If you take an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), you need regular checkups with your doctor. At first, visits are scheduled once a month. If you have other conditions like heart disease or diabetes, you may need to see your doctor more often. At these visits, your doctor will track your blood pressure and ask you about side effects. Once you meet your blood pressure goals, you may only need to see your doctor every 3 to 6 months.
Your doctor may also ask you to keep track of your blood pressure at home. Some doctors, health plans, and pharmacies have high blood pressure telehealth programs. They can help you keep track of your blood pressure over the phone or Web. This is a quick way to have more frequent personal check-ins with a health provider without having to go into a doctor’s office. These steps can really help you get your blood pressure under control.
Your doctor will also test your kidney function and potassium levels in the blood. These are usually checked when you first start an ARB and then at least once a year. ARBs can make your potassium levels go up. Very high potassium can be dangerous. In some cases, ARBs can lower kidney function.
If you have another condition, such as heart failure, diabetes mellitus, or kidney disease, you may need more frequent checkups. Your doctor will run the kidney and potassium tests more often since you may be at higher risk of these problems.
With regular check-ups or calls, it won't be long before your blood pressure falls!