Medication Guide App

Losartan Potassium

Pronunciation

Class: Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonists
VA Class: CV805
Chemical Name: 2 - Butyl - 4 - chloro - 1 - [[2′ - (1H - tetrazol - 5 - yl)[1,1′ - biphenyl] - 4 - yl] - methyl] - 1H - imidazole - 5 - methanol monopotassium salt
Molecular Formula: C22H23ClN6O•K ½C4H4O4
CAS Number: 124750-99-8
Brands: Cozaar, Hyzaar

Warning(s)

  • May cause fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality if used during pregnancy.1 2 56 57 (See Fetal/Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality under Cautions.)

  • If pregnancy is detected, discontinue the drug as soon as possible.1 2 57

Introduction

Angiotensin II receptor (AT1) antagonist.1 2

Uses for Losartan Potassium

Hypertension

Management of hypertension (alone or in combination with other classes of antihypertensive agents, including diuretics).1 2 500

Angiotensin II receptor antagonists are recommended as one of several preferred agents for the initial management of hypertension; other options include ACE inhibitors, calcium-channel blockers, and thiazide diuretics.501 502 503 504 While there may be individual differences with respect to specific outcomes, these antihypertensive drug classes all produce comparable effects on overall mortality and cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and renal outcomes.501 502 503 504 Individualize choice of therapy; consider patient characteristics (e.g., age, ethnicity/race, comorbidities, cardiovascular risk) as well as drug-related factors (e.g., ease of administration, availability, adverse effects, cost).500 501 502 503 504 515

Angiotensin II receptor antagonists or ACE inhibitors may be preferred in hypertensive patients with diabetes mellitus or chronic kidney disease; angiotensin II receptor antagonists also may be preferred, as an alternative to ACE inhibitors, in hypertensive patients with heart failure or ischemic heart disease and/or post-MI.500 501 502 504 520 523 524 527 534 535 536 543

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Black hypertensive patients generally tend to respond better to monotherapy with calcium-channel blockers or thiazide diuretics than to angiotensin II receptor antagonists.500 501 504 However, diminished response to an angiotensin II receptor antagonist is largely eliminated when administered concomitantly with a calcium-channel blocker or thiazide diuretic.500 504

The optimum BP threshold for initiating antihypertensive drug therapy is controversial.501 504 505 506 507 508 515 523 530 Further study needed to determine optimum BP thresholds/goals; individualize treatment decisions.501 503 507 515 526 530

JNC 7 recommends initiation of drug therapy in all patients with uncomplicated hypertension and BP ≥140/90 mm Hg;500 JNC 8 panel recommends SBP threshold of 150 mm Hg for patients ≥60 years of age.501 Although many experts agree that SBP goal of <150 mm Hg may be appropriate for patients ≥80 years of age,502 504 505 530 application of this goal to those ≥60 years of age is controversial, especially for those at higher cardiovascular risk.501 502 505 506 508 511 515

In the past, initial antihypertensive drug therapy was recommended for patients with diabetes mellitus or chronic kidney disease who had BP ≥130/80 mm Hg;500 503 current hypertension management guidelines generally recommend a BP threshold of 140/90 mm Hg for these individuals (same as for the general population of patients without these conditions), although a goal of <130/80 mm Hg may still be considered.501 502 503 504 520 530 535 536 541

Prevention of Cardiovascular Morbidity and Mortality

Reduction of the risk of stroke in patients with hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy.1 2 53

Evidence suggests that the benefit associated with such losartan-based antihypertensive therapy does not apply to black patients.1 20 53

Preliminary evidence suggests that aspirin therapy at baseline in patients receiving losartan may reduce the risk of combined cardiovascular death, stroke, and acute MI compared with aspirin therapy at baseline in patients receiving atenolol.54

Diabetic Nephropathy

Management of diabetic nephropathy manifested by elevated Scr and proteinuria (urinary albumin to creatinine ratio ≥300 mg/g) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension.1 33

