High blood pressure, or usually referred to as hypertension, may cause fatal consequence if it is not treated promptly and effectively. Hypertension is triggered when arterial blood vessels are constricted and thereby increasing the resistance of blood flows and increasing the pressure against vessel walls. This increasing pressure consequentially forces the heart to work harder to pump blood. At severe level, hypertension may cause heart damage, stroke and kidney failure. Because of its life-threatening characteristic, hypertension is often regarded as a silent killer. Without proper treatment, this disease can develop and become a dangerous threat to the life of its sufferers.
There are two factors that affect the development of hypertension: the amount of blood that is pumped in the vessels and the diameter of the vessels. The more blood the heart has to pump and the narrower the arterial vessels through which the blood is pumped, the higher the blood pressure. Hypertension can be an essential one, i.e. one whose causes are still unidentifiable, and a secondary one, i.e. one whose causes have been identified. The most frequent cause of secondary hypertension is kidney disease. Kidney plays an important role in regulating blood pressure.
The constriction of arteries and the increase of blood pressure that follows occur because kidney produces an enzyme called renin that converts blood protein into hormone angiotensin. This hormone increases blood volume and consequentially blood pressure by inducing adrenal glands to release aldosterone, which further promotes the reabsorption of water and sodium. When the kidney is diseased, the production of angiotensin becomes abnormal, thereby increasing the risk of high blood pressure. Because the primary cause of secondary hypertension is the production of the hormone angiotensin, it is believed that high blood pressure can be overcome if the production of this hormone is controlled. This is why some medications that are used to treat hypertension are administered to the patients to control the production of the hormone angiotensin.
Among medications that are used to block angiotensin is losartan. The brand name of this medication is Cozaar and it is currently the only available form of this medication in the market because its generic form is no more available since 2009. This medication is categorized as angiotensin II receptor antagonist, a medication that blocks angiotensin and thereby preventing the constriction of arterial blood vessels. Other medications that are included in this category are candesartan (brand names: Blopress, Atacand, Amias, and Ratacand), irbesartan (brand names: Aprovel, Karvea, and Avapro), valsartan (Angiotan or Diovan), telmisartan (Micardis), azilsartan (Edarbi), and olmesartan (Benicar). Cozaar is prescribed for adults and children 6 years of age or older who suffer hypertension to lower their high blood pressure. This drug is not used to cure hypertension; it only lowers the blood pressure and controls it. By lowering their high blood pressure, serious diseases, such as stroke, heart attack, kidney problem, and type 2 diabetes can be prevented.
If you want to use this drug to treat your hypertension, there are several important factors that you have to take into consideration. First of all, this drug is a prescription drug. Therefore, you have to consult your doctor before buying this drug. When you are consulting your doctor, he/she mostly wants to know if you have such conditions as previous swellings around your tongue, face or lips; difficulty of swallowing; difficulty of breathing; liver disease; heart disease; renal disease; electrolyte imbalance; allergic reaction to Cozaar; pregnancy; and nursing. He also wants to know if you are currently having a special diet, such as a low-salt one. Prepare yourself to answer those questions before visiting your doctor because he/she will mostly ask about them.
Your doctor will mostly give you advice guiding you to properly take this drug. Usually, he/she will recommend you to take this drug orally with water. Eating is usually not necessary when taking this drug. Therefore, you can take it before or after you eat. Take this drug according to the dose that your doctor recommends to you. Don’t take this drug more than the directed dose and avoid doubling it if you miss a dose. This drug is considered dangerous for pregnant women because it may cause fetal death. Therefore, avoid it if you are pregnant. Last but not least, this drug interacts adversely with alcohol. Therefore, don’t drink alcohol when you take this drug.
In addition to being aware of how to take this drug properly, you should also be aware of any side effects that this drug may cause. When taken, Cozaar may cause several side effects. Some users report that they are suffering dizziness after taking this drug. Therefore, you should avoid driving or operating heavy machineries when you are taking this drug. Diarrhea may also occur after you take this drug. If you think that the diarrhea that you suffer is still tolerable, don’t regard it seriously because it will go better eventually; but if it worsens instead and it becomes even more severe, you should report it to your doctor immediately. Because this drug blocks angiotensin, your kidney will usually be adversely affected and you will experience mild pain around your kidney.
Another mild side effect that you may experience after taking this drug is blurred vision. Just don’t regard it seriously because it will usually improve after a while. In addition to those mild side effects, serious side effects, such as dark urine, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, jaundice, vision change, stomach pain, cramps, and unusual bleeding and bruising, may also occur. Because those side effects are considered serious, medical treatment is required to treat them. Therefore, consult your doctor immediately when you experience those serious effects. Remember that even if you take this drug according to your doctor’s recommendation, side effects may still occur. Therefore, always be aware of them.
This drug is always a reliable drug to treat high blood pressure. As long as you take it properly according to your doctor’s recommendation, you can always rely on it to normalize your high blood pressure.