Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are a group of medications that block the action of angiotensin II, a protein that causes blood vessels to narrow and increase blood pressure. By blocking angiotensin II, ARBs relax and widen the blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow through them and lowering blood pressure. ARBs also reduce the amount of sodium and water that the body retains, which can help prevent fluid buildup (edema) and lower the workload on the heart.
ARBs are used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney disease, and other conditions that affect the cardiovascular system. They can also lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death in people with heart disease or diabetes. ARBs are sometimes prescribed instead of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, another class of drugs that work similarly but can cause a dry cough or allergic reactions in some people.
Some examples of ARBs are azilsartan (Edarbi), candesartan (Atacand), eprosartan (Teveten), irbesartan (Avapro), telmisartan (Micardis), valsartan (Diovan), and losartan (Cozaar). ARBs are usually taken once or twice a day by mouth. They may be combined with other drugs such as diuretics, calcium channel blockers, or beta blockers to achieve better blood pressure control.
ARBs are generally well tolerated, but they may cause some side effects such as dizziness, headache, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, or muscle cramps. Rarely, they may cause serious problems such as low blood pressure, high potassium levels, kidney failure, or angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat). People who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should not take ARBs because they can harm the developing fetus. People who have a history of allergic reactions to ARBs or ACE inhibitors should also avoid them.
ARBs are an effective and safe option for many people who need to lower their blood pressure and protect their heart and kidneys. However, they are not suitable for everyone and may interact with other medications or supplements. Therefore, it is important to consult with a doctor before starting or stopping any ARB therapy.
How Do ARBs Work?
ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers) are a class of medications that lower blood pressure by blocking the action of a hormone called angiotensin II. Angiotensin II causes the blood vessels to narrow and increase the pressure inside them. By preventing angiotensin II from binding to its receptors on the blood vessels, ARBs relax and widen the blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow through them and lowering the blood pressure.
ARBs are used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney disease, and diabetic nephropathy. They may also reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack in some patients. ARBs are usually taken once or twice a day by mouth. Some common side effects of ARBs include dizziness, headache, fatigue, cough, and diarrhea. ARBs may interact with other medications, such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), potassium supplements, and lithium. Therefore, it is important to consult your doctor before taking ARBs or any other medications.
Benefits of ARBs
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are a type of medication that can lower blood pressure and prevent complications from hypertension, such as heart attack, stroke, or kidney damage. ARBs work by blocking the action of angiotensin II, a hormone that narrows blood vessels and increases blood pressure. By relaxing the blood vessels, ARBs help improve blood flow and reduce the workload on the heart. ARBs may also have other benefits, such as protecting against cognitive decline, reducing inflammation, and preventing tissue scarring .
Side Effects of ARBs
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are a class of drugs that lower blood pressure and prevent damage to the heart and kidneys. They work by blocking the action of a hormone called angiotensin II, which causes blood vessels to narrow and increase blood pressure. ARBs are generally well tolerated, but they may cause some side effects in some people. Some of the common side effects of ARBs include:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Back pain
- Nasal congestion
Some of the rare but serious side effects of ARBs include:
- Allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Low blood pressure, especially when standing up
- Kidney problems, such as decreased urine output or blood in urine
- Liver problems, such as jaundice or elevated liver enzymes
- High potassium levels in the blood, which can cause irregular heartbeat or muscle weakness
If you experience any of these side effects, you should contact your doctor immediately. You should not stop taking your ARB without your doctor’s advice, as this may worsen your condition. You should also inform your doctor of any other medications, supplements, or herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with your ARB and affect its effectiveness or safety.
How to Take ARBs
ARBs are a type of medication that lower blood pressure and protect the kidneys. They work by blocking a hormone called angiotensin II, which causes blood vessels to narrow and increase blood pressure. ARBs can help prevent or treat conditions such as hypertension, heart failure, kidney disease, and stroke.
To take ARBs, you should follow the instructions from your doctor or pharmacist. You should take them at the same time every day, with or without food. You should not stop taking them without consulting your doctor, as this may cause your blood pressure to rise suddenly. You should also avoid drinking alcohol or taking other medications that may interact with ARBs, such as NSAIDs, potassium supplements, or lithium.
ARBs may cause some side effects, such as dizziness, headache, fatigue, cough, or nausea. These are usually mild and go away over time. However, if you experience any serious side effects, such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, difficulty breathing, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or signs of an allergic reaction, you should seek medical attention immediately.
ARBs are an effective and safe way to lower your blood pressure and protect your kidneys. However, they are not suitable for everyone. You should not take ARBs if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a history of angioedema (a severe allergic reaction), or have severe kidney or liver problems. You should also tell your doctor if you have any other medical conditions or allergies before starting ARBs.
In conclusion, angiotensin receptor blockers are a class of medication commonly used to treat high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions. They work by blocking the action of a hormone called angiotensin II which can cause blood vessels to narrow and lead to hypertension. Although generally well-tolerated, patients should be aware of potential side effects including dizziness, headache, and gastrointestinal upset. Patients with kidney disease or diabetes may also benefit from the kidney-protecting effects of ARBs. It is important to discuss any questions or concerns about using ARBs with a healthcare provider.