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How effective are angiotensin receptor blockers for heart failure?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

ARBs are sometimes considered as alternatives to ACE inhibitors for people with heart failure after a heart attack. An ARB is sometimes added to treatment for people with reduced ejection fraction who are taking ACE inhibitors or beta blockers, but still have symptoms. ARBs may be a better choice than aldosterone blockers for people with poor kidney function or high blood potassium.

The combination of an ARB and an ACE inhibitor increases the risk of low blood pressure, high blood potassium, and impaired kidney function. This drug combination is not recommended for people who have had a recent heart attack and have left ventricular dysfunction. The combined use of an ACE inhibitor, ARB, and aldosterone blocker should be avoided in all people with heart failure.

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