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Angiotensin II receptor blockers or ARBs for short, are a group of medications that help decrease blood pressure and are typically used to treat hypertension or high blood pressure, and heart failure.
Now, ARBs usually end in “-sartan,” like candesartan, valsartan, irbesartan and losartan, and are taken orally.
Alright, ARBs work by binding to angiotensin II receptors on vascular smooth muscles and the adrenal glands, which prevents angiotensin II from binding.
Normally, when angiotensin II binds to these receptors on blood vessels, it causes them to constrict, which increases the blood pressure.
On the other hand, in the adrenal glands, angiotensin II stimulates the release of aldosterone, which increases reabsorption of sodium and water in the kidneys.
This results in increased blood volume, which also increases blood pressure. Once ARBs are administered, angiotensin II can’t bind to angiotensin II receptors, which decreases vasoconstriction, as well as aldosterone release by the adrenals.
This causes natriuresis, or excretion of sodium along with water by the kidneys. In this way, ARBs effectively lower the blood pressure.
However, ARBs can also cause some side effects. The most common ones are mild and nonspecific and include headache, dizziness, and drowsiness.
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are a type of medication used to treat mainly high blood pressure and congestive heart failures. ARBs work by blocking the action of angiotensin II, a hormone that causes blood vessels' smooth muscles to contract. This relaxation of the muscles allows blood vessels to widen and results in a decrease in blood pressure.
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