What is Losartan?
Losartan, also known by its brand name, Cozaar, is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist, also known as an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). Angiotensin attaches itself to muscle tissue on blood vessels, which causes the vessels to constrict. This in turn leads to high blood pressure. Losartan, as an angiotensin blocker, expands blood vessels, which allows blood to flow more smoothly and effectively through the body and therefore lowers blood pressure.
Because of its ability to prevent blood vessel restriction, losartan is often used to combat hypertension (high blood pressure). Occasionally, losartan is used in treatment for patients with kidney disorders such as diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage that results from type 2 diabetes), which is often accompanied by high blood pressure. In these cases, the drug not only lowers blood pressure, but also slows the rate of kidney deterioration, delaying the need for dialysis. It is also prescribed to patients with preexisting heart conditions to lower their risk of stroke.