Cozaar Precautions and Warnings
There are a number of important Cozaar precautions and warnings to be aware of, including possible side effects that may develop and existing medical conditions that you should tell your healthcare provider about. Cozaar can cause side effects such as a decrease in kidney function or extremely low blood pressure, among other things. Before starting the medicine, be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you have heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, or kidney disease. Do not take Cozaar if you are allergic to any components of the medication.
- Heart disease, including congestive heart failure
- Liver disease, including cirrhosis
- Kidney disease or kidney failure
- Any allergies, including allergies to other angiotensin II receptor blockers, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or trying to become pregnant
- On dialysis
Tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Patients taking Cozaar should keep the following warnings and precautions in mind:
- There are several medicines that Cozaar can interact with (see Cozaar Interactions).
- Cozaar may cause extreme low blood pressure in some people. Extreme low blood pressure is more likely to happen in people who are taking a diuretic, are on dialysis, have diarrhea or vomiting, sweat a lot, have congestive heart failure, or have recently had a heart attack. This is why it is important to drink fluids regularly while taking Cozaar. If you have any possible symptoms of low blood pressure, such as dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting, contact your healthcare provider. If you have fainted, stop taking Cozaar until you have talked to your healthcare provider.
Also, make sure not to drive, operate any heavy machinery, or perform any other tasks that require alertness before you know how Cozaar affects you.
- Cozaar is a pregnancy Category D medicine, which means that it is generally unsafe for use during pregnancy. Let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking this drug, contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Cozaar and Pregnancy for more information).
- While taking Cozaar, do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes with potassium unless you have discussed this with your doctor. This is because in some people taking Cozaar, potassium in the blood can increase to dangerous levels.
- If you have moderate to severe liver disease, such as cirrhosis, your body may metabolize the Cozaar differently than intended. Therefore, your healthcare provider may start you on a lower dose of Cozaar and will monitor your situation more closely.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers, including Cozaar, have been known to cause a decrease in kidney function, especially in certain groups of people (such as those with severe congestive heart failure). Let your healthcare provider know if you have symptoms such as a decrease in urine output, drowsiness, headache, or back pain. Your healthcare provider will also regularly check your kidney function with a blood test.
- If you are nursing, it is not known whether or not Cozaar passes through your milk. Therefore, if you are nursing, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should discontinue Cozaar or stop breastfeeding.