Taking Losartan and have on-going cough probs

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I am almost 52 years old and in relatively good health. I have a chronic kidney condition although my kidney function and BP is pretty good. My renal specialist put me on 25mg of Losartan daily to reduce BP in kidneys - more as a preventative measure to slow down progression of kidney disease.

In the past couple of years, I had a chest infection followed by a residual cough which last a year! My specialist did not mention that Losartan might be the cause. I had numerous antibiotics and eventually the cough subsided. I thought no more of it and have continued taking losartan to this day.

Two weeks ago, I got a chest infection which has left me with a tickly cough. I have coughed so much my ribs hurt.  I saw my renal specialist yesterday after not having been for over a year and a half. He suggested coming off the Losartan for a few days to see if the coughing subsides. He said that this drug can exacerbate respiratory infections. I'm going to see if it makes a difference.

Have other people experience coughing when taking losartan and what dosage? I think mine at 25mg isn't very much. Thanks for reading and looking forward to some responses (I hope!)

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  • Posted

    Losartan gives me a cough and also my upper chest feels very sore.
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    • Posted

      I suppose all you can do is see if the cough clears up after a few days of stopping the Losartan. However I've checked in my pharmaceutical book and chest tightness and heaviness is a rare side effect.
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  • Posted

    I've been on Losartan 50mg for over a year now and so far no problem cough, in fact no noticeable problems at all which is highly unusual for me as I've had horrid side effects from almost every other BP pill they've tried me on over the last couple of years.  I, to, have chronic kidney disease - CKD3.  When you had the cough that lasted a year, did your GP send you for a chest X-ray during that time  to check for any abnormalities?
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  • Posted

    Curlyloxx, I developed a dry hacking cough with Losartan, my Dr said I shouldn't have, but I did!!!!! There are plenty of studies out there proves people do develope a cough with this drug! One study shows only 20% of people do, well I am one of those 20%....all of the studies that say it doesn't happen is just averages.....every body is different to different drugs...my body doesn't care for most drugs, I have a list of antibiotics I'm allergic to. I am so tired of Doctors telling me what my body will or won't do, at best they have an educated guess!! I do a lot of research and I know my body....people responding to this blog and even they are trying to say you won't get a cough- they shouldn't be saying that ....they haven't done enough research. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Curlyloxx,

    I've had asthma all my life but never used steroid inhalers, and only had to use the blue reliever inhaler just before playing rugby for many many years, (In other words its well controlledand never caused me any problems)

    I've been on Losartan for my blood pressure, for approx 5 weeks and in the past 3 weeks ive woken up during the night with a tight chest and had to use the blue inhaler up to 7/8 times a day which is very unusual, along with a cough which doesnt seem to produce much, but won't go away. I've been to see the dr and they prescribed antibiotics twice and then sent me for a chest xray which has returned clear. My dr is now talking about putting me on a steroid inhaler which I think is just gonna be masking the problem. I definitely do think its linked to Losartan.

    Would be very interested to hear how you're getting on now?

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    • Posted

      Barry, I would talk with your doctor about stopping the Losartan and just see if the cough goes away or trying a different class of meds. 
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  • Posted

    Hello. I realize this thread is old, but it came on my first top half my google search page for "cough" and "losartan", and I just wanted to get some facts straight about 2 main types of Blood Pressure Medications.

     I have my Medical Marijuana Card, and when on Lisinopril (User was correct when he said it needs to end in "pril" just like beta blockers end in "olol" propanolol, metoprolol etc.) I would develop as small cough that literally I noticed within 2 days that didnt allow me to medicate properly, even when I used my Firefly 2...

    ?ACE Inhibitors are the ones that CAN cause cough, Lisinopril, for some reason, being the most common among them. ARA's or ARB's (Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonist/Blocker, respectively, just 2 names for the same thing). Where as ACE Inhibitors (Angiotensis II Conversion Enzyme Inhibitor) don't cause coughs. And while their mechanism of action is slightly different. Heres some NHI.NCBI studies...

    "Cough is one of the most frequent side effects associated with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) but is not thought to be associated with losartan, an angiotensin II receptor antagonist (ARA).

