Angiotensin II receptor blockers (angiotensin 2 receptor blockers, or ARBs such as azilsartan medoxomil, candesartan cilexetil, eprosartan, irbesartan, losartan, olmesartan medoxomil, telmisartan and valsartan) are a class of drugs that have a similar action to the ACE inhibitors. Instead of inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) however, they block the effects of angiotensin II itself, to produce similar effects.
ARBs dilate blood vessels, stimulate kidney function and may also have a direct action on the brain to reduce drinking and increase urine output. They are useful drugs for people who develop a persistent dry cough as a troublesome side effect when taking an ACE inhibitor, as these particular drugs do not produce this problem.
On average, treatment with an ARB alone lowers systolic blood pressure (your upper reading) by an impressive 14.3mmHg.
If your blood pressure is raised, self-monitoring is key to maintaining good control.
Click here for advice on choosing a blood pressure monitor to use at home.
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