Black people can take angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) to treat high blood pressure. But doctors may start treatment with another type of blood pressure medicine. Thiazide type diuretics and calcium channel blockers may be slightly more effective than ARBs for lowering blood pressure in black people and African Americans.

However, if you are black, and have chronic kidney disease or diabetes, your doctor may choose an ARB as your first medicine. ARBs can slow the progress of kidney disease as well as treat high blood pressure.

Sometimes a doctor will use more than one medicine to treat high blood pressure. The doctor may add an ARB to the drugs you already take. This may help you reach your blood pressure goal.