There are a number of medicines on the market used to treat high blood pressure. Losartan, marketed under the brand, Cozaar, is one of those agents. It is a member of a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers, also known medically as ARBs. They work by widening blood vessels, thus reducing the pressure or force of blood as it moves through the vessel. Losartan is also used to treat a kidney condition in people with diabetes called diabetic nephropathy.
Losartan may cause hypoglycemia -- low glucose levels -- in patients with type 2 diabetes. It occurs more frequently in those diabetic patients being treated for diabetic nephropathy. A pre-marketing study involving 1,513 patients revealed 14 percent of the participants experienced hypoglycemia. This side effect did not result in the discontinuance of Losartan. Patients with diabetes, should closely monitor their glucose while taking this medication.
Losartan may cause fatigue. This side effect is commonly experienced by people being treated for diabetic nephropathy. In the RENAAL study -- a premarketing study -- 14 percent of the 1,513 participants reported feelings of fatigue. Patients taking Losartan for high blood pressure also report fatigue as a side effect. It occurs early in treatment and usually disappears with continued use.
Back pain, leg pain, muscle cramps and muscle weakness are possible side effects associated with the use of Losartan. Both people with high blood pressure and diabetic nephropathy have experienced one or more of these adverse reactions. However, the incidents are higher in those patients with diabetic kidney disease.
Users of Losartan may also experience feelings of dizziness, especially those with high blood pressure. In a pre-marketing study involving 1,075 participants, 3 percent of the participants reported dizziness as a side effect. It usually occurs early in treatment or with an increase in dosage. But with continued use, the dizziness will eventually disappear.
Losartan may cause various types of infections. Some that have been reported among users, are respiratory infections like bronchitis, flu-like symptoms, throat infections and sinus infections. Some people may also experience urinary tract infections. Sixteen percent of the 1,513 participants of the RENAAL study reported experiencing a urinary tract infection.