What are angiotensin receptor blockers for heart failure management?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are sometimes prescribed as first-line therapy for people with heart failure. They can benefit people with all types of heart failure when ACE inhibitors are not well tolerated.

Many ARBs are available in the US. These include azilsartan (Edarbi), candesartan (Atacand), eprosartan (Teveten), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), olmesartan (Benicar), telmisartan (Micardis), and valsartan (Diovan). Only candesartan is FDA-approved for treating heart failure.

ARBs work by blocking the harmful effects of the hormone angiotensin 2. This lowers blood pressure and prevents the kidneys from retaining too much sodium and water. ARBs also prevent the constriction of blood vessels and improve the function of the heart.

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