A recommended agent in the management of patients with diabetes mellitus and persistent albuminuria who have modestly elevated (30–300 mg/24 hours) or higher (>300 mg/24 hours) levels of urinary albumin excretion; slows rate of progression of renal disease in such patients.38 39 41 42 43 520 535 536

Heart Failure

Angiotensin II receptor antagonists are considered a reasonable alternative for inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system in patients with heart failure and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) who are intolerant of ACE inhibitors; because of their established benefits, ACE inhibitors are preferred.524 528

Losartan Potassium Dosage and Administration

General

BP Monitoring and Treatment Goals

  • Carefully monitor BP during initial titration or subsequent upward adjustment in dosage.500 501

  • When available, use evidence-based dosing information (i.e., dosages shown in randomized controlled trials to reduce complications of hypertension) to determine target dosages; target dosages usually can be achieved within 2–4 weeks but may take up to several months.501

  • If adequate BP response not achieved with a single antihypertensive agent, add a second drug with demonstrated benefit; if goal BP still not achieved with optimal dosages of 2 antihypertensive agents, add a third drug.501 May maximize dosage of the first drug before adding a second drug, or add a second drug before maximizing dosage of the initial drug.501

  • Consider initiating antihypertensive therapy with a combination of drugs if patient's BP exceeds goal BP by >20/10 mm Hg.500 501 503 504

  • Goal is to achieve and maintain optimal control of BP; individualize specific target BP based on consideration of multiple factors, including patient age and comorbidities, and currently available evidence from clinical studies.500 501 (See Hypertension under Uses.)

Administration

Oral Administration

Administer losartan orally once or twice daily without regard to meals.1 2 Administer losartan as extemporaneously prepared oral suspension in patients unable to swallow tablets.1 Administer losartan in fixed combination with hydrochlorothiazide once daily without regard to meals.2

Reconstitution

Preparation of extemporaneous suspension containing losartan potassium 2.5 mg/mL: Add 10 mL of purified water to a 240-mL polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle containing ten 50-mg tablets of losartan potassium; shake contents for ≥2 minutes.1 Allow concentrated suspension to stand for 60 minutes following reconstitution, then shake for an additional minute.1 Prepare a mixture containing equal parts (by volume) of syrup (Ora-Sweet) and suspending vehicle (Ora-Plus) separately.1 Dilute the concentrated suspension of losartan potassium with 190 mL of the Ora-Sweet and Ora-Plus mixture; shake the container an additional minute to disperse ingredients.1 Shake suspension before dispensing each dose.1

Dosage

Available as losartan potassium; dosage expressed in terms of the salt.1 2

Pediatric Patients

Hypertension
Oral

Children ≥6 years of age: Initially, 0.7 mg/kg (up to 50 mg) once daily.1 52 Adjust dosage until the desired BP goal is achieved52 (up to maximum dosage of 1.4 mg/kg or 100 mg daily).1 52

Adults

Hypertension
Losartan Therapy
Oral

JNC 8 expert panel recommends initial dosage of 50 mg daily and target dosage of 100 mg daily (given in 1 dose or 2 divided doses) based on dosages used in randomized controlled studies.501

Manufacturer recommends initial dosage of 50 mg once daily in adults without intravascular volume depletion.1 In adults with depletion of intravascular volume, the usual initial dosage is 25 mg once daily.1

Manufacturer states usual dosage is 25–100 mg daily, given in 1 dose or 2 divided doses; no additional therapeutic benefit with higher dosages.1

If effectiveness diminishes toward end of dosing interval in patients treated once daily, consider increasing dosage or administering drug in 2 divided doses.1

If intolerable adverse effects occur, consider dosage reduction; if adverse effects worsen or fail to resolve, may need to discontinue and switch to another antihypertensive drug class.501

