New Drug Information


Azilsartan is the newest angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) indicated for the treatment of hypertension, alone or in combination with other antihypertensive agents. It is a benzimidazole ester that inhibits the vasoconstrictor and aldosterone-secreting effects of angiotensin II by selectively blocking the binding of angiotensin II to the angiotensin type 1 (AT1) receptor in many tissues, such as vascular smooth muscle and the adrenal gland. Azilsartan is eliminated in the urine and feces, mainly as metabolites. It has a black box warning stating that the drug should be avoided during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy because it can cause fetal injury or death (Pregnancy Category D). If a woman becomes pregnant while using azilsartan, the drug should be discontinued as soon as possible. The recommended dose is 80 mg once daily; the 40 mg dose may be used in patients taking high dose diuretics.