Evidence-based treatment of hypertension: What's the role of angiotensin II receptor blockers?
Many large studies have confirmed the importance of controlling hypertension in reducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Prescribers are now faced with a wide choice of antihypertensives and a growing body of evidence about their effects. This article reviews recent evidence about angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). It concludes that they are effective in reducing blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. ARBs also have a renoprotective effect in diabetes. They are generally better tolerated than ACE inhibitors or beta blockers. Newer members of the class may be more effective than older ones at controlling hypertension, and combinations of ARBs with ACE inhibitors may be more effective than either drug alone. Many patients will require combinations of different classes of antihypertensive agents, and ARBs have an important place in providing therapy tailored to the needs of the individual patient.