Cozaar® is the brand name of the generic medication losartan. It is used to treat individuals who suffer from high blood pressure. The drug is available in tablet form, and a medical professional will generally prescribe a low dose to start and slowly increase it as the patient's body adjusts to the medication.
Effective against high blood pressure, Cozaar® is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). This means that it acts to block chemicals produced naturally in the body that are responsible for the tightening or narrowing of the blood vessels. Once the reception of these chemicals is stopped, the blood vessels will relax and widen, allowing for the easier flow of blood.
This can not only lower blood pressure, but also relieve some of the strain on the heart, as it will no longer have to work as hard to pump blood through the body. Cozaar® has also been found to reduce the chance of stroke in individuals with high blood pressure, and has also been prescribed to treat the combination of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease. For those who have an enlargement of some parts of the heart, it has also been found beneficial.
A medical professional will often prescribe dosing amounts of Cozaar® that slowly increase over time. This allows the body to adjust to the drug and to begin to absorb it properly. It may take several weeks for the full benefits to be recognized, and during this time the patient will typically have to have his or her blood pressure checked on a regular basis to make sure the treatment is working properly and there are no side effects.
Some individuals who begin taking the medication will have an allergic reaction to it. This usually results in the prescription being stopped and manifests as symptoms such as difficulty breathing and hives. Most side effects are mild and disappear with the body's adjustment to the medication. These include cold symptoms; headache; fatigue; and gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhea. Occasionally, serious side effects such as an erratic heartbeat, swelling of the extremities, numbness and chest pain can be present and should be reported to a health professional.
A diet conducive to regulating blood pressure may also be suggested by attending health professionals. Cozaar® can have increased side effects if taken alongside alcohol and salt and potassium can also interfere with the functioning of the medication. It is also not safe for women who are pregnant, as it can injure or even cause the death of an unborn child.