Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) (cont.)

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For what conditions are ARBs used?

ARBs are used for controlling high blood pressure, treating heart failure, and preventing kidney failure in people with diabetes or high blood pressure. They may also prevent diabetes and reduce the risk of stroke in patients with high blood pressure and an enlarged heart. ARBs also may prevent the recurrence of atrial fibrillation. Since these medications have effects that are similar to those of ACE inhibitors, they often are used when ACE inhibitors are not tolerated by patients (for example, due to excessive coughing).

Are there any differences among the different types of ARBs?

ARBs are similar in actions 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 need to be converted to an active form in the body before they can lower blood pressure. In addition, some ARBs are better at lowering blood pressure. In some studies, irbesartan (Avapro) and candesartan (Atacand) reduced blood pressure better than losartan (Cozaar).

What are the side effects of ARBs?

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/21/2015

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