Losartan, also known under the brand name Cozaar, is a medication that treats hypertension. It is also used to treat those who have diabetes, as it helps protect the kidneys. It is in the class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), and it works by hindering the chemical, angiotensin II, from tightening the blood vessels. Essentially, Losartan relaxes and widens the blood vessels, helping to reduce blood pressure.
Is Losartan Addictive?
Some may wonder if there is a chance that they can become addicted to Losartan. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, it is not considered to be habit forming. However, research indicates that some people who struggle with substance abuse are prescribed blood pressure medications like Losartan to treat high blood pressure. These people are usually over age 50 with some being treated for diabetes as well.
Should I Stop Taking Losartan Cold Turkey?
Most people are prescribed 50 mg (milligrams) once per day, and that can be increased to 100 mg once a day. For those who take diuretic therapy, the starting dose may be lower, which can be at 25 mg per day.
According to health specialists, Losartan users should not quit the drug cold turkey, as it can be dangerous. It can lead to a spike in blood pressure, and this increase can lead to things like confusion, feeling dizzy, heart attack, stroke, and nausea. This isn’t technically labeled as withdrawal, as Losartan is not considered an addictive drug.
Losartan Side Effects
Some people who take Losartan may experience side effects. Not everyone will have them, but it’s wise to be aware of what the common ones are just in case you experience some of them. Be aware that this medication may also interact with other drugs, so always use this drug under the care and supervision of a physician. Common side effects of Losartan include:
- Weakened immune system, which can make users susceptible to the common cold
- Stuffy nose
- Feeling tired
- Back pain
- Irregular heartbeat
It is not common to have a serious allergic reaction to Losartan. However, if you have any unusual or severe reactions, contact your doctor immediately.
Losartan may interact negatively with some other medications. Always give your doctor a list of all your current medications before starting a new drug. Some drugs that have been known to interact with Losartan are lithium, aliskiren, ACE inhibitors, and birth control pills that contain drospirenone. You may also want to avoid diet supplements, NSAIDs like ibuprofen, and cough medications.
What is the Half-Life of Losartan?
When it comes to the half-life of Losartan, the terminal half-life is around two hours. By terminal, we mean the time frame it takes for the drug to be eliminated from the bloodstream. The metabolite half-life of Losartan is between six to nine hours. The active metabolite would take longer, ranging from 12 to 18 hours to completely be eliminated from the bloodstream.
Think of the half-life of a drug this way. You take your dose of medication, and let’s say that your body starts with 100 units of that drug in every drop of your blood. When you stop taking the drug, your body will continue to metabolize it. This means there will be a decrease in concentration.
Essentially, for Losartan, this means after two hours of your dose, about half of it would be eliminated. So, you’d have about 50 units per unit of blood. Then, the rate of decrease will be slower because the liver will have to work harder to find the remaining units of blood.
So, after four hours, Losartan would be about 75 percent eliminated, and at about 10 hours, 96.875 percent eliminated. If you take one dose of the drug, around 4 percent of that dose is excreted without a change in the urine, with about 6 percent excreted as an active metabolite.
Generally, if you calculate the half-life times five, that’s about the time the drug would be gone from the system. For most people, if they wondered how long until Losartan was out of their system, it may be around 10 to 12 hours.
If someone overdoses on Losartan, call 911 immediately. Signs of an overdose include passing out or losing consciousness, or having a tough time breathing.
Losartan treats hypertension and helps to prevent kidney damage for people with diabetes. It is not considered an addictive drug. Some people who struggle with substance abuse take Losartan to treat their high blood pressure. Losartan’s terminal half-life is around two hours, and metabolite half-life is between six to nine hours. It should be out of your system roughly between 10 and 12 hours.