Losartan Alternatives

Written by heidi broach
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Losartan Alternatives
Losartan is one of many medications designed to treat high blood pressure. (Monkey Business Images Ltd/Valueline/Getty Images)

Losartan is a type of blood pressure medication that works by blocking receptors for angiotensin, an enzyme that can cause blood pressure to increase. If you experience negative side effects while taking this drug, a number of other medications are available that work differently than Losartan. These alternatives still decrease blood pressure, but do not block the angiotensin receptors.

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Beta Blockers

Beta blockers stop the effects adrenalin has on beta reception sites, thereby decreasing the nerve impulses travelling to the heart. This reduces strain on the heart and causes a reduction in blood pressure. Some beta blockers block the two main beta receptors, while others block only one receptor. Commonly prescribed brand names for this type of drug include Blocadren, Lopressor, Trandate and Corgard. Beta blockers are associated with some side effects, including increased fatigue, dry mouth and dizziness. Serious side effects are rare, but include shortness of breath and impotence. Interactions may occur with other medications, like antidepressants, diabetes drugs and allergy shots. In addition to high blood pressure, beta blockers treat arrhythmia, angina and congestive heart failure.

ACE Inhibitors

ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, work by relaxing the blood vessels. This type of medication reduces the body's ability to produce the ACE enzyme. This reduction causes the blood vessels to become less narrow, lowering the blood pressure and allowing the heart to easily pump blood. Brand names of ACE inhibitors include Accupril, Vasotec, Prinivil and Lotensin. Side effects experienced by others taking these medications include cough, increased potassium level and headaches. Kidney failure, white blood cell issues and tissue swelling are rare side effects caused by this drug. Common medications causing interactions with ACE inhibitors include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and potassium supplements. This type of blood pressure medication also treats heart failure and may prevent strokes.

Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium channel blockers are blood pressure medications designed to block calcium from entering the blood vessel muscles and heart. The decrease in calcium causes the cells of these structures to relax, effectively decreasing the blood pressure and stress on the heart. Verapamil, Diltiazem, Norvasc and Procardia are some of the brand name prescriptions in this class of drugs. Side effects of calcium channel blockers include constipation, headache, flushing and excessively low blood pressure. Arrhythmia and liver failure are rare side effects of these medications. Interactions may occur with verapamil and diltiazem, and grapefruit juice may cause problems as well. Calcium channel blockers treat high blood pressure, angina and arrhythmia.

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