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What Are the Common Losartan Side Effects?

By Angela Crout-Mitchell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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As with many prescribed medications, there are some associated side effects with the drug losartan, which range from mild to severe. The common losartan side effects include problems with nausea and diarrhea, while the more serious side effects may include irregular heart beats and fainting. If symptoms appear after taking losartan, it is recommended that the patient contact a doctor for further instructions, though in the case of severe reaction, seeking emergency care may be necessary. This medication is used to treat a variety of conditions including high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and to protect the kidneys from damage in many diabetes patients. Losartan is classified as an angiotensin and its function is to relax and widen the tissues of the blood vessels.

Some of the most common losartan side effects known are dizziness, fatigue, and diarrhea. Nausea and vomiting may occur as well. For many patients, these adverse symptoms disappear shortly after the initial few weeks of taking the drug, but if the problems persist, it may indicate the patient is having issues tolerating the drug, and a new medication may be needed. Patients with long term common symptoms should discuss the problem with a medical professional for accurate advice. These side effects are not considered to be life threatening and are often minor.

For some people, the losartan side effects are more serious. Some of the moderate symptoms of intolerance include the appearance of a rash, difficulty breathing, and facial swelling including the swelling of the tongue and lips. Itching and swallowing difficulties have been reported as well with the use of this drug. In some cases, the person taking losartan may experience pain and a tight feeling in the chest. Despite these issues, it is important to continue with the medication until a doctor has ordered the dosage to be stopped or changed.

The serious side effects of losartan are low blood pressure, extreme vision changes, and fainting or easily becoming light headed. Stomach pain with or without nausea and muscle cramps are also associated with serious reactions to this medication. The drug may affect the kidneys, resulting in noticeably darker urine, less urine output, and yellowing of the eyes. If the severe losartan side effects manifest, it is recommended the patient seek emergency medical care and call the prescribing doctor as quickly as possible. While these symptoms aren't common, it is important that they are addressed immediately.

What Are the Long Term Side Effects of Losartan?

Losartan is one of the most common medications used to treat high blood pressure. It is important for you to talk with your doctor about how to develop a comprehensive plan that can help you keep your blood pressure under control. In some cases, your doctor may combine medications, such as losartan, the help you control your blood pressure and protect your cardiovascular system.

There are some situations where you may experience side effects, and some side effects of losartan could last for many years.

Some of the potential long-term side effects of losartan include:

  • More Frequent Upper Respiratory Infections: You may experience more frequent upper respiratory infections if you take losartan. A good example of this is the common cold.
  • Fatigue: It is not unusual for people who take this medication to get tired more easily. If fatigue is getting in the way of your daily activities, you may want to talk to your doctor.
  • Low Blood Sugar: There is also a chance that your blood sugar levels may be lower than normal. If you need to compensate for this, you should talk to your doctor about how to make dietary changes.
  • GI Changes: You may notice that your GI system gets upset when you take this medication. For example, you may experience more frequent diarrhea.

Keep in mind that not everyone will experience long-term side effects. If you are concerned about the side effects of this medication, you may want to talk to your doctor about managing the side effects or making changes to your treatment plan.

Do Side Effects of Losartan Go Away?

If you experience side effects on this medication, you might be wondering if these side effects are permanent. A few important points to keep in mind include:

Some Side Effects Might Go Away

A lot of the side effects that you experience with this medication should go away once you stop taking it. For example, once your body gets rid of the medication from your system, the runny nose and cough should go away. You might also notice that your GI system calms down after you stop taking this medication. If your blood sugar levels get low on this medication, they should normalize after you stop taking it.

Other Side Effects Might Not Go Away 

On the other hand, there might be more serious side effects that might not fade even after you stop taking this medication. For example, even though it is rare, this medication can lead to kidney complications. If your kidneys are damaged while taking this medication, the damage could be permanent.

In addition, there are some people who experience hearing loss while taking this medication. Even though this is exceedingly rare, hearing loss may not improve even after you stop taking this medication. That is why you need to keep in close contact with your doctor if you take this medication for high blood pressure.

Is Weight Gain a Side Effect of Losartan?

Yes, it is possible for some people to gain weight if they take losartan. Keep in mind that not everyone who takes this medication is going to gain weight; however, if you are concerned that your weight is going up, you may want to talk to your doctor.

How Much Weight Do You Gain? 

This medication causes you to change right because it influences levels of circulating blood cholesterol. As a result, your weight may go up; however, the exact number of pounds you gain can vary depending on a number of factors. Keep in mind that side effects can vary significantly from person to person. Some people may only gain a few pounds while other people may gain more weight. The length of time you take this medication may also play a role in how much weight you gain. You should talk to your doctor if you want to learn more about this potential side effect.

How Do You Control Your Weight?

