Mechanism of Action1

Angiotensin-II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) decrease blood pressure by binding the angiotensin II type 1 receptor to inhibit the actions of angiotension II.

Inhibiton of angiotensin II decreases peripheral vascular resistance and decreases sodium and water retention to lower blood pressure.

Indications for Use

  • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
  • Diabetic Nephropathy (diabetic kidney disease)
  • Hypertension (High blood pressure)
  • Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)

Note: The above FDA approved indications vary among members of the ARB drug class.

Common Adverse Effects

  • Cough (lower incidence as compared to ACE inhibitors2)
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)

Avoid Use in the Following Populations

  • Pregnant women2
  • Women not using contraception2

Fitness Related Physiological Effects

Physiological FactorEffect
Heart RateSlight Increase2
Blood PressureDecrease2
Cardiac OutputIncrease2
Stroke VolumeIncrease2
Vascular ResistanceDecrease2
Plasma VolumeNo Effect2
EnduranceNo Effect2

List of ARBs

  • Azilsartan medoxomil (Edarbi)
  • Candesartan (Atacand)
  • Eprosartan (Teveten)
  • Irbesartan (Avapro)
  • Losartan (Cozaar)
  • Olmesartan (Benicar)
  • Telmisartan (Micardis)
  • Valsartan (Diovan, Prexxartan)


  1. Katzung, B., & Trevor, A. J. (2015). Basic and clinical pharmacology. New York: Mcgraw-Hill.
  2. Niedfeldt, MW. Managing Hypertension in Athletes and Physically Active Patients. American Family Physician 2002; 66(3):445-452.