- Both valsartan and losartan are ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers), and losartan has been around the longest. Both are available as cheap generic medications, so cost should not be a problem.
- The benefits of both losartan and valsartan include controlling blood pressure, slowing the progression of diabetic kidney disease (nephropathy), and decreasing stroke risk in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy. This is true for all of the ARBs (olmesartan, irbesartan, telmisartan).
- Losartan is different from other ARBs including valsartan and irbesartan because it has a shorter duration of action.
- This is important. Losartan, taken once daily, does not last the full 24 hours at lower doses like 25 or 50 mg. At 100 mg daily losartan does last the full 24 hours. If you take Losartan 50 mg in the morning, you may notice your blood pressure rises at night, because it’s not covering you for a full 24 hours.
- Valsartan does provide 24-hour coverage with once-daily dosing.
- Both losartan and valsartan may raise your potassium and require blood test monitoring after you’ve started on it.
- Both losartan and valsartan are available in a combination pill with hydrochlorothiazide a diuretic. Losartan/HCTZ and valsartan/HCTZ in different dose combinations are available and these combos are great because the two meds work together to lower blood pressure. Another bonus of the combination pills is that hydrochlorothiazide lowers potassium while losartan/valsartan raises it so the end result is less risk of potassium abnormalities as they “cancel” each other out.
- Valsartan also comes in a combination with sacubitril in a medication called Entresto, which has been shown to reduce hospitalizations and save lives from heart failure in certain patients. Entresto is a mixture of valsartan and sacubitril which is a neprilysin inhibitor.