Losartan .... How long before it starts to work ?

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A week ago I came off my regular bisoprolol tablet [1.25mg] as I've been symptomatic ..... dizzy,brain zaps, fuzzy head, neck ache, week legs, feeling of disassociation ....as well as a kind of 'disconnect' between my fuzzy brain & my legs !!!

It's 4 years since my aortic valve replacement heart surgery & my options appear to be 1] assume this is just the way I am now & live with it OR 1] keep trying stuff in an attempt to feel like I used to [I was actually feeling OK prior to surgery, but of course did have a badly calcified aortic valve !!

Anyway 6 weeks ago I stopped my citalopram [anti-depressant] & one week ago I stopped my beta blocker [bisoprolol] & substituted this with 50mg daily of Losartan. My BP has for the last week remained pretty much as it was prior to the switch .. around 140/80. Today it hit 166/95 !!!

I'm assuming that my body may now be in the 'gap' between not benefitting from the bisoprolol & the losartan not having yet had time to become effective

Please does anybody on the forum have any experience with this issue and or comments relating to how long it takes for losartan to 'kick-in' & become effective. The last thing I want to do is over react & put myself back on bisoprolol !!!!

Many thanks

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Of all the drugs in the ARB category Losartan is the mildest, least effective.  Try another. I've heard Telmisartan is stronger and more effective than losartan.  Losartan works much better when you add a diuretic like HCTZ 12.5 mg, but alone it is minimally effective.
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    • Posted

      Hi Leslie

      I saw the GP and she has said OK to live with the heightened BP for now & too give the losartan more of a go .... only been a week. I mentioned Telmisartan but she reckoned as the drug is basically the same she has seen no evidence of one being better than the other .... but did suggest some of the side effects on the latter have been worese for some people

      We agreed to get together to review in 4 weeks time

      Thanks for your help, much appreciated

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  • Posted

    Hi there exhogg, I do sypathise with your reactions to the meds, I had the same feelings on 3 different meds & then requested to try Losartan which appears to have the least/weaker side effects. That was nearly a year ago. From memory I think it did take a week or two before I noticed any lowering of readings, but after about 8 days I certainly felt like a new person. I was put on 50mg & ave rdgs were varying between 137-145-87/90, which my doctor was happy with. I've had a few blips of high rdgs when I doubled my tablet & then was put on doxosazin? 1-2mg in add to the losartan, seemed to get upset tummy & slight water retention, however readings do not appear to have dropped further, so after recent discussion with dr. may try to revert to just 50mg losartan. I think it's important not to panic, as I tend to do, obviously this pushes to higher readings. Sorry not to be more positive but hope my experience helps to put your mind at rest, if in doubt obviously talk to your dr. again. I think you will see from this Forum that everybody is different. Many of my friends are on 2-3 tabs for HB but don't appear to get any ill-effects at all - lucky things!!

    Anyway, good luck & hope you feel better soon.

    kind regards Sue

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    • Posted

      Thanks for responding on this Sue, I really appreciate it. I went to see my GP again today [I'm sure I will get an invite to the staff Christmas 'do' !]

      She has said not to worry too much re BP readings being high as high BP is a long term concern & not to worry in the short term. We have agreed that heightened symptoms could be as a result of changing from bisoprolol to losartan & that I'm presently in the gap between the bisoprol benefits [in terms of blood pressure] wearing off & the benefits of losartan yet to kick in [only been a week]. We have agreed to meet again in about 4 weeks to review with the possibility of increasing the losartan dosage if the BP remains at present high levels. Interestingly she asl intimated that perhaps warfarin was the cause of my dizzy etc symptoms ....... I hope not as my new aortic valve is a mechanical rather than bio valve & the alternative there is now to warfarin cannot be used if you have a mechanical valve ........... unless anybody out there in forum land knows any different.

      Anyway thanks again Sue it's good to 'talk' & nice to know that none of us are alone suffering with all this rotten stuff !!!