    Cough and angiotensin II receptor antagonists: cause or confounding?" (Source link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2014204/)

    "Spontaneously declared cough incidence in enalapril, captopril, perindopril, and lisinopril groups were 7%, 5.1%, 2.2%, and 1.6%, respectively. Cough was not dose related. Treatment was stopped in all patients with cough. In 59% of patients the onset of cough occurred after the first month of treatment (thirty to one hundred eighty days). Cough decreased by 50% within three days of drug cessation and disappeared in ten days. Mean age of patients with cough was 58.7 years and 79% of them were women. In patients without cough, mean age was 57.8 years and 56% of them were women. There was no significant difference between the two groups regarding mean age, but the sex difference between groups was statistically significant (P < 0.05). In conclusion, although cough may occur with all four types of ACE inhibitors, the incidence of this side effect was higher during enalapril and captopril treatment than during lisinopril and perindopril treatment. The incidence was also greater in women than in men.?" (Source link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8092546)

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  • Posted

    I was taking Linsinopril up to 6 weeks go and stop taking it and was prescribed Losartin, which was a bad ideal because it although it's not an ACE inhibitors, it has almost the same properties. ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin blood pressure medications are very similar. ACE inhibitors can cause what is known as an ACE cough. ACE inhibitors affect the process of renal perfusion, which is how the kidneys filter impurities out of the blood. As an older person loses kidney function, the change is reflected in his or her glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The lower your GFR, the more difficult it is for your body to clear drugs from your kidneys and bloodstream, lowering their effectiveness and potentially causing them to accumulate at toxic levels in the body. In this case, the insoluble by-products of the drugs, called kinins, are not filtered out of the blood. They then flow out of the kidneys and lodge themselves in the lungs' bronchial tubes. The coughing spells represent the body's attempt to expel the kinins from the lungs. Even after the drug is stopped, the cough can linger for months until all the kinins eventually find their way out of the lungs. Many of the patients I see with this problem are being treated for sinusitis, bronchitis, sore throat, laryngitis, asthma and many other respiratory conditions that are all a result of the ACE-inhibitor therapy. I recommend that you talk with your doctor or other health care provider about stopping the lisinopril. You should be aware that angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are chemically very similar to the ACE inhibitors and can produce the same problem. To ease the cough, you could continue on the Tessalon Perles until it clears or try dextromethorphan (Delsym), an over-the-counter cough medicine, at one teaspoon every six hours, as needed. It will probably take several months for the coughing to disappear entirely.

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    • Posted

      I apologize, allow me to explain what Kinins are. It's basically Toxic Waste that has worked it's way to the lungs. This can cause respitory issues, including coughing of course. I recall my doctor prescribing Tessalon Perles when I suffered from bronchitis and it worked well.

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    • Posted

      Do you know of a med that doesn't cause the side effects you mention?  I have been on Losartan for many years and I regularly have the problems you descibe.  This really makes sense to me as this is exactly what happens to me.

      My GP just fobs me off and says Losatan don't affect the chest and sinuses.  He has changed my meds in the past but I found the side effects worse than the one s I suffer with Losartan.  

      Any recommendations on what I could try would be very much appreciated

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  • Posted

    I have been taking losartin 50mg and I am terrible at taking meds...I miss days and pick up days. Well I did notice when I picked up days, my throat seemed sore. I thought it might be the drug, but forgot about it when the sore throat went away. Well, as I was preparing for a trip this summer and had a doctors appointment coming up, I took my pill well and became sick with a hacking dry cough that also gave me laryngitis. I slowed down on taking the pill and the symptoms went away. I didn't think anything of it. I just thought it was a summer cold. Well, on my trip, which was 12 days long, I took my pill regularly (I had no busy life and remembered it well) and I got sick and lost my voice again and had an awful hacking cough that kept everyone awake. I thought to myself, GEEZ, this is the same symptoms I had before! Then I remembered the sore throat I would get and decided to look up side effects of this drug. Low and behold, ALL ACE inhibitors cause this issue AND I could possible have this awful cough for a year! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Why is this drug even given out? WHy is this called SAFE? I am fuming right now. 

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  • Posted

    Hello everyone,I’m new here. I was taken off Lisinopril 10 mg due to a cough that just wouldn’t quit. Today I picked up a new RX called Losartin 25 mg. Have been reading your comments to see about side effects and whether or not to take this in the morning or at night. No instructions on the bottle except for one a day. Any help is appreciated.
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    • Posted

      Dawnie, It is generally recommended to take BP medication first thing in the morning.  At the tiny dose that you have been prescribed, it is unlikely that you will experience any side effects - in fact a very trusted pharmacist told me that

      Losartan is the one about which he hears the least complaints from patients.  Good luck!

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