Losartan is used on its own or together with other medicines to help keep your blood pressure to go down by relaxing the blood vessels.
This medicine may also be used to treat other conditions such as heart failure and kidney disease in diabetic patients with high blood pressure. It may also be used to reduce the stroke in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy (a condition in which the walls of your left heart's chamber are enlarged and thickened).
Take Losartan exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Losartan is available as a tablet or oral suspension.
If you are taking the tablet, swallow it whole.
If you are taking an oral suspension or syrup, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure out your prescribed dose.
Losartan must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have a severe liver disease as Losartan may not be suitable for you.
Do not give this medicine to children below 6 years old unless instructed to do so by the doctor.
Do not take this medicine if you are on your 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Losartan may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine. You may wish to discuss birth control methods with your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not take Losartan together with aliskiren (medicine to treat high blood pressure) especially if you have diabetes or severe kidney disease.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- history of angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue)
- low sodium levels in the blood or fluid loss caused by water pills, dietary salt restriction, diarrhoea or vomiting
- heart failure
- other heart diseases such as narrowing of the valves of the heart
- kidney disease
- mild to moderate liver disease
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Losartan to a child or elderly person. Children and elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
If you are of a Black race, Losartan may be less effective. Inform your doctor if you are taking this medicine.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. He may also need to do routine blood tests while you are being treated with Losartan.
What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my blood pressure?
Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet will help lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Engage in physical activity (e.g. walking) at least 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week. If you have not exercised for a long time, start with light exercises such as slow walks. Speak to your doctor about what type of exercise would be suitable for you. Follow a healthy diet plan by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products and reduce your intake of foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Cutting down on deep-fried foods and using less salt when cooking can kick-start your healthy diet.
If you smoke, you should try to quit. Smoking is harmful to your blood pressure, heart and overall health. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about ways to kick your smoking habit.
Losartan may cause drowsiness or dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
You may also feel dizzy when getting up from a sitting or lying down position, especially if you are taking this medicine for the very first time. This is common and should improve gradually as you get used to Losartan. It will help if you get up slowly from a sitting or lying down position.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, constipation, back pain, tiredness, joint and muscle pain, migraine, cough, nasal congestion, sleeping problems, common colds; pain or burning sensation when urinating, and unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed).
Losartan may also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Apply sunscreen when going outdoors and avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV lamps.
This medicine may cause the level of your red blood cells to drop. Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, itching, breathlessness, swelling of hands, legs, face, or mouth
- symptoms of kidney disease such as swelling in your legs, ankles or feet; shortness of breath, confusion
- muscle weakness, cramping or numbness; fast or irregular heartbeat
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Losartan together with aliskiren (medicine to treat high blood pressure) especially if you have diabetes or kidney disease.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines to treat high blood pressure e.g. captopril, lisinopril, enalapril
- medicines for mood disorder e.g. lithium
- NSAIDS (medicines for pain and inflammation) e.g. diclofenac, mefenamic acid, ibuprofen
- potassium supplements (either as a medicine or as a salt substitute)
- diuretic or “water pills” (medicines for water retention) e.g. spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride
- fluconazole (medicine to treat fungal infection)
- rifampicin (medicine to treat TB, lung infection known as tuberculosis)
- heparin (blood-thinning medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Losartan.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Cut down on your salt intake. This may help lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Speak to your doctor or dietitian about ways to cut down on your salt intake.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Protect from light.
Once the oral suspension is opened, store in the refrigerator, between 2-8°C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used. The oral solution should be used within 1 month after opening.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.