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    • Posted

      I wrote to the makers of the three NOACs and they all said that they are contra indicated for prosthetic valves.

      Cardiologists try to convince me that is because they have not been tested on patients with replaced valves.

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  • Posted

    Pretty much snap! Apart from the anti-depressant. I had my aortic valve replaced in May 2012 and went into AF. Prescribed a barrow load of drugs, Bisoprolol, amiodarone, statins, warfarin as well as losartan that I had been taking for years and later stopped them all apart from losartan after having a cardioversion.

    After going back in to AF in December 2013 I was back on them all again apart from the statin. It was difficult to pin down the worst culprit but Amiodarone disturbed my equilibrium and warfarin gave me painful weight bearing joints. I came off them again after a second cardioversion but went back into AF again caused by another medical procedure in January this year. Just taking Bisoprolol and losartan with similar side effects to you but also with numbness in left foot that spread to the right. After stopping the Bisoprolol I felt all right but the numbness remained. That has been diagnosed as Idiopathic Neuropathy and I now have difficulty in walking unaided.

    I had a pacemaker fitted last month as my heart rate was in the 40's and I was having 3 second pauses between beats. That was supposed to help my symptoms although I still have AF and am waiting for an ablation. I was prescribed Diltiazem in addition to my losartan and that brought my BP down too much and increased my dizziness. The dosage was twice reduced without helping my symptoms. I stopped taking it last week but my dizziness remains and I remain in limbo waiting for follow up cardiology and neurology appointments. My BP varies from day to day from high to low.

    I think that losartan will get into your system in about a week.You did not say whether you have AF.  

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    • Posted

      Hi Derek I appreciate you getting back to me. Does sound a similar story. In answer to your question ...yes I did go into AF at the time of surgery & had a pacemaker fitted one week after the AVR surgery. i've had 5 cardioversions since the longest lasting 10 months in sinus. my last one was in December 2014 & I'm still presently in sinus .... albeit having just come off the bisoprolol I'm aware I may flip back into AF .... but to be honest I as flipping back even on bisoprolol. I'm seeing my GP for advice this morning to get her views, my inclination is to monitor my BP & hope the losartan begins to do it's job soon ...... BP down slightly this morning 153/80 !

      Thanks again & good luck to you

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    • Posted

      I think that my problem six weeks after the pacemaker being fitted is that for 15 years my heart rate was mostly in the 40's apart from odd times it went to the 130's but now is in the normal 60 to 80 range that my body is not used to it. I might try bisoprolol for a few days again to see what happens.

      Quite frankly I have had one good year since my AVR. The rest of the time I have been plagued by side effects, muscle pain and joint pain from medications.

      Google Hypertension Referral Centre. They are BP experts if you can get to one of the few. I had high hopes but appointments are few and far between and they (rightly) spent the first year doing tests to find a physical cause in vain. One suggestion was that I am not truly hypertensive but have spikes in my BP so medications lower it too much and heighten side effects!!

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  • Posted

    I would have thought that, if your BP is around 140/80, that's quite satisfactory.

    However, mine is lower than that on Losartan 100mg daily at no more than 75mg diastolic and a pulse rate of around 60.

    Of the best of three recordings, my systolic is in the 130s.

    My systolic is and always has been very volatile, being especially sensitive to distress or unconsciously perceived threat-like situations.

    I don't get side effects except one, which occurs about every 7-10 days and is cured by missing one daily dose. It is that I feel very lethargic and weary, but by the next morning of missing my night-time dose of Losartan, all is well again.

    I used to get daily lethargy in the mid-afternoon if I took the Losartan in the morning but not now that I take it at night.

    I used to be on 50mg daily but find that 100mg is a little bit better.

    I'm sure your GP is right to persevere with the Losartan, which is about the only cardio-v. drug that I have not had to stop for side-effects.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for this. It's now been a week since I stopped my bisoprolol & started the losartan & today my BP is around 130/75 so it seems to be kicking in
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