Learning About ARBs

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ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers) block a hormone that makes blood vessels narrow. As a result, the blood vessels relax and widen. This lowers blood pressure. ARBs also put more water and salt into the urine. This also lowers blood pressure.

ARBs can treat:

  • High blood pressure.
  • Coronary artery disease.
  • Heart failure.

They also may be used to help your kidneys when you have diabetes.


ARBs include:

  • Candesartan (Atacand).
  • Irbesartan (Avapro).
  • Losartan (Cozaar).

Note: This is not a complete list of all ARBs.

Possible side effects

Side effects may include:

  • Low blood pressure. You may feel dizzy and weak.
  • Diarrhea.
  • High potassium levels.

You may have other side effects or reactions not listed here. Check the information that comes with your medicine.

What to know about taking this medicine

  • ARBs may be used if you had a cough when you tried to take an ACE inhibitor. ARBs are less likely to cause a cough.
  • You may need regular blood tests.
  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist all the medicines you take. This includes over-the-counter medicines and natural health products. Taking some medicines together can cause problems.
  • You should not take ARBs if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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