Losartan is an Angiotensin II receptor antagonist that can be used alone or with other medications to treat hypertension. Prolonged high blood pressure can increase the heart’s workload, which in turn can damage the blood vessels of the heart, brain, and kidneys. If this happens, individuals can be at risk of getting a heart attack, stroke or kidney failure.
Losartan is used to lower blood pressure. It does this by blocking the angiotensin II receptors, which is responsible for the constriction of blood vessels. Once this is achieved, the arteries become dilated and blood flow is improved. Through its mechanism of action, Losartan can also be used in the treatment and prevention of stroke and kidney failure. It also prevents the heart from becoming enlarged.
It is available in tablet form and can only be purchased with a prescription.
2 What to Know Before Using
Prior to initializing treatment with losartan, discuss the advantages and disadvantages with your physician first. In this way, you are informed and can maximize your treatment. If you have allergies to this medication or others like it, tell your physician. He/she may prescribe another type.
You should also inform your healthcare team about any allergy to food, animals, and/or preservatives.
It has been found that the efficacy of Losartan in the treatment of hypertension in children 6 years old and above is not limited by any age-related factor. However, safe and efficacy in using Losartan for other indications in children of the same age group have not been established.
In geriatric patients, Losartan is not influenced or limited by age-specific factors.
This medication has a pregnancy category D, which means that studies have demonstrated a risk for Losartan to cause harmful effects in the unborn child. However, there isn’t enough research on the effects of Losartan on nursing babies.
You also need to consider the drug interactions with Losartan. Concomitant use of aliskiren is not recommended.
Check with your doctor for a full list of medications that can cause harmful effects when used simultaneously with Losartan. Alcohol intake and tobacco use while on this medication is not advised.
Inform your physician if you have other pre-existing medical conditions since losartan can exacerbate some illnesses. These include:
You need to remember that losartan is only used to control hypertension and not cure it. Aside from pharmacological treatment, your doctor may also tell you to make certain lifestyle changes including diet modification and weight control.
For diet, hypertensive individuals need to avoid foods that are high in salt or sodium. Consult your physician before making major weight and dietary changes. Go to your regular checkups so that your doctor can monitor your progress.
Take this medication according to your physician’s instructions. You can also ask your pharmacist to prepare an oral solution for you if you have a hard time swallowing the tablet.
Losartan can be taken with or without food. The dosage of Losartan in adults, if it’s used to treat hypertension, is usually 50 mg once a day. If it’s used to prevent stroke and cardiomegaly, the dosage is also 50 mg once a day. It’s also the same dosage for diabetic nephropathy.
The dosage and timing for children are to be determined by the physician. Take the medication immediately if you forgot to take it at the scheduled time. However, if the next timing is near, skip it and resume the normal schedule.
Store your losartan in a sealed container away from children’s reach.
4 Precautions To Take
Diligently go to your doctor’s appointments. It is essential that he/she regularly checks your condition to make sure that your blood pressure is controlled and the medication is working for you.
As mentioned earlier, this medication can cause harmful effects to your unborn child. Avoid getting pregnant while on losartan. You may become dizzy and lightheaded when you take the initial dose. These symptoms can be amplified if you are also taking diuretics.
Practice caution when driving and/or operating heavy machinery. Getting sick while on this medication can cause low blood pressure especially if you are having continued nausea, vomiting, sweating, and diarrhea. Check with your doctor right away.
Alcohol consumption is not advisable if you are on Losartan because alcoholic drinks exacerbate the signs and symptoms of low blood pressure.
Ask your doctor first before you take any kind of OCT drugs.
5 Potential Side Effects
Ask your physician about what side effects to expect and how to reduce them. Some of them may resolve on their own, and others may need medical attention. Check with your physician immediately if you have:
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