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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.
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: Allergies 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.
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 Hoarseness swelling of face, mouth, hands, or feet trouble in swallowing or breathing (sudden) Incidence not known Abdominal pain black, tarry stools bleeding gums blood in urine or stools coma confusion convulsions decreased urine output difficult breathing fast or irregular breathing headache increased thirst irregular heartbeat large, flat, bluish patches on the skin muscle pain or cramps nausea or vomiting painful knees and ankles pinpoint red spots on skin unusual bleeding or bruising unusual tiredness or weakness upper right abdominal pain weakness or heaviness of legs yellow eyes and skin Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur: Less common Cough, fever or sore throat dizziness 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 Headache Less common Back pain diarrhea fatigue nasal congestion Rare Cough, dry leg pain muscle cramps or pain sinus problems trouble in sleeping Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
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. Lithium 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. Aceclofenac Acemetacin Alclofenac Apazone Benoxaprofen Bromfenac Bufexamac Carprofen Celecoxib Clometacin Clonixin Dexketoprofen Diclofenac Diflunisal Dipyrone Droxicam Etodolac Etofenamate Felbinac Fenbufen Fenoprofen Fentiazac Floctafenine Fluconazole Flufenamic Acid Flurbiprofen Ibuprofen Indomethacin Indoprofen Isoxicam Ketoprofen Ketorolac Lornoxicam Meclofenamate Mefenamic Acid Meloxicam Nabumetone Naproxen Niflumic Acid Nimesulide Oxaprozin Oxyphenbutazone Phenylbutazone Pirazolac Piroxicam Pirprofen Propyphenazone Proquazone Rifampin Rofecoxib Sulindac Suprofen Tenidap Tenoxicam Tiaprofenic Acid Tolmetin Valdecoxib Zomepirac
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: Pediatric 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. Geriatric 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. Pregnancy Pregnancy Category 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. Breast Feeding 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. 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.
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