Losartan in diabetic nephropathy

Drugs. 2003;63(4):407-14; discussion 415-6. doi: 10.2165/00003495-200363040-00006.


Losartan is an orally active, selective, nonpeptide, angiotensin II AT(1) receptor antagonist. Losartan 50 or 100 mg/day was significantly more effective than placebo in reducing the incidence of a doubling of serum creatinine, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or death (43.5% vs 47.1%, p = 0.02) in a pivotal, well designed trial (Reduction of Endpoints in Non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus with the Angiotensin II Antagonist Losartan [RENAAL] study) in 1513 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and proteinuria. Losartan also significantly reduced the incidence of doubling of serum creatinine level (p = 0.006), ESRD (p = 0.002), ESRD or death (p = 0.01) and doubling of serum creatinine and ESRD (p = 0.01) compared with placebo in the RENAAL trial. There were similar incidences of overall mortality and morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular causes between treatment groups. In addition, data from several nonblind and double-blind studies indicates that losartan effectively reduces the mean albumin excretion rate. Two double-blind studies show that losartan has similar effects to enalapril on kidney function. Data from 4058 patients (3300 with essential hypertension) who have received losartan (10-150 mg/day) in clinical trials indicate it is well tolerated. In the RENAAL study 17.2% and 21.7% of losartan and placebo recipients discontinued treatment because of adverse events, but causality was not determined.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / metabolism
  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists*
  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / drug therapy*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / etiology
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / mortality
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / prevention & control
  • Losartan / pharmacokinetics
  • Losartan / pharmacology
  • Losartan / therapeutic use*
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1


  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1
  • Angiotensin II
  • Losartan