Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics: Zosaar HCT (losartan potassium and hydrochlorothiazide) combines an angiotensin II receptor (type AT1) antagonist and a diuretic, hydrochlorothiazide.
Angiotensin II [formed from angiotensin I in a reaction catalyzed by angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE, kininase II)], is a potent vasoconstrictor, the primary vasoactive hormone of the renin-angiotensin system and an important component in the pathophysiology of hypertension. It also stimulates aldosterone secretion by the adrenal cortex. Losartan and its principal active metabolite block the vasoconstrictor and aldosterone-secreting effects of angiotensin II by selectively blocking the binding of angiotensin II to the AT1 receptor found in many tissues (e.g., vascular smooth muscle, adrenal gland). There is also an AT2 receptor found in many tissues but it is not known to be associated with cardiovascular homeostasis. Both losartan and its principal active metabolite do not exhibit any partial agonist activity at the AT1 receptor and have much greater affinity (about 1000-fold) for the AT1 receptor than for the AT2 receptor. In vitro binding studies indicate that losartan is a reversible, competitive inhibitor of the AT1 receptor. The active metabolite is 10 to 40 times more potent by weight than losartan and appears to be a reversible, non-competitive inhibitor of the AT1 receptor.
Neither losartan nor its active metabolite inhibits ACE (kininase II, the enzyme that converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II and degrades bradykinin); nor do they bind to or block other hormone receptors or ion channels known to be important in cardiovascular regulation.
Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic. Thiazides affect the renal tubular mechanisms of electrolyte reabsorption, directly increasing excretion of sodium and chloride in approximately equivalent amounts. Indirectly, the diuretic action of hydrochlorothiazide reduces plasma volume, with consequent increases in plasma renin activity, increases in aldosterone secretion, increases in urinary potassium loss, and decreases in serum potassium. The renin-aldosterone link is mediated by angiotensin II, so co-administration of an angiotensin II receptor antagonist tends to reverse the potassium loss associated with these diuretics.
The mechanism of the antihypertensive effect of thiazides is unknown.
Non-melanoma skin cancer: Based on available data from epidemiological studies, cumulative dose-dependent association between HCTZ and NMSC has been observed. One study included a population comprised of 71,533 cases of BCC and 8,629 cases of SCC matched to 1,430,833 and 172,462 population controls, respectively. High HCTZ use (≥50,000 mg cumulative) was associated with an adjusted OR of 1.29 (95% CI: 1.23-1.35) for BCC and 3.98 (95% CI: 3.68-4.31) for SCC. A clear cumulative dose response relationship was observed for both BCC and SCC. Another study showed a possible association between lip-cancer (SCC) and exposure to HCTZ:633 cases of lip-cancer were matched with 63,067 population controls, using a risk-set sampling strategy. A cumulative dose-response relationship was demonstrated with an adjusted OR 2.1 (95% CI:1.7-2.6) increasing to OR 3.9 (3.0-4.9) for high-use (~25,000 mg) and OR 7.7 (5.7-10.5) for the highest cumulative dose (~100,000 mg).
Pharmacokinetics: Losartan is an orally active agent that undergoes substantial first-pass metabolism by cytochrome P450 enzymes. It is converted, in part, to an active carboxylic acid metabolite that is responsible for most of the angiotensin II receptor antagonism that follows losartan treatment. The terminal half-life of losartan is about 2 hours and of the metabolite is about 6-9 hours. The pharmacokinetics of losartan and its active metabolite are linear with oral losartan doses up to 200 mg and do not change over time. Neither losartan nor its metabolite accumulate in plasma upon repeated once-daily dosing.
Following oral administration, losartan is well absorbed and undergoes substantial first-pass metabolism; the systemic bioavailability of losartan is approximately 33%. About 14% of an orally-administered dose of losartan is converted to the active metabolite. Mean peak concentrations of losartan and its active metabolite are reached in 1 hour and in 3-4 hours, respectively.
While maximum plasma concentrations of losartan and its active metabolite are approximately equal, the AUC of the metabolite is about 4 times as great as that of losartan. A meal slows absorption of losartan and decreases its Cmax but has only minor effects on losartan AUC or on the AUC of the metabolite (about 10% decreased).
Both losartan and its active metabolite are highly bound to plasma proteins, primarily albumin, with plasma free fractions of 1.3% and 0.2%, respectively. Plasma protein binding is constant over the concentration range achieved with recommended doses. Studies in rats indicate that losartan crosses the blood-brain barrier poorly, if at all.
Losartan metabolites have been identified in human plasma and urine. In addition to the active carboxylic acid metabolite, several inactive metabolites are formed. Following oral and intravenous administration of 14C-labeled losartan potassium, circulating plasma radioactivity is primarily attributed to losartan and its active metabolite.
The volume of distribution of losartan is about 34 liters and of the active metabolite is about 12 liters. Total plasma clearance of losartan and the active metabolite is about 600 mL/min and 50 mL/min, respectively, with renal clearance of about 75 mL/min and 25 mL/min, respectively.
During once-daily dosing with 100 mg, neither losartan nor its active metabolite accumulates significantly in plasma.
Biliary excretion contributes to the elimination of losartan and its metabolites.
Geriatric and Gender: Losartan pharmacokinetics have been investigated in the elderly 65-75 years) and in both genders. Plasma concentrations of losartan and its active metabolite are similar in elderly and young hypertensives. Plasma concentrations of losartan were about twice as high in female hypertensives as male hypertensives, but concentrations of the active metabolite were similar in males and females.
Hydrochlorothiazide: Hydrochlorothiazide is not metabolised but is eliminated rapidly by the kidney. When plasma levels have been followed for at least 24 hours, the plasma half-life has been observed to vary between 5.6 and 14.8 hours. At least 61 percent of the oral dose is eliminated unchanged within 24 hours.