Angiotensin II receptor blockers (also called ARBs) block the effects of a substance called angiotensin II. It causes blood vessels to constrict, which can lead to high blood pressure. ARBs help expand blood vessels to lower blood pressure and make it easier for the heart to pump blood.
The symptoms of heart failure can be related to the pooling of fluid in the body or can be secondary to decreased blood flow to the body. Some people with heart failure don't experience symptoms, but here are some of the more common signs:
Shortness of breath with exercise or difficulty breathing at rest or when lying down
Swollen legs, ankles, or abdomen
Dry, hacking cough, or wheezing
Other symptoms may include:
Fatigue, palpitations, or pain during normal activities
Most ARBs can be taken on an empty or full stomach. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for specific instructions. Follow the label on how often to take it. The number of doses you take each day, the time between doses, and how long you’ll take them will depend on the type of ARB prescribed and your condition.
Have your blood pressure and kidneys tested regularly while you take these.
Keep all appointments with your medical team so they can monitor your response to the medicine.
It may take many weeks for you to feel the full effects of the medication.
What Are the Side Effects of ARBs?
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or faintness upon rising: These may be strongest after the first dose, especially if you have been taking a diuretic (water pill). Get up more slowly. Call your doctor if these symptoms don't go away or are severe.