Vignette: A 35-year-old woman with a history of hypertension and type 2 diabetes presents to her physician for a routine check-up. She has been managing her conditions with diet and exercise, but has recently been struggling with her blood pressure. She has no known drug allergies. The physician decides to start her on a new medication that acts by selectively inhibiting the angiotensin II type 1 receptor.
Question: Which of the following adverse effects is the patient most likely to experience with the new medication?
A. Dry cough
The patient's new medication is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), drugs that selectively inhibit the angiotensin II type 1 receptor, thus blocking the vasoconstrictive and aldosterone-secreting effects of angiotensin II. This results in vasodilation, reduction in the secretion of vasopressin, and reduction in the production and secretion of aldosterone. Since aldosterone promotes the excretion of potassium, blocking its effects can potentially lead to hyperkalemia, making choice B the correct answer.
Choice A, dry cough, is a common side effect of ACE inhibitors, not ARBs. Choices C, hypocalcemia, and D, hypoglycemia, are not typically associated with ARBs. E, Tachycardia, is not a common side effect of ARBs; in fact, these drugs may reduce heart rate by lowering blood pressure.