If you are interested in keeping your weight under control while taking this medication, you need to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Your doctor may even talk to you about improving your diet because of your high blood pressure. If you exercise regularly, you can keep your weight under control, keep your blood pressure under control, and live a healthier life. Furthermore, if you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, you might be able to eventually stop taking blood pressure medication. This is something that is handled on a case-by-case basis.

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Discussion Comments

By anon1005468 — On Sep 03, 2021

I was given Losartan for high blood pressure, I was being emotionally abused, and said I felt my spikes in blood pressure were only evident when I was being abused, therefore my blood pressure naturally went sky-high, at those times. This was disregarded, and I was diagnosed with high blood pressure.

I initially was concerned with now having to be on BP meds for the rest of my life. Right from the start I had severe side effects. I was dizzy, confused, depressed, no reason for living feelings, outlandish thoughts, extreme anger, anxiety out the roof, scared, suspecious, no clarity of thinking whatsoever, constantly day and night, unbelievable nightmares, changes in my walking gait, stupors, can't spell, or do math at all, no memory whatsoever.

I asked multiple times to be taken off Losartan, but my provider refused. She said it was impossible. I begged to be weained off, but the doc said she couldn't do it, and she couldn't sanction my desire to wean off it.

I began to cut the Losartan by thirds. I did very well up until my 10th day at 1/2 (12.5 mg) then I was in an open abyss. I was down the hole, all side effects were coming through in cycles. I began to be able to identify these cycles and sort of know what was coming. It was dredful, and then I would simply fall into a state of nothingness, a stupor type of phase, just sitting, staring, thinking and becoming more and more depressed, and then suddenly out of the blue, high energy hits, and I went through a cycle of extreme and obbsessive cleaning and polishing and over the top, orderliness. I had to make myself stop and rest, but the next minute I was at it again.

I eat like a horse, but do not ever gain weight. I am 5'3 and weigh 82 lbs, I am dreadfully, dangerously thin. Lately I have to urinate way too often; sometimes I wet myself on way to potty, although I have just urinated a few minutes before. This is a new wrinkle.

I am exausted, and sleep a lot during the day. I fall asleep shortly after arising in the morning, then sometimes I wake and most of the day is gone. I am losing ground day by day,

My provider says, everyone arounf the world is OK with Losartan.

I know that I am of sound mind, and I know that my condition is caused by this drug. This is untenable. God help all who have been given this drug, and shame on the pharma industry for classing this drug as they do,

Losartan should be classed as a "hard drug", no question about it.

By CapeCodGram — On Mar 24, 2013

I told my doctor I was having heart palpitations every day. He said everybody gets them. I think it's from meds. He wants me to stay on meds and next time he's going to give me pills for cholesterol because mine is 105 and he said it should be 100. I am on Losartan 50mg, metformin er 500 mg, and glyburide 6mg. I think I should see another doctor. What do you think?

By Esther11 — On Aug 06, 2011

My elderly mother takes losartan for congestive heart failure. When she started taking it many years ago, it made her dizzy and nauseated.

Her doctor would tweak her medicine whenever her blood pressure needed adjusting, but she did pretty well with it.

A few months ago, she got up from a chair and got dizzy and fell. She spent two weeks in the hospital and rehab center. Apparently, her losartan became unbalanced,and she had gotten quite fatigued and dizzy. Some drug dosages need adjustment every so often.

By sunshined — On Aug 06, 2011

I was prescribed Losartan by my doctor for some mild high blood pressure. For the first week I felt great, then began experiencing some back pain. I had been doing quite a bit of gardening, so thought it was from overdoing it a little bit.

When the back pain did not go away, I mentioned it to my doctor and she said it could be a side effect from the Losartan. This is not a real common side effect, but does affect some people this way.

My back pain was persistent, so she switched me to another blood pressure medication. Losartan was the first blood pressure medication I had taken, so I didn't have anything else to compare it to.

If it had not been for the back pain, or if my pain had subsided, I would probably still be taking it.

By SarahSon — On Aug 05, 2011

I know that Losartan has helped many people with high blood pressure, but I began taking it for my kidneys.

I had been on a number of medications after having a shunt put in my head to relieve pressure from my brain. One of the side effects of the medications had a bad affect on my kidneys and my kidney functions were low.

They started me on Losartan in an effort to protect my kidneys. After 3 months I had my kidney levels checked again and they had improved slightly, so they told me to continue taking it.

So far I have not had any reactions to the Losartan. I know these medications are very helpful, but it is also quite scary at how damaging some of the side effects can be too.

By bagley79 — On Aug 05, 2011

My Dad has been on high blood pressure medication for several years. The medication he had been taking for a long time was no longer controlling his blood pressure as well as it should have been, so they started him on Losartan.

After a few days he began having side effects and thought he was getting the flu. He was dizzy, nauseated, and had diarrhea.

They figured out he was having a reaction to the Losartan and took him off of it and started him on something else.

If someone is having bad side effects from taking this medication I would recommend they check with their doctor right away. There are so many blood pressure medications that are available today, that there is no reason to take one which you are going to have reactions to.

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