What are the side effects of ACE inhibitors?
ACE inhibitors are well-tolerated by most individuals. Nevertheless, they are not free of side effects, and some patients should not use ACE inhibitors.
ACE inhibitors usually are not prescribed for pregnant women because they may cause birth defects.
Individuals with bilateral renal artery stenosis (narrowing of the arteries that supply the kidneys) may experience worsening of kidney function, and people who have had a severe reaction to ACE inhibitors probably should avoid them.
The most common side effects are:
- Elevated blood potassium levels
- Low blood pressure,
- Abnormal taste (metallic or salty taste)
- Chest pain
- Increased uric acid levels
- Sun sensitivity
- Increased BUN and creatinine levels
It may take up to a month for coughing to subside, and if one ACE inhibitor causes cough it is likely that the others will too.
The most serious, but rare, side effects of ACE inhibitors are:
- kidney failure,
- allergic reactions,
- liver dysfunction
- a decrease in white blood cells, and
- swelling of tissues (angioedema).
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