Losartan/Hydrochlorothiazide Fixed-combination Therapy
Oral

Manufacturer states fixed-combination preparation should not be used for initial treatment of hypertension, except in severe hypertension when benefits of achieving prompt BP reduction are considered to outweigh risks of initiating combination therapy.2

If BP is not adequately controlled by monotherapy with losartan potassium or hydrochlorothiazide (25 mg daily), if BP is controlled but hypokalemia is problematic at this hydrochlorothiazide dosage, or in those with severe hypertension in whom the potential benefit of achieving prompt BP control outweighs the potential risk of initiating therapy with the commercially available fixed combination, can use the fixed-combination tablets once daily (losartan potassium 50 mg and hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg; then losartan potassium 100 mg and hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg, if BP remains uncontrolled after about 3 weeks of therapy [or after 2–4 weeks of therapy in those with severe hypertension]).2

If BP is not adequately controlled by monotherapy with losartan potassium 100 mg daily, can switch to fixed-combination tablets once daily (losartan potassium 100 mg and hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg; then losartan potassium 100 mg and hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg [administered as 2 tablets of the fixed combination containing 50 mg of losartan potassium and 12.5 mg of hydrochlorothiazide, or alternatively, as 1 tablet of the fixed combination containing 100 mg of losartan potassium and 25 mg of hydrochlorothiazide] if BP remains uncontrolled after about 3 weeks of therapy).2

Prevention of Cardiovascular Morbidity and Mortality
Oral

Initially, 50 mg once daily.1 Adjust dosage based on BP response.1 2 If indicated, add hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg daily and/or increase dosage of losartan to 100 mg once daily.1 2 Subsequently, may increase hydrochlorothiazide dosage to 25 mg once daily.1 2 Alternatively, administer fixed combination of losartan potassium and hydrochlorothiazide at appropriate dosages.2

Diabetic Nephropathy
Oral

Initially, 50 mg once daily.1 If BP is not adequately controlled, increase dosage to 100 mg once daily.1

Prescribing Limits

Pediatric Patients

Hypertension
Oral

Maximum 1.4 mg/kg or 100 mg daily.1 52

Adults

Hypertension
Losartan/Hydrochlorothiazide Fixed-combination Therapy
Oral

Maximum 100 mg of losartan potassium and 25 mg of hydrochlorothiazide daily as the fixed combination.2

Special Populations

Hepatic Impairment

Manufacturer recommends initial dosage of 25 mg once daily in adults with a history of hepatic impairment.1

Use of losartan in fixed combination with hydrochlorothiazide is not recommended in patients with hepatic impairment.2

Renal Impairment

No initial dosage adjustments recommended by manufacturer for adults with renal impairment, including those undergoing hemodialysis.1 Use not recommended in pediatric patients with Clcr <30 mL/minute per 1.73 m2.1 52

Use of losartan in fixed combination with hydrochlorothiazide is not recommended in patients with severe renal impairment.2

Geriatric Patients

No initial dosage adjustments necessary.1

Volume- and/or Salt-depleted Patients

Correct volume and/or salt depletion prior to initiation of therapy or initiate therapy under close medical supervision using lower initial dosage (25 mg once daily).1 2

Use of losartan in fixed combination with hydrochlorothiazide is not recommended in patients with intravascular volume depletion (e.g., patients receiving diuretics).2

Cautions for Losartan Potassium

Contraindications

  • Known hypersensitivity to losartan or any ingredient in the formulation.1 2

Warnings/Precautions

Warnings

Fetal/Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality

Possible fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality when used during pregnancy.1 2 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 57 (See Boxed Warning.) Such potential risks occur throughout pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimesters.57

Also may increase the risk of major congenital malformations when administered during the first trimester of pregnancy.56 57

Discontinue as soon as possible when pregnancy is detected, unless continued use is considered lifesaving.56 57 Nearly all women can be transferred successfully to alternative therapy for the remainder of their pregnancy.11 13

Hypotension

Possible symptomatic hypotension, particularly in volume- and/or salt-depleted patients (e.g., those treated with diuretics).1 2 (See Volume- and/or Salt-Depleted Patients under Dosage and Administration.)

