Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs) (cont.)
Annette (Gbemudu) Ogbru, PharmD, MBA
Dr. Gbemudu received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Nova Southeastern University, her PharmD degree from University of Maryland, and MBA degree from University of Baltimore. She completed a one year post-doctoral fellowship with Rutgers University and Bristol Myers Squibb.
In this Article
- What are angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and how do they work?
- For what conditions are ARBs used?
- Are there any differences among the different types of ARBs?
- What are the side effects of ARBs?
- With which drugs do ARBs interact?
- What are some examples of ARBs available in the United States?
Are there any differences among the different types of ARBs?
ARBs are similar in action and side effects. They differ in how they are eliminated from the body and the extent to which they are distributed throughout the body.
- Some ARBs are converted to an active form in the body before they can
exert their effects.
- Some ARBs are slightly better at reducing blood pressure
than others; in some studies, irbesartan (Avapro) and candesartan (Atacand) were
slightly more effective in reducing blood pressure than losartan (Cozaar).
- All ARBs usually are administered once daily for treatment of hypertension. Some patients may benefit from twice daily dosing of losartan (Cozaar) if blood pressure is not controlled with once daily dosing.
What are the side effects of ARBs?
Common side effects include:
- elevated potassium levels,
- low blood pressure,
- muscle or bone pain, and
ARBs cause cough less frequently than ACE inhibitors. Therefore, they are often substituted for ACE inhibitors when patients complain of cough with ACE inhibitors.
Like other antihypertensives, ARBs are associated with sexual dysfunction.
Individuals with stenosis (narrowing) of both arteries supplying the kidneys may experience worsening of kidney function.
Get tips on handling your hypertension.