Drugs Q & A

What Is The Lowest Dose Of Losartan You Can Take?

When one seeks medical attention, the first and foremost task handed to the physician is to assess the patient’s medical history and then prescribe an appropriate personalized medical regimen. Be it infectious diseases, chronic conditions, or metabolic disorders, prescription of medication is only the first step of proceedings. It is equally upon the patient, as much as it is upon the doctor and healthcare professionals examining him, to stick to his or her prescribed routine and get a follow-up check done on a regular basis.

The dose is the amount of drug taken at any one time. This can be expressed as the weight of the drug (e.g. 250 mg), the volume of drug solution (e.g. 10 mL, 2 drops), the number of dosage forms (e.g. 1 capsule, 1 suppository), or some other quantity (e.g. 2 puffs). The dosage regimen is the frequency at which the drug doses are given. Examples include 2.5 mL twice a day, one tablet three times a day, and one injection every four weeks.

The total daily dose is calculated from the dose and the number of times per day the dose is taken while the optimal dosage is the dosage that gives the desired effect with minimum side effects. There are many factors taken into consideration when deciding the dose of a drug – including the age of the patient, weight, sex, ethnicity, liver and kidney function, and whether the patient smokes. Other medicines may also affect the drug dose. Adherence and compliance are pivotal in ensuring an improved health outcome for the patient especially if he is suffering from a chronic condition and needs prolonged medical attention.

What Is Losartan?

Losartan is a prescription drug that belongs to a group of drugs called angiotensin II receptor antagonists. It keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.

Losartan is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is also used to lower the risk of stroke in certain people with heart disease. Losartan is used to slow long-term kidney damage in people with type 2 diabetes who also have high blood pressure.

How Losartan works

Losartan works by blocking the action of angiotensin II, a chemical in your body that causes your blood vessels to tighten and narrow. Losartan helps relax and widen your blood vessels. This lowers your blood pressure.

This action helps treat high blood pressure as well as the other two conditions. Losartan is usually prescribed for high blood pressure and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) increases your risk of stroke, so lower blood pressure reduces your risk.

Lower blood pressure also reduces your risk of kidney damage. This is because high blood pressure raises your risk of kidney damage that’s caused by the high blood sugar levels linked with diabetes.

How should this medicine be used?

Losartan comes as 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg tablets to take by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice a day with or without food depending on the tablet form. To help you remember to take Losartan, take it at around the same time(s) every day.

The usual adult dose for diabetic nephropathy is as follows:

  • Initial dose: 50 mg orally once a day.
  • Maintenance dose: 25 to 100 mg orally in 1 to 2 divided doses.

The usual adult dose for hypertension is as follows

Initial dose: 50 mg orally once a day.

Maintenance dose: 25 to 100 mg orally in 1 to 2 divided doses

Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Losartan exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

What Is The Lowest Dose Of Losartan You Can Take

The lowest dose of Losartan you can take is typically 25 mg, taken once daily by elderly patients,  those with liver problems, and individuals who are also taking diuretics (“water pills”).

The dose may be lower if you’ve recently had diarrhea or been sick (vomiting), or you are over the age of 75. If you take too much – if you take too much losartan, you may have symptoms such as: feeling like your heart is pounding, weakness, and dizziness.

What are the side effects associated with using low-dose losartan?

Side effects of low-dose losartan include:

•          abdominal pain

•          abnormal weakness

•          anemia

•          back pain

•          chest pain

•          cough

•          diarrhea

•          dizziness

•          fatigue

•          feeling unwell (malaise)

•          gastritis

•          headache

•          high blood pressure

•          high potassium levels

•          low blood glucose

•          low blood pressure in patients with low blood plasma or diuretic-using patients

•          nausea

•          nausea

•          rapid swelling

•          skin infection

•          swelling

•          upper respiratory tract infection

•          urinary tract infection

•          weakness

•          worsening renal failure

Other side effects of Losartan include:

Cardiac

•          heart rate irregularities (including ventricular and supraventricular tachycardia, premature ventricular contractions, and atrial fibrillation)

•          slow heart rate

•          electrocardiographic alterations (including second-degree heart block, QT/QTc interval prolongation, and ST segment depression)

•          palpitations

•          fainting (rarely and predominantly with intravenous losartan)

•          transient ECG changes including QT/QTc interval prolongation have been reported

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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