Malignancies

In July 2010, FDA initiated a safety review of angiotensin II receptor antagonists after a published meta-analysis found a modest but statistically significant increase in risk of new cancer occurrence in patients receiving an angiotensin II receptor antagonist compared with control.120 121 123 126 However, subsequent studies, including a larger meta-analysis conducted by FDA, have not shown such risk.126 127 128 129 Based on currently available data, FDA has concluded that angiotensin II receptor antagonists do not increase the risk of cancer.126

Sensitivity Reactions

Anaphylactoid reactions and/or angioedema possible;1 2 not recommended in patients with a history of angioedema associated with or unrelated to ACE inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor antagonist therapy.58

General Precautions

Renal Effects

Possible oliguria, progressive azotemia and, rarely, acute renal failure and/or death in patients with severe heart failure.1 2

Increases in BUN and Scr possible in patients with unilateral or bilateral renal artery stenosis.1 2

Hyperkalemia

Possible hyperkalemia, particularly in patients with renal impairment with or without diabetes mellitus or in those receiving concomitant therapy with a potassium-sparing diuretic (e.g., amiloride, spironolactone, triamterene), and/or potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium.1

Use of Fixed Combinations

When used in fixed combination with hydrochlorothiazide, consider the cautions, precautions, and contraindications associated with hydrochlorothiazide.2

Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Category C (1st trimester); Category D (2nd and 3rd trimesters).1 2 (See Boxed Warning.)

Lactation

Losartan and its active metabolite are distributed into milk in rats; not known whether distributed into human milk.1 2 Discontinue nursing or the drug.1 2

Pediatric Use

Safety and efficacy not established in children <6 years of age or in pediatric patients with Clcr <30 mL/minute per 1.73 m2.1 52

Geriatric Use

No substantial differences in safety or efficacy of losartan monotherapy relative to younger adults, but increased sensitivity cannot be ruled out.1

No apparent overall differences in efficacy with fixed combination containing losartan and hydrochlorothiazide in patients ≥65 years of age compared with younger adults.2 Adverse effects more frequent in geriatric patients compared with younger patients; select dosage with caution.2

Hepatic Impairment

Systemic exposure to losartan and its active metabolite may be increased.1 (See Absorption: Special Populations, under Pharmacokinetics.) Initial dosage adjustment recommended.1 (See Hepatic Impairment under Dosage and Administration.)

Use of losartan in fixed combination with hydrochlorothiazide is not recommended in patients with hepatic impairment (tablet dosage exceeds recommended initial dosage).2

Renal Impairment

Deterioration of renal function may occur.1 37 (See Renal Effects under Cautions.)

Use of losartan in fixed combination with hydrochlorothiazide is not recommended in patients with Clcr <30 mL/minute.2

Black Patients

BP reduction may be smaller in black patients compared with nonblack patients.1 2 (See Hypertension under Uses.)

No evidence that the benefits of therapy in reducing the risk of cardiovascular events in hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy apply to black patients.1

Common Adverse Effects

Patients with hypertension: upper respiratory infection,1 2 dizziness,1 2 nasal congestion, back pain, leg pain, muscle cramp, sinusitis.

Patients with diabetic nephropathy: Urinary tract infection, diarrhea, anemia, asthenia/fatigue, hypoglycemia, chest pain, cough, bronchitis, diabetic vascular disease, influenza-like disease, cataracts, cellulitis, hyperkalemia, hypotension, muscular weakness, sinusitis, gastritis, hypoesthesia, infection, knee pain, and leg pain.1

Interactions for Losartan Potassium

Formation of active metabolite appears to be mediated by CYP2C9.2 CYP3A4 apparently contributes to formation of inactive metabolites.2

Drugs Affecting Hepatic Microsomal Enzymes

CYP2C9 inhibitors: Possible inhibition of the formation of losartan’s active metabolite.1 2

