Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), also known as angiotensin II receptor antagonists, AT1-receptor antagonists are a class of antihypertensive drug that modulates the renin–angiotensin system.
Angiotensin receptor blocker medication
These drugs block the angiotensin, which causes narrowing of the arteries. Angiotensin needs a receptor to constrict the blood vessel. ARBs block these receptors, thus blood vessels stays open and blood pressure drops.
Commonly prescribed ARBs on the market, include:
- Candesartan (brand name: Atacand)
- Eprosartan mesylate (brand name: Teveten)
- Irbesartan (brand name: Avapro)
- Losartan potassium (brand name: Cozaar)
- Telmisartan (brand name: Micardis)
- Valsartan (brand name: Diovan)
- Olmesartan (brand name: Benicar)
- Azilsartan medoxomil (brand name: Edarbi)
For what conditions ARBs can be useful?
Angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) are the drugs of choice for patients with hypertension, heart failure, chronic kidney failure, heart attack (myocardial infarction that weakens the heart muscle), and prevent kidney failure in people with diabetes or hypertension. ARBs may prevent diabetes and reduce stroke risk in patients with hypertension and an enlarged heart. ARBs may prevent recurrence atrial fibrillation.
Who should avoid angiotensin receptor blockers?
Avoid Angiotensin II antagonists, if pregnant or nursing women, kidney disease, liver disease, low blood volume, low salt in their blood, or taking diuretics (water pills) then you should talk to your doctor regarding the risks of taking these medications.
What are the side effects of angiotensin receptor blockers?
This class of antihypertensive drugs is well tolerated. Still few common side effects are a sore throat, sinus complaints, heartburn, dizziness, back pain, diarrhea, headache, and hyperkalemia.
Some rare, infrequent side effects are first dose orthostatic hypotension, rash, diarrhea, dyspepsia, abnormal liver function, muscle cramp, myalgia, back pain, insomnia, decreased hemoglobin levels, renal impairment, pharyngitis, and nasal congestion.
ARBs should not use during pregnancy. This drug can cause injury or even death to a developing fetus. When pregnancy is detected, consult your healthcare professional immediately to change your hypertension medication class.
What are the warning signs of angiotensin receptor blockers?
Consult a doctor immediately if you are having breathing problems, fainting, swelling of the face, throat, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or legs.