High Blood Pressure Medication (cont.)

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Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)

Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are medications that block the action of angiotensin II by preventing angiotensin II from binding to angiotensin II receptors on the muscles surrounding blood vessels. As a result, blood vessels enlarge (dilate), and blood pressure is reduced. Reduced blood pressure makes it easier for the heart to pump blood and can improve heart failure. In addition, the progression of kidney disease due to high blood pressure or diabetes is slowed. ARBs have effects similar to ACE inhibitors, but ACE inhibitors act by preventing the formation of angiotensin II rather than by blocking the binding of angiotensin II to muscles on blood vessels.

Examples of ARB drugs include:

Beta-blockers

Beta blockers are drugs that block norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline) from binding to both beta 1 and beta 2 receptors on organs and muscles, including the muscles surrounding blood vessels that cause the vessels to narrow and the heart to beat. By blocking the effect of norepinephrine and epinephrine, beta blockers reduce blood pressure by dilating blood vessels and reducing heart rate. They also may constrict air passages because stimulation of beta receptors in the lung cause the muscles that surround the air passages to contract.

Examples of beta-blockers include:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/21/2015


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