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Question

18 Nov 2005

BP meds
I know I'm eventually going to need to take bp meds but I dread the day. I just can't handle the idea of dealing with side effects. What do you think of ARBs?
Answer 385 views
Expert
HeartDoc

01 Jan 0001


Dear Birdie,

ARB’s are already accepted as good therapy for hypertension. They were developed to get around the annoying side effect of cough, which was experienced by a small percentage of patients take ACE inhibitors. ACE inhibitors are excellent meds for BP control, and if you are not one of the unfortunate few who develops the cough, then you can just as well take ACE inhibitors, which are fractionally cheaper, and reserve the ARB’s for in case you do develop the cough.

But don’t think that ARB’s have no side effects at all. Just like any other medication, they have a list of POSSIBLE side effects, and there is no way of predicting which, if any, you will have. You may have none at all, or you may have any of the listed one eg headache, rash, abdominal pain, insomnia, etc etc.

In managing hypertension, it can be tricky to find the best meds for the patient, and often one has to try out the one which is thought to be best. If problems arise, then a different category can be tried, and so on, until the best possible balance of control vs side effects is obtained. So be prepared for that. But please do not delay starting treatment if your BP already warrants it – you can be doing irreversible damage to your organs, and may pay a hefty price in years to come.

Good luck.

HeartDoc
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