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All about: Losartan potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide

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Generic name: Losartan potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide
Brand names: Hyzaar

Why is Losartan potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide prescribed?

Hyzaar is a combination medication used in the treatment of high blood pressure. One component, losartan, belongs to a new class of blood pressure medications that work by preventing the hormone angiotensin II from constricting the blood vessels, thus allowing blood to flow more freely and keeping the blood pressure down. The other component, hydrochlorothiazide, is a diuretic that increases the output of urine, removing excess fluid from the body and thus lowering blood pressure.

Most important fact about Losartan potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide

You must take Hyzaar regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of Hyzaar, and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Hyzaar does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.

How should you take Losartan potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide?

Hyzaar may be taken with or without food. Take Hyzaar exactly as directed. Try to take it at the same time each day so that it is easier to remember.

--If you miss a dose...

Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule.

--Storage instructions...

Keep in a tightly closed container at room temperature. Protect from light.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Hyzaar.

  • Side effects include:
    Dizziness, upper respiratory infection

Why should Losartan potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide not be prescribed?

If you have ever had an allergic reaction to losartan, hydrochlorothiazide, or sulfa drugs, you should not take Losartan potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide. If you are unable to urinate, do not take Hyzaar.

Special warnings about Losartan potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide

If you are taking Hyzaar and have kidney disease, your doctor will watch your kidney function carefully.

Hyzaar can cause low blood pressure, especially if you are also taking another diuretic. You may feel light-headed or faint, especially during the first few days of therapy. If these symptoms occur, contact your doctor. Your dosage may need to be adjusted or discontinued. If you actually faint, stop taking the medication until you have talked to your doctor.

If you have liver or kidney disease, diabetes, gout, or lupus erythematosus, Hyzaar should be used with caution. This drug may bring out hidden diabetes. If you are already taking insulin or oral diabetes drugs, your medication may have to be adjusted. If you have bronchial asthma or a history of allergies, you may be at greater risk for an allergic reaction to Losartan potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide.

Excessive sweating, severe diarrhea or vomiting could deplete your body fluids and cause your blood pressure to drop too low. Be careful when exercising and in hot weather. Call your doctor if your mouth becomes dry, you feel weak or tired or sluggish, you are unusually thirsty, you feel restless or confused, you ache all over, your heart starts beating faster, or you are nauseated. Rare but serious allergic reactions to Hyzaar have been reported. If you develop swelling of the face, lips, or throat, call your doctor immediately. Serious swelling could obstruct your breathing.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Losartan potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide

Hyzaar may increase the effects of alcohol. Avoid alcohol while taking Losartan potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide.

If Hyzaar is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before taking Hyzaar with the following:

Barbiturates such as phenobarbital and Seconal
Cholestyramine (Questran)
Colestipol (Colestid)
Corticosteroids (Prednisone)
Diuretics that leave potassium in the body, such as Aldactone, triamterene, and amiloride
Indomethacin (Indocin)
Insulin
Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
Lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)
Narcotic painkillers such as Demerol, Tylenol with Codeine, and Percocet
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aleve, Anaprox, and Motrin
Other blood pressure-lowering drugs such as Procardia XL and Tenormin
Oral diabetes drugs such as Diabinese, DiaBeta, and Glucotrol
Potassium supplements such as Slow-K
Salt substitutes containing potassium
Sulfaphenazole
Troleandomycin (Tao)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

When used in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, Hyzaar can cause injury or even death to the unborn child. Stop taking Hyzaar as soon as you know you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. Hyzaar appears in breast milk and can affect the nursing infant. If Losartan potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding while you are taking Hyzaar.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS

Hyzaar comes in two strengths, 50-12.5 (50 milligrams of losartan and 12.5 milligrams of hydrochlorothiazide) and 100-25 (a double dose of each component). The usual starting dose is one 50-12.5 tablet per day.

If your blood pressure does not respond to this dose, after about 3 weeks the doctor may increase the dose to two 50-12.5 tablets once daily, or one 100-25 tablet a day.

CHILDREN

The safety and effectiveness of Hyzaar in children have not been studied.

Overdosage

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. Information concerning Hyzaar overdosage is limited. However, extremely low blood pressure and abnormally rapid or slow heartbeat may be signs of an overdose. Other signs may include dryness and thirst, overall weakness and tiredness, restlessness and confusion, muscle pains, nausea, and vomiting.

If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

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