When used in pregnancy during the second and third trimesters, drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and even death to the developing fetus. When pregnancy is detected, losartan potassium should be discontinued as soon as possible .
Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury or death to the developing fetus when used during the second and third trimesters. Stop therapy as soon as possible when pregnancy is detected .
Commonly used brand name(s):
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Cardiovascular Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonist
Losartan is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure adds to the work load of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. High blood pressure may also increase the risk of heart attacks. These problems may be less likely to occur if blood pressure is controlled.
Losartan works by blocking the action of a substance in the body that causes blood vessels to tighten. As a result, losartan relaxes blood vessels. This lowers blood pressure.
Losartan is also used to decrease the risk of stroke in patients with high blood pressure and a condition called left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). LVH is an enlargement of the left pumping chamber of the heart and can cause problems with the way the heart pumps blood.
Losartan is also used to treat a condition called diabetic nephropathy. Diabetic nephropathy is a complication of type 2 diabetes which causes the kidneys to not work properly.
Losartan is available only with your doctor's prescription.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For losartan, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to losartan or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Studies on losartan have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of losartan in children younger than 6 years of age with use in other age groups.
losartan has been tested in a limited number of patients 65 years of age or older and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
|1st Trimester||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
|2nd Trimester||D||Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.|
|3rd Trimester||D||Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Using losartan with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using losartan with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of losartan. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Make certain your health care professional knows if you are on any special diet, such as a low-sodium diet.
To help you remember to take your medicine, try to get into the habit of taking it at the same time each day.
In addition to the use of the medicine your doctor has prescribed, treatment for your high blood pressure may include weight control and care in the types of foods you eat, especially foods high in sodium. Your doctor will tell you which of these are most important for you. You should check with your doctor before changing your diet.
Many patients who have high blood pressure will not notice any signs of the problem. In fact, many may feel normal. It is very important that you take your medicine exactly as directed and that you keep your appointments with your doctor even if you feel well.
Remember that losartan will not cure your high blood pressure but it does help control it. Therefore, you must continue to take it as directed if you expect to lower your blood pressure and keep it down. You may have to take high blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life . If high blood pressure is not treated, it can cause serious problems such as heart failure, blood vessel disease, stroke, or kidney disease .
losartan may be taken with or without food.
If you are unable to swallow tablets, ask your pharmacist about preparing an oral suspension for you.
The dose of losartan will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of losartan. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of losartan, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Check with your doctor immediately if you think that you may be pregnant. Losartan may cause birth defects or other problems in the baby if taken during pregnancy.
It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that losartan is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes over-the-counter (nonprescription) medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems, since they may tend to increase your blood pressure.
Dizziness or lightheadedness may occur after the first dose of losartan, especially if you have been taking a diuretic (water pill). Make sure you know how you react to losartan before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy.
Check with your doctor right away if you become sick while taking losartan, especially with severe or continuing nausea and vomiting or diarrhea. These conditions may cause you to lose too much water and lead to low blood pressure.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may also occur if you exercise or if the weather is hot. Heavy sweating can cause loss of too much water and result in low blood pressure. Use extra care during exercise or hot weather.
Avoid alcoholic beverages until you have discussed their use with your doctor. Alcohol may make the low blood pressure effect worse and/or increase the possibility of dizziness or fainting.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:Rare
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:Less common
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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