control hypertension, home monitoring, microbiome boost your blood pressure, lower your blood pressure, losartan for valsartan, valsartan recall

The ongoing valsartan recall has caused a lot of trouble. Pharmacists have had to hunt for alternative suppliers that did not use the contaminated active ingredient from Zhejiang Huahai company in China. Patients, too, have had to check around to make sure they could get uncontaminated valsartan. Some have had to switch blood pressure medications. Certain physicians have substituted irbesartan or losartan for valsartan.

Changing to Losartan for Valsartan Triggered Side Effects:

Q. When valsartan was recalled, my doctor switched me to losartan instead for my hypertension. The prescription is for losartan-hctz. Is that safe?

I have been on it for two weeks and have horrible indigestion, gas, stomach cramps, and bad diarrhea. At the same time, he increased my metformin dosage to 1000 mg twice daily.

A. The FDA has published an extensive list of recalled valsartan products. These medications were contaminated with a probable carcinogen. As a result, there are shortages of valsartan and many doctors are switching patients to a similar blood pressure medicine. The HCTZ in your medicine is hydrochlorothiazide, a thiazide diuretic. This “water pill” is frequently part of a blood-pressure lowering combination pill.

Does Losartan Cause Digestive Difficulties?

Both losartan and valsartan are in the same drug class called ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers). Losartan can cause indigestion, stomachache, nausea and diarrhea. So can metformin.

Please let your doctor know about these symptoms. He may want to adjust the dose of one or the other of your medications or even reconsider the substitution of losartan for valsartan.

Other possible losartan side effects include fatigue, cough, muscle or joint pain, low blood pressure and dizziness. Such drugs may also cause an allergic reaction that makes the face, lips and throat swell. If this occurs in the digestive tract it can cause severe abdominal pain.

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  1. Dorothy

    Those of us who have been on Valsartan for 10 or more years, will there be any type compensation for us?

  2. June
    Ontario CA

    I was put on Irbesartan 300mg about 5 weeks ago after the recall of Valsartan, was taking 180mg dose. Haven’t experienced any of the fore mentioned side effects, however, since monitoring my BP at home have noticed that my BP is unusually low, including my heart rate. Have to follow up with my GP sometime soon.

  3. Nancy L
    suburban Chicago

    The answer to all of the problems with medicatiions is stricter regulations and research on all prescription drugs.
    Yeah, I know, the government is bad, but I think the industry policing itself is much worse!

  4. Patricia

    I had too switch from valsartan to losartan Potassium and have had some stomach problems thanks for printing this article now I know whats causing the stomach problems theyre not as bad as when I first switched so hope it continues to get betterI would like to have the download you offered today 40 yrs of remedies since I already get newsletter I couldn’t resubscribe so could I get it please?I have followed you and your wife for many years and appreciate the info I get thanks ms Patricia McCurry York s.c.

  5. ginger

    I was shocked to read some comments as I thought losaraton was safe I have thought I was losing my mind disoriented forgetful dizzy cant sleep and all kinds of unexplained muscle pains and now broke out with horrible itchy rash have never been sick before until I started going to doctors now I also wonder if cpap is a money maker for doctors as I had trouble getting masks to fit and they would keep selling me different ones and I just quit and don’t seem to have any problems sleeping any advice on sub for losaraton and cpaps

  6. Jane D
    Tenn 38115

    How can you harm your body if you take yourself of med harming your body. Anything harming my body I am taking myself off it and trusting God. Most Doctor know what going on it all about the money for them and Pharmacy company. making millions of dollars..(millionaire. ) Drug killing people . Prescription drug number one killer. No one should take 2 to 3 pill to controll blood pressure..Doctors give it to the patient but they want take it. GOD BLESS.

  7. l22
    north carolina

    Been on metformin ,2000mg daily for 18 years,no problems. my blood pressure is usually 150/50 my doctor rx losartin 1/2 pill every three days which i have not started as yet. i do take 81 gm aspirin daily, also worry if it will cause bleeding in the stomach.

    My doctor said it is always a risk to take aspirin daily,but,it might prevent a stroke. So, as a diabetic, exercise is my only friend, i am 87 years old and go to the Y three times a week.

    This helps control the diabetes and blood pressure. Thanks to sharing your thoughts.


