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?
With which drugs do ARBs interact?
ARBs have few interactions with other drugs.
Fluconazole (Diflucan) impairs the conversion of losartan (Cozaar) to its active form, and rifamycin (Rifampin) reduces blood levels of losartan (Cozaar). Thus, both drugs may reduce the activity of losartan (Cozaar).
Combining ARBs with potassium supplements, salt substitutes (often contain potassium), or other drugs that increase potassium (for example, spironolactone), may result in excessive blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia) because ARBs also increase potassium levels. ARBs may also may increase the blood concentration of lithium (Eskalith) and lead to an increase in side effects from lithium (Eskalith).
What are some examples of ARBs available in the United States?
Examples of ARBs include:
- candesartan (Atacand),
- eprosartan (Teveten),
- irbesartan (Avapro),
- losartan (Cozaar),
- olmesartan (Benicar),
- telmisartan (Micardis) and,
- valsartan (Diovan).
ARBs combined with hydrochlorothiazide or other antihypertensives are also available, for example:
- amlodipine and valsartan (Exforge),
- irbesartan-hydrochlorothiazide (Avalide),
- losartan potassium-hydrochlorothiazide (Hyzaar), and
- valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide (Diovan HCT).
Robert J. Bryg, MD
Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Cardiovascular Disease
Last Editorial Review: 12/4/2008
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