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( losartan potassium )



COZAAR ( losartan potassium ), the first of a new class of agents for the treatment of hypertension, is an angiotensin II receptor ( type AT1) antagonist. COZAAR also provides a reduction in the combined risk of cardiovascular death, stroke, and myocardial infarction in hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy and provides renal protection for type 2 diabetic patients with proteinuria.



Pharmacodynamic properties

Losartan inhibits systolic and diastolic pressor responses to angiotensin II infusions. At peak, 100mg of losartan potassium inhibits these responses by approximately 85%; 24 hours after single and multiple-dose administration, inhibition is about 26-39%.


During losartan administration, removal of angiotensin II negative feedback on renin secretion leads to increased plasma renin activity. In creases in plasma renin activity lead to increases in angiotensin II in plasma. During chronic ( 6 weeks ) treatment of hypertensive patients with 100 mg/day losartan, approximately 2-3 fold increases of plasma angiotensin II wee observed at time of peak plasma drug concentrations. In some patients, greater increases were observed, particularly during short term ( 2 weeks ) treatment. however, antihypertensive activity ad suppression of plasma aldosterone concentration were apparent at 2 and 6 weeks, indicating effective angiotensin II receptor blockade. After discontinuation of losartan, plasma renin activity and angiotensin II levels declined to untreated levels within 3 days.


Since losartan is a specific antagonist of the angiotensin II receptor type AT1, it does not inhibit ACE (kininase II), the enzyme that degrades bradykinin. In a study which compared the effects of 20 mg and 100 mg of losartan potassium and an ACE inhibitor on responses to angiotensin I, angiotensin II and bradykinin, losartan was shown to block responses to angiotensin I and angiotensin II without affecting responses to bradykinin. This finding is consistent with losartan's specific mechanism of action. In contrast, the ACE inhibitor was shown to block responses to angiotensin I and enhance responses to bradykinin without altering the response to angiotensin II, thus providing a pharmacodynamic distinction between losartan and ACE inhibitors.

Plasma concentrations of losartan and its active metabolite and the anti-hypertensive effect of losartan increase with increasing dose. Since losartan and its active metabolite are both angiotensin II receptor antagonists, they both contribute to the anti-hypertensive effect.

In a single-dose study in normal males, the administration of 100 mg of losartan potassium, under dietary high- and low-salt conditions, did not alter glomerular filtration rate, effective renal plasma flow or filtration fraction. Losartan had a natriuretic effect which was more pronounced on a low-salt diet and did not appear to be related to inhibition of early proximal reabsorption of sodium. Losartan also caused a transient increase in urinary uric acid excretion.

In nondiabetic hypertensive patients with proteinuria (≥ 2 g/24 hours) treated for 8 weeks, the administration of losartan potassium 50 mg titrated to 100 mg significantly reduced proteinuria by 42%. Fractional excretion of albumin and IgG also was significantly reduced. In these patients, losartan maintained glomerular filtration rate and reduced filtration fraction.

In postmenopausal hypertensive women treated for 4 weeks, 50 mg of losartan potassium had no effect on renal or systemic prostaglandin levels.

Losartan has no effect on autonomic reflexes and no sustained effect on plasma norepinephrine.

Losartan potassium, administered in doses of up to 150 mg once daily, did not cause clinically important changes in fasting triglycerides, total cholesterol or HDL-cholesterol in patients with hypertension. The same doses of losartan had no effect on fasting glucose levels.

Generally losartan caused a decrease in serum uric acid (usually <0.4 mg/dL) which was persistent in chronic therapy. In controlled clinical trials in hypertensive patients, no patients were discontinued due to increases in serum creatinine or serum potassium.

In a 12-week, parallel-design study in patients with left ventricular failure (New York Heart Association Functional Classes II-IV), most of whom were receiving diuretics and/or digitalis, losartan potassium administered in once-daily doses of 2.5, 10, 25 and 50 mg was compared to placebo. The 25 mg and 50 mg doses produced positive hemodynamic and neurohormonal effects which were maintained for the length of the study. Hemodynamic responses were characterized by an increase in cardiac index and decreases in: pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, systemic vascular resistance, mean systemic arterial pressure and heart rate. The occurrence of hypotension was dose related in these heart failure patients. Neurohormonal results were characterized by a reduction in circulating levels of aldosterone and norepinephrine.

Pharmacokinetic properties


Following oral administration, losartan is well absorbed and undergoes first-pass metabolism, forming an active carboxylic acid metabolite and other inactive metabolites. The systemic bioavailability of losartan tablets is approximately 33%. Mean peak concentrations of losartan and its active metabolite are reached in 1 hour and in 3-4 hours, respectively. There was no clinically significant effect on the plasma concentration profile of losartan when the drug was administered with a standardized meal.


Distribution Both losartan and its active metabolite are ≥99% bound to plasma proteins, primarily albumin. The volume of distribution of losartan is 34 liters. Studies in rats indicate that losartan crosses the blood-brain barrier poorly, if at all.



About 14% of an intravenously- or orally-administered dose of losartan is converted to its active metabolite. Following oral and intravenous administration of 14C-labeled losartan potassium, circulating plasma radioactivity primarily is attributed to losartan and its active metabolite. Minimal conversion of losartan to its active metabolite was seen in about one percent of individuals studied.


In addition to the active metabolite, inactive metabolites are formed, including two major metabolites formed by hydroxylation of the butyl side chain and a minor metabolite, an N-2 tetrazole glucuronide.



Plasma clearance of losartan and its active metabolite is about 600 mL/min and 50 mL/min, respectively. Renal clearance of losartan and its active metabolite is about 74 mL/min and 26 mL/min, respectively. When losartan is administered orally, about 4% of the dose is excreted unchanged in the urine, and about 6% of the dose is excreted in the urine as active metabolite. The pharmacokinetics of losartan and its active metabolite are linear with oral losartan potassium doses up to 200 mg.


Following oral administration, plasma concentrations of losartan and its active metabolite decline polyexponentially with a terminal half-life of about 2 hours and 6-9 hours, respectively. During once-daily dosing with 100 mg, neither losartan nor its active metabolite accumulates significantly in plasma.


Both biliary and urinary excretion contribute to the elimination of losartan and its metabolites. Following an oral dose of 14C-labeled losartan in man, about 35% of radioactivity is recovered in the urine and 58% in the feces.


Characteristics in Patients

Following oral administration in patients with mild to moderate alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver. plasma concentrations of losartan and its active metabolite were, respectively, 5-fold and 1.7-fold greater than those seen in young male volunteers.


Neither use an nor the active metabolite can be removed by hemodialysis .




COZAAR is indicated for the treatment of hypertension.


Hypertensive Patients with Left Ventricular Hypertrophy

COZAAR is indicated to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy, but there is evidence that this benefit does not apply to Black patients (see RACE).


Nephropathy in Type 2 Diabetic Patients

Indicated for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy with an elevated serum creatinine and proteinuria (urinary albumin to creatinine ratio ≥300mg/g) in patients with type 2 diabetes and a history of hypertension. In this population, COZAAR reduces the rate of progression of nephropathy as measured by the occurrence of doubling the serum creatinine or end stage renal disease (need for dialysis or renal transplantation) or death.


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