  8. Gail

    I was diagnosed with lactose intolerance this year. I googled the foods I could eat and discovered that Valsatan and Losartan have lactose fillers in them! I also started gaining weight while on these drugs. My doctor changed my BP medicine to Amlodipine 2.5. I haven’t been on it long enough to know if it will work for me.

  9. Samantha

    I am on Losartan/HCTZ for a long time. No problems at all.

  10. Christian

    My doctor switched me to Losartan from Valsartan. I experienced a feeling of being bloated. I stopped taking it and went back to Valsartan for a short time.

    Then, I tried the Losartan again. Same result. My doctor then prescribed Irbesartan and it worked with no bloating.

  11. Judi

    I have been on Losartan for over 20 years with no side effects. I was on Metformin for over 5 years and developed an upset stomach.

    My Dr. stopped the Metformin and the upset stomach went away. I take the Hydrochlorothiazide drug in a separate pill. No combination pills. My first thought was she was looking at the wrong drug causing the upset stomach.

  12. marie

    It’s worrisome for those of us taking Losartan that a very similar drug has had links with cancer, especially taking a generic drug that was manufactured who knows where!

    I have great empathy for those having problems with switching medications. I started on Valsartan but switched after a while due to cost and have been taking Losartan for about 10 years. I have never had any problems with either of these medications or trouble switching.

  13. jack
    east coast

    Thank you for your comments on Losartan. I thought I was losing my mind. I thought it was one of the medicines I was taking but didn’t know which one. I started it about 3 weeks ago when they recalled Valsartan. I don’t know how long it takes to feel better but I’ll let you know.

  14. Jack
    Hobart, WI 54155

    I have been taking losartan since the first year it came onto the market as Cozaar. I have never had any of the side effects reported above. Do I count myself as lucky, one of the majority of users, or both?

  15. BBBob
    Amherst, NY

    Since all of the drugs with “-sartan” suffix appear to be of the same family and have similar blood pressure-lowering purpose and effect, logic suggests that the differences between them are mainly limited to minor side effects; therefore, finding the one which has the least unpleasant side effects for the individual is primarily a matter of trial and error.

    In my case, I was initially prescribed the “name brand” drug “Avalide”, which is listed as containing 300 mg of irbesartan plus 25 mg of hydrochlorothyazide (HCTZ) to replace the ACE inhibitor that I had taken for years. So, when the Avalide manufacturer’s patent expired, and the HMO didn’t want to pay the high price for the name brand, it was a simple matter to switch to the (essentially) same product which has a slightly lower dose of HCTZ, 1.25 mg vs. 25 mg. I have been taking the generic version for several years with no apparent problems.

    A few years after I began taking the irbesartan/HCTZ generic product, I ran across a newspaper article which claimed that losartan and valsartan, but NOT irbesartan, were suspected of having possible cancer-causing links, with no explanation or theory offered at the time to explain the suspected link, such as contamination by carcinogens during manufacture. I sincerely hope that no contamination is present in my irbesartan/HCTZ product.

  16. Ruth

    The symptoms described are exactly what I experienced when I started on metformin. I stopped the metformin, and later restarted on a lower dose, then increased to the recommended dose with fewer side effects.

  17. Patty

    I was on Losartan for 4 years while in the SPRINT study. I felt sick on and off – finally when the study ended I took myself off it. I immediately broke out with the worst eczema I have ever had. 2 different kinds of rashes along with thinning hair. After a year things improved. We need much tougher regulations on these drugs. They help one condition and cause several others.

    • Nancy L
      suburban Chicago

      Patty, I agree. We need much tougher regulations for ALL of our medications!

  18. ray

    1000 mg metformin twice a day????? That could cause all her stomach problems!!!!

  19. Jackie T.
    Ft Monroe, VA

    My dad was put on Losartin in June. He has Alzheimer’s but has done very well on Donepezil. Shortly after going on Losartan he became confused, disoriented, very forgetful and extremely dizzy. At first I thought the Alzheimer’s had gotten suddenly worse. I did some research on Losartan and discovered all the side effects. My dad is now off of it. The dizziness has stopped. The confusion and disorientation is slowing disappearing. This was a horrible drug for any doctor to prescribe for my dad with his health issues.

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