Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) have the same effects on heart disease as ACE inhibitors, but work by a different mechanism. These heart drugs decrease certain chemicals that narrow the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily through your body. They also decrease certain chemicals that cause salt and fluid build-up in the body. Examples of ARBs include:
Lynn Swassing was just 48 years old, the mother of two sons in high school
and one daughter in college, when she had a heart attack in 1987. She
underwent quadruple bypass surgery and was hospitalized for nearly six
Every single day, at some point, the hospital had an exercise specialist at
the foot of my bed, she recalls. They told me, if you don't get active, you
won't make it.
No way,was Swassing's first thought. The full-time mom had never been on a
treadmill in her life, and she...
ARBs, at the present time, are prescribed if you cannot tolerate an ACE inhibitor. For example, patients who develop a cough while taking an ACE inhibitor may be switched to an ARB.
How Should I Take ARBs?
Most ARBs can be taken on an empty or full stomach. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for specific instructions. Follow the label directions on how often to take this drug. The number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and how long you need to take the medication will depend on the type of ARB prescribed, as well as your condition. Note: It may take many weeks for you to feel the full effects of the medication.
While taking an ARB, have your blood pressure and kidney function checked regularly, as recommended by your doctor.
Should I Avoid Certain Food or Medications?
While taking an ARB, do not use salt substitutes: they contain potassium and this medication can cause the body to retain potassium. Learn how to read food labels to choose low-sodium and low-potassium foods. A dietician can help you.
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs, like ibuprofen or naproxen) and aspirin may cause the body to retain sodium and water and decrease the effect of an ARB. Check with your health care provider before taking any anti-inflammatory drugs.
Digoxin and warfarin may interfere with the effects of Micardis. If you are taking these medications, tell your doctor before an ARB is prescribed.
It is important that your doctor is aware of all the medications you are taking, as some may have the potential to interact with each other. Talk to your doctor before taking any new medication, including over-the-counter drugs, herbs, and supplements.