CYP3A4 inhibitors: Clinically important interactions unlikely (possible increased concentration of losartan, but no effects on formation of active metabolite observed).2

Specific Drugs

Drug

Interaction

Comment

Cimetidine

Pharmacokinetic interaction unlikely1 2

Digoxin

Pharmacokinetic interaction unlikely1 2

Diuretics, potassium-sparing (e.g., amiloride, spironolactone, triamterene)

Possible additive hyperkalemic effects1 2

Concomitant use not recommended1 2

Erythromycin

Clinically important pharmacokinetic interaction unlikely2

Fluconazole

Decreased plasma concentrations of losartan’s active metabolite and increased plasma losartan concentrations1 2

Hydrochlorothiazide

Pharmacokinetic interaction unlikely1 2

Additive hypotensive effects; used for therapeutic advantage in hypertension treatment1 2

Ketoconazole

Conversion of losartan to its active metabolite unaffected1 2

Lithium

Lithium excretion may be reduced1 2

Carefully monitor serum lithium concentrations 1 2

NSAIAs, including selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors

Possible deterioration of renal function in geriatric, volume-depleted, or renally impaired patients1 2

Possible decreased hypotensive effect1 2

Monitor renal function periodically1

Phenobarbital

Pharmacokinetic interaction unlikely1 2

Potassium supplements and potassium-containing salt substitutes

Increased serum potassium concentrations resulting in additive hyperkalemic effect1 2

Concomitant use not recommended1 2

Rifampin

Decreased plasma concentrations of losartan and its active metabolite1 2

Warfarin

Pharmacokinetic interaction unlikely1 2

Losartan Potassium Pharmacokinetics

Absorption

Bioavailability

Well absorbed after oral administration but undergoes substantial first-pass metabolism.1 2

Systemic bioavailability of losartan is about 33%.1 2 Bioavailability of the suspension formulation (see Oral Administration under Dosage and Administration) is similar to that of losartan tablets with respect to both the drug and its active metabolite.1

Peak plasma concentrations of losartan and its active metabolite attained 1 and 3–4 hours, respectively, following oral administration.1

Onset

Antihypertensive effect evident within 1 week, with maximum BP reduction after 3–6 weeks.1

Food

Food slows absorption of losartan and decreases its peak plasma concentration but has minimal effect on AUC of losartan or its active metabolite.1 2

Special Populations

In pediatric patients, pharmacokinetics of losartan and its active metabolite generally are similar to historical data in adults.1

In patients with hepatic impairment, oral bioavailability is about 2 times higher than in those with normal hepatic function.1

In patients with mild to moderate alcoholic cirrhosis, plasma concentration of losartan and its active metabolite were about 5 and 2 times those of healthy individuals, respectively.1 2

In patients with mild (Clcr 50–74 mL/minute) or moderate (Clcr 30–49 mL/minute) renal impairment, plasma concentrations and AUC of losartan and its active metabolite are increased by 50–90%.2

Distribution

Extent

Crosses the placenta and is distributed in the fetus in animals.1 2

Crosses the blood-brain barrier poorly, if at all, in animals.1 2

Distributed into milk in rats; not known whether distributed into human milk.1 2

Plasma Protein Binding

Losartan and its active metabolite: >98%.1 2

Elimination

Metabolism

Undergoes biotransformation through CYP2C9 to an active carboxylic acid metabolite that is responsible for most of the drug’s angiotensin II receptor antagonism.2 CYP3A4 apparently contributes to formation of inactive metabolites.2

Elimination Route

Eliminated mainly in urine and feces (via bile).1 2

Half-life

Terminal half-life of losartan and its active metabolite is approximately 2 and 6–9 hours, respectively.1 2

Special Populations

In patients with mild to moderate alcoholic cirrhosis, total plasma clearance of losartan is about 50% lower than in those with normal hepatic function.1

