Losartan is a medication used to treat high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions. It belongs to a class of drugs known as angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). ARBs work by blocking the action of a hormone called angiotensin II, which causes blood vessels to constrict and blood pressure to rise. By blocking this hormone, losartan helps relax the blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
Losartan has been researched extensively in people with hypertension, heart failure, and other cardiovascular conditions. Studies have shown that it can be effective in reducing both systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure readings. Losartan has also been studied for its potential benefits in preventing stroke, heart attack, kidney disease progression, and death from cardiovascular causes. Additionally, losartan may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in people with hypertension or pre-diabetes.
In addition to its cardiovascular benefits, losartan may also help protect against certain cancers. A large study found that taking losartan was associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer compared to not taking any medication at all. Another study found that people taking losartan had a lower risk of developing endometrial cancer than those not taking the drug. While more research is needed to confirm these associations, these findings suggest that there may be additional health benefits associated with taking losartan beyond controlling blood pressure levels.
The most common side effects associated with losartan are headache, dizziness, fatigue, cough, diarrhea, back pain and upper respiratory tract infection. Other rarer side effects include chest pain or tightness; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face or throat; rash; hives; itching; fainting; confusion; unusual tiredness or weakness; blurred vision; yellowing of skin or eyes; decreased urination; nausea or vomiting; loss of appetite; muscle cramps or weakness; joint pain or swelling; irregular heartbeat or palpitations; depression or anxiety. People should always speak to their doctor before starting any new medications and discuss possible side effects so they can make an informed decision about whether it is right for them.
Overall, losartan is an effective medication for managing high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions in people who need it. It appears to have additional benefits such as reducing the risk of certain cancers and possibly even preventing type 2 diabetes in some cases. However it is important for individuals to discuss any potential risks with their doctor before starting treatment so they can make an informed decision about whether this medication is right for them given their individual circumstances and medical history.