There are many reasons why a patient may need to take the blood pressure-lowering drug losartan. As a health care professional, you know that the initiation of this drug requires careful monitoring and close observation for any adverse reactions.
Knowing how to identify and treat common side effects such as dizziness, headache, fatigue, or swelling of limbs makes it possible to help your patients use losartan safely and preventively.
What Is Losartan?
Losartan is a medication that is used in the treatment of high blood pressure and heart disease. The exact mechanism of action of losartan has yet to be determined, but it acts as an angiotensin II receptor antagonist.
Thus, it blocks the production of angiotensin II, which causes vasoconstriction and a rise in blood pressure. Losartan may also increase heart rate and cardiac contractility. It is thought to occur by inhibiting the breakdown of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).
As you can see, there are many benefits to taking losartan for high blood pressure with proper monitoring, evaluation, and treatment for side effects.
Losartan is a white, octagonal-shaped tablet. The tablet may have an odor that is described as slightly fishy. Whenever a patient mentions that they smell a fishy odor, it is important to remember that this drug may be causing such side effects as poor appetite.
A patient who experiences any of the following symptoms should be seen by a health care professional right away:
- Shortness of breath.
- Chest pain.
- Weakness or numbness in the face, arms, or legs.
- Severe headache.
- Sudden vision changes.
- Swelling of the feet, ankles, hands, or lower legs.
- The swollen area on your leg where you inject losartan.
When taking losartan, warnings, precautions, and side effects should always be considered. This drug is not recommended during pregnancy because of the risk of harm to an unborn child. Losartan may also affect menstruation as it is thought to delay ovulation.
A lack of knowledge regarding preparing a patient for losartan initiation, monitoring them closely for any adverse reactions, or treating some of the more common side effects may lead to a dangerous situation. It could even cause the untimely death of a patient.
As a health care professional, you are responsible for the life-saving treatment of a patient and their safety.
Losartan can be used as monotherapy or as part of a regimen in which it is combined with other medications.
Because of the drug’s ability to promote vasodilation and lower blood pressure is often combined with other antihypertensive agents such as hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) and angiotensin receptor antagonists Irbesartan, and beta-blocker agents.
When combining losartan with other antihypertensive agents, care must be taken to avoid overdose.
How Should I Take Losartan?
As a health care professional, it is your responsibility to learn the correct way to take losartan.
This drug should be started at the lowest possible dose and titrated slowly up to the optimum therapeutic dose. The initial dose of losartan should be based on the patient’s current antihypertensive regimen.
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