspepsia and diarrhea. Muscle problems, including muscle pain are quite frequent in losartan patients, but cases of serious muscle problems, like rhabdomyolysis are rare.
The medication is suspected to have some allergic potential, and some patients have reported swelling and rashes on the skin. Other possible side effects, connected with the use of losartan are hemolysis and peeling of the palms skin.
Losartan may be the reason for persistant cough in patients using this medication.
There are many potential interference of losartan with other drugs. Activity of losartan might be decreased, if the medication is used with cytochrome 450 inhibitors, like fluconazole (Diflucan) or ketoconazole (Nizoral).
If used with spironolactone (Aldactone), triamterene or amilorid, with some kalium (potassium) supplements or kalium salt, losartan could be the reason for serious elevation of kalium levels in the blood. Elevated levels of kalium in the blood are responsible for severe heart arrhythmias.
NSAIL (nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs, like Aspirin or ibuprofen) could interfere with the losartans’ effect to the blood pressure.
The medication is known to have serious effect to the unborn baby. It could lead to fetal injuries and problems, and even cause fetal death, when used in last six months of pregnancy. Therefore, this drug should not be used in pregnant women. If the pregnancy is detected, or you think you might be pregnant you should stop losartan treatment immediately and contact your doctor.
Lab studies on animals show that losartan is transferred to the breast milk in rats, but there are no such studies in people. Nevertheless, because of the possible harm to the child, nursing moms should avoid the use of losartan.