MONDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Edarbi (azilsartan medoxomil) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with high blood pressure (hypertension).

Clinical trials showed Edarbi was more effective in lowering high blood pressure over 24 hours than two previously FDA-approved drugs, Diovan (valsartan) and Benicar (olmesartan), the agency said in a news release.

Edarbi helps lower blood pressure by blocking the action of the hormone angiotensin II, the FDA said. The most common adverse reaction was diarrhea, maker Takeda Pharmaceutical North America said in a statement.

Edarbi has a boxed label warning that it shouldn't be used by women who are pregnant. If a woman becomes pregnant while taking the drug, it should be discontinued as soon as possible, the FDA stressed.

Takeda is based in Deerfield, Ill.

More information

The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has more about high blood pressure.