- High Blood Pressure Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Salt Quiz!
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- What are ACE inhibitors, and how do they work (mechanism of action)?
- Why are ACE inhibitors prescribed (uses)?
- List of examples of brand and generic drug names for ACE inhibitors
- Are there any differences among the different types of ACE inhibitors?
- ACE inhibitors side effects and adