Losartan (By mouth)

Introduction

Losartan (loe-SAR-tan)

Treats high blood pressure. Reduces the risk of stroke in patients with high blood pressure and enlargement of the heart. Treats kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes and a history of high blood pressure. This medicine is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB).

Brand Name(s)

Cozaar

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to losartan, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you use other blood pressure medicines (including candesartan, enalapril, lisinopril, losartan, olmesartan, valsartan, Accupril®, Atacand®, Avapro®, Cozaar®, Lotrel®, or Zestril®) or a diuretic or water pill (including amiloride, spironolactone, triamterene, Aldactone®, Midamor®, or Moduretic®). Tell your doctor if you also use fluconazole (Diflucan®), lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), or pain or arthritis medicine, including aspirin, celecoxib, ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen, rofecoxib, valdecoxib, Advil®, Aleve®, Bextra®, Celebrex®, Motrin®, or Vioxx®.
  • Ask your doctor before you use medicines, supplements, or salt substitutes that contain potassium.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby, especially after the first 3 months of pregnancy. Use an effective form of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease (including cirrhosis), congestive heart failure, diabetes, or mineral imbalance (such as high potassium or low sodium in the blood). Tell your doctor if you have diarrhea or vomiting.
  • This medicine could lower your blood pressure too much and cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded. This is more likely to happen when you begin to use the medicine or if you become dehydrated.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • Even if you feel well, do not stop using this medicine without asking your doctor. This medicine will not cure your high blood pressure, but it will help lower it and keep it down. You may have to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.
  • This medicine may be less effective in black patients.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion, body weakness, shortness of breath, or numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or lips
  • Fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dry cough, stuffy or runny nose, or sore throat

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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