In patients with mild or moderate renal impairment, renal clearance of losartan and its active metabolite is decreased by 55–85%.2 Neither losartan nor its active metabolite is removed by hemodialysis.1 2

Stability

Storage

Oral

Extemporaneous Suspension

2.5-mg/mL preparation of losartan potassium tablets in a mixture of syrup (Ora-Sweet) and suspending vehicle (Ora-Plus) (see Oral Administration under Dosage and Administration): Up to 30 days at 2–8°C.1

Tablets

Tight container at 25°C (may be exposed to 15–30°C).1 2 Protect from light.1 2

Actions

  • Losartan (prodrug) has little pharmacologic activity until activated in the liver.1 2

  • Losartan’s active metabolite is 10 to 40 times more potent by weight than losartan and appears to be a reversible, noncompetitive inhibitor of the AT1 receptor.1 2

  • Blocks the physiologic actions of angiotensin II, including vasoconstrictor and aldosterone-secreting effects.1 2

  • Does not interfere with response to bradykinins.1 2

  • Does not share the ACE inhibitor common adverse effect of dry cough.1 2

Advice to Patients

  • Risks of use during pregnancy.1 2 56 57

  • Importance of women informing their clinician if they are or plan to become pregnant or plan to breast-feed.1 2

  • Importance of advising patients not to use potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium without consulting their clinician.1

  • Importance of informing clinicians of existing or contemplated concomitant therapy, including prescription and OTC drugs (including salt substitutes containing potassium).1 2

  • Importance of informing patients of other important precautionary information.1 2 (See Cautions.)

Preparations

Excipients in commercially available drug preparations may have clinically important effects in some individuals; consult specific product labeling for details.

Losartan Potassium

Routes

Dosage Forms

Strengths

Brand Names

Manufacturer

Oral

Tablets, film-coated

25 mg

Cozaar

Merck

50 mg

Cozaar

Merck

100 mg

Cozaar

Merck

Losartan Potassium Combinations

Routes

Dosage Forms

Strengths

Brand Names

Manufacturer

Oral

Tablets, film-coated

50 mg with Hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg

Hyzaar

Merck

100 mg with Hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg

Hyzaar

Merck

100 mg with Hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg

Hyzaar

Merck

Comparative Pricing

This pricing information is subject to change at the sole discretion of DS Pharmacy. This pricing information was updated 02/2015. Actual costs to patients will vary depending on the use of specific retail or mail-order locations and health insurance copays.

Cozaar 25MG Tablets (MERCK SHARP &amp; DOHME): 30/$64.28 or 90/$188.69

Cozaar 50MG Tablets (MERCK SHARP &amp; DOHME): 30/$88.13 or 90/$234.32

Hyzaar 100-12.5MG Tablets (MERCK SHARP &amp; DOHME): 30/$130.66 or 90/$373.29

Hyzaar 100-25MG Tablets (MERCK SHARP &amp; DOHME): 30/$130.00 or 90/$385.98

Hyzaar 50-12.5MG Tablets (MERCK SHARP &amp; DOHME): 90/$279.99 or 180/$536.00

Losartan Potassium 100MG Tablets (ZYDUS PHARMACEUTICALS (USA)): 90/$271.98 or 270/$751.95

Losartan Potassium 25MG Tablets (APOTEX): 90/$125.99 or 270/$350.94

Losartan Potassium 50MG Tablets (TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS USA): 90/$176.99 or 270/$501.96

Losartan Potassium-HCTZ 100-12.5MG Tablets (TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS USA): 30/$95.99 or 90/$265.96

Losartan Potassium-HCTZ 100-25MG Tablets (SANDOZ): 30/$97.99 or 90/$268.98

Losartan Potassium-HCTZ 50-12.5MG Tablets (TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS USA): 30/$69.99 or 90/$193.97

AHFS DI Essentials. © Copyright, 2004-2015, Selected Revisions January 23, 2015. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland 20814.

† Use is not currently included in the labeling approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

References

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