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|How does this medication work? What will it do for me?|
Losartan belongs to a family of medications known as angiotensin II receptor blockers. These medications are used to lower mild to moderate hypertension (high blood pressure).
Angiotensin II is a chemical that the body releases to cause the constriction of blood vessels. Losartan blocks the action of angiotensin II, resulting in the relaxation of the blood vessels. This relaxation causes the blood pressure to drop. The full effects of losartan are usually seen within 3 to 6 weeks after treatment has started. Losartan may be used alone or in combination with a diuretic (water pill).
Losartan may also be taken by people who have type 2 diabetes along with hypertension and protein in the urine (proteinuria). In these cases, losartan is used to protect the kidneys from further damage due to diabetes.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
|How should I use this medication?|
The usual recommended dose of losartan is 50 mg or 100 mg once daily. The usual starting dose is 50 mg once daily. In some cases, a lower starting dose of 25 mg once daily may be advisable. A dose of 100 mg once daily should not be exceeded. Your doctor will adjust the dosage according to individual needs.
Losartan may be taken with or without food, but should be taken the same way each day.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
|What form(s) does this medication come in?|
|Who should NOT take this medication?|
Losartan should not be taken by anyone who:
|What side effects are possible with this medication?|
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
|Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?|
HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY
February 4, 2014
Health Canada has issued new restrictions concerning the use of losartan. To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada's web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Blood pressure: Occasionally, a larger-than-expected drop in blood pressure occurs after taking losartan, in some cases after the first dose. It is more likely to occur if you take diuretics (water pills), have reduced salt intake, are on dialysis, or are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting. Blood pressure should be checked more often in these situations. If you have low blood pressure or are just starting to take this medication, you should move slowly when you are rising from a reclining to an upright position to reduce the risk of dizziness.
Kidney problems: The use of losartan may affect the function of the kidneys, especially for those who already have kidney problems. If you have kidney function problems, your doctor will likely closely monitor your condition while you are taking this medication.
Reduced liver function: People with reduced liver function may require a lower dose of losartan.
Pregnancy: Losartan should not be taken by pregnant women. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, stop taking it and tell your doctor at once.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if losartan passes into breast milk. A decision based on the importance of the medication to the mother's health should be made either to stop taking the medication or to stop breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
|What other drugs could interact with this medication?|
There may be an interaction between losartan and any of the following:
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
The contents of this site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.
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