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Losartan is indicated for the treatment of hypertension. It may be used alone or in combination with other agents. It has less of an effect in black patients, similar to ACE inhibitors, such as captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), and lisinopril (Zestril).
Losartan may be given with or without food. Losartan is metabolized in the liver by cytochrome P450 enzymes to an active metabolite that is responsible for most of the drug activity. Reduction in dose by 50% is suggested in patients with impaired liver function.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Losartan and its primary metabolite block the angiotensin receptor found in many tissues, primarily in vascular smooth muscle. Angiotensin, formed by the action of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), is a powerful chemical that causes blood vessel narrowing (vasoconstriction) which can lead to elevated blood pressure (hypertension).
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
Tablets should be stored at room temperature in a tightly closed, light resistant container.
Possible Side Effects
In studies of over 4000 patients, including 1200 treated for over 6 months and 800 for over 1 year, the overall incidence of side effects was similar to placebo. Losartan is generally well tolerated. Side effects reported included diarrhea, muscle cramps, dizziness, insomnia, and nasal congestion.
Stop taking losartan and contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment If you experience any of the following serious side effects: an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); or little or no urine.
Other side effects are less serious. Continue to take losartan and talk to your doctor if you experience diarrhea or upset stomach, muscle pain or cramps, dizziness, or insomnia.
Side effects, other than those listed here, may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.