Many people take Valsartan or Losartan to lower their blood pressure and reduce their risk of a heart attack. However, many people don't know the difference between Valsartan and Losartan. It is important to understand the similarities and differences between the two.
Losartan works for a shorter period of time than Valsartan. All dosages of Valsartan last at least 24 hours. An individual has to take at least 100mg of Losartan in order for it to last 24 hours.
Differences in their usage
The FDA approved Valsartan to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. It may also reduce the risk of death after a heart attack.
The FDA approved Losartan for reducing high blood pressure, reducing stroke risk, treating people with type 2 diabetes, and patients with kidney disease.
Their side effects are similar but tend to occur more frequently with Losartan. Those side effects are chest pain, muscle cramps, urinary tract infections, and weakness. Some patients may also experience low blood sugar and insomnia. There are some side effects that appear more frequently with Valsartan. Those side effects are nausea, abdominal pain, cough, and headache.
They are both angiotensin receptor blockers. They block a substance which causes the blood vessels to constrict. This substance is called angiotensin II and when blocked, it allows the blood vessels to dilate. This lowers an individual's blood pressure.
In addition, they both:
- Are available as generic drugs.
- They both treat high blood pressure.
- They reduce the risk of stroke in people who have left ventricular hypertrophy.
- They both affect potassium levels in the blood. This can be dangerous if levels rise too high, which requires monitoring.
- Neither one can be used during breastfeeding.
- They both can be combined with other drugs for different health reasons.
While some people may require only Valsartan, others may require Losartan to help with their medical conditions. It all depends on what an individual's physician believes is best for them. If you are unsure as to which one is right for you, consult with your doctor. They will be familiar with your medical history and can decide the right course of action for your medications.
Losartan and Valsartan Recalls
One thing both medicines have in common is that they've both had several recalls over the course of the last several years. Valsartan has been recalled because it was found to have trace amounts of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is known to be carcinogenic. In can cause cancer. They also found N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), which is also a cancer-causing substance. Losartan was found to contain N-Methylnitrosobutyric acid (NMBA) at higher than acceptable levels. This substance is also a known carcinogen.
If you ever have any question about whether your medication has been recalled, the FDA has a section for that on their website. It will tell you the manufacturer of the medication. It will also tell you the lot number, in case it only affected certain lots. Lots are batches in which medicines are made.
Have you been diagnosed with cancer after taking Valsartan?
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