The use of receptor antagonists for the application of medical treatments is a tool that allows the blocking of certain chemical substances, which in very specific cases are those that are responsible for contracting blood vessels.

In the following article, we will delve more into losartan , one of the drugs applied for this type of treatment and the first to be marketed.

What is losartan?

Losartan is a medication in the form of tablets to be administered orally, taken once or twice a day. The dose is usually supplied with a small progressive increase until the correct one is adopted, for the patient’s tolerability, usually 50 mg per day.

Note: In its composition, we can mention that it has polyvidone, microcrystalline cellulose, lactose monohydrate, sodium starch glycolate, among others. All of them oriented in a tablet, which is responsible for improving the flow of oxygen and blood to the heart.

What is losartan used for?

Losartan, due to its previously mentioned application principle, is applied to certain quite specific treatments. They will be mentioned and described below for your understanding and recognition.

1. Hypertension

Losartan is primarily known as an antihypertensive drug. It is responsible for preventing the binding of angiotensin II (a substance that causes narrowing of blood vessels with the binding of certain receptors).

To highlight: The production of relaxation in the blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and is therefore the indicated treatment par excellence. (1)

2. Heart failure

Losartan is also a treatment indicated for patients with heart failure, due to the stimulation produced by the intervention of angiotensin. It produces the release of arachidonate, which is enzymatically oxygenated and enhances platelets in aggregation and activation.

In patients with left ventricular hypertrophy, the use of losartan as a treatment has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular accident.

To highlight: It is considered cardiovascularly beneficial through studies that were focused on the application of losartan as a treatment for heart failure in Research Laboratories in Madrid. (two)

3. Kidney protection

It happens that hypertension is a disorder that can cause chronic renal failure, so the use of losartan as a treatment leads to a decrease in the process of increased damage.

Important: Losartan will have a slowing effect on the kidney damage of the organism, as long as the failure is not of diabetic etiology.

Losartan contraindications

Like any medication, losartan has certain contraindications that limit its use. They will be mentioned and described below for your knowledge and understanding.

1. Sensitivity to components

Sensitivity to the components of a drug produces an immune response that leads to the presence of symptoms that can range from mild to severe. It is important to discontinue treatment if any adverse reaction is observed and seek medical assistance.

2. Diabetes

The contraindication for patients with diabetes arises from the presence of previous treatments that may present principles of action that are an impediment to the inclusion of losartan in them. Especially if one of them is aliskiren (antihypertensive, renin inhibitor).

3. Pregnancy and lactation

If there is a suspicion of pregnancy or knowledge of it, losartan should not be administered. Losartan in the third trimester of the gestation period can cause serious damage to the fetus , and even death.

Important: It should not be consumed during periods of lactation either, especially if the child is premature. The recommendation is the use of an alternative treatment that has a higher safety profile for these cases.

4. Interactions with other drugs

As we mentioned previously, there are some medications with which the use in parallel with losartan is not recommended. Especially if these drugs have an inhibitory nature , since they are not suitable. Among these, we could mention:

  • Antidepressants.
  • Aliskiren.
  • Antipsychotics.

What side effects does the medicine losartan have?

It is important to know the potential side effects of medications, so we will mention and describe those pertinent to losartan below.

1. Allergic reaction

As we previously mentioned, there is a potential possibility of reacting allergically to any of its components. There is itching, swelling, tingling in the mouth area and in some cases, difficulty breathing. It is important to stop consumption and seek medical assistance.

2. Gastrointestinal upsets

They are not effects, but they are contemplated. One of the main reasons for the presence of these is that losartan contains lactose in its composition, so if it is consumed by an intolerant person, it will present relevant symptoms. There are discomforts such as heartburn, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

3. Weakness and fatigue

Dizziness, cramps, weakness and fatigue are side effects that occur in at least 1 in 10 people.

4. Anemia, hypoglycemia and hyperkalemia

In patients with renal insufficiency, the use of losartan in the presence of angiotensin receptor antagonists can cause anemia and hyperkalemia (elevated plasma potassium level due to redistribution or excretion problems due to renal failure). (3)

Note: Hypoglycemia (decrease in the normal value of blood glucose) is another of the common symptoms, characterized by being present in at least 1 in 10 patients.

Key Findings

  • Losartan is an orally consumed tablet medication identified primarily as an antihypertensive medical treatment.
  • It is usually supplied in doses of 50 to 100 mg, which starts at 12.5 and is progressively increased until the correct dose for the patient is reached.
  • It is extremely dangerous if consumed in the third trimester of pregnancy because it can cause severe damage to the fetus, even death.
  • If there are side effects, it is important to see a doctor, preferably the same one who has prescribed the use of this treatment.

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