Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are a newer class of medications similar to ACE inhibitors, but with a significantly lower frequency of cough as a side effect. Doctors may prescribe this class of medicine for patients who cannot tolerate ACE inhibitors because of cough or other side effects. In selected groups of patients with severe congestive heart failure (CHF), ACE inhibitors may be used along with ARBs.
Common ARBs include:
- Losartan (Cozaar)
- Irbesartan (Avapro)
- Valsartan (Diovan)
Like ACE inhibitors, ARBs relax blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and ease the heart’s workload.
Possible side effects of ARBs include:
- Nasal congestion
- Back and leg pain
The general side effects in ARBs were similar to that of placebos in most studies. Like ACE inhibitors, they may have very rare, but severe side effects.