PREGNANCY: Although there is no experience with the use of HYZAAR/HYZAAR PLUS/HYZAAR FORTE in pregnant women, animal studies with losartan potassium have demonstrated fetal and neonatal injury and death, the mechanism of which is believed to be pharmacologically mediated through effects on the renin-angiotensin system. In humans, fetal renal perfusion, which is dependent upon the development of the renin-angiotensin system, begins in the second trimester; thus, risk to the fetus increases if HYZAAR/HYZAAR PLUS/HYZAAR FORTE is administered during the second or third trimesters of pregnancy.
Use of drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy reduces fetal renal function and increases fetal and neonatal morbidity and death. Resulting oligohydramnios can be associated with fetal lung hypoplasia and skeletal deformations. Potential neonatal adverse effects include skull hypoplasia, anuria, hypotension, renal failure and death. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue HYZAAR as soon as possible.
These adverse outcomes are usually associated with the use of these drugs in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Most epidemiologic studies examining fetal abnormalities after exposure to antihypertensive use in the first trimester have not distinguished drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system from other antihypertensive agents. Appropriate management of maternal hypertension during pregnancy is important to optimize outcomes for both mother and fetus.
In the unusual case that there is no appropriate alternative to therapy with drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system for a particular patient, apprise the mother of the potential risk to the fetus. Perform serial ultrasound examinations to assess the intra-amniotic environment. If oligohydramnios is observed, discontinue HYZAAR, unless it is considered life-saving for the mother. Fetal testing may be appropriate, based on the week of pregnancy. Patients and physicians should be aware, however, that oligohydramnios may not appear until after the fetus has sustained irreversible injury. Closely observe infants with histories of in utero exposure to HYZAAR for hypotension, oliguria and hyperkalemia.
Thiazides cross the placental barrier and appear in cord blood. The routine use of diuretics in otherwise healthy pregnant women is not recommended and exposes mother and fetus to unnecessary hazard including fetal or neonatal jaundice, thrombocytopenia and possibly other adverse reactions which have occurred in the adult. Diuretics do not prevent development of toxemia of pregnancy and there is no satisfactory evidence that they are useful in the treatment of toxemia.
NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether losartan is excreted in human milk. Thiazides appear in human milk. Because of the potential for adverse effects on the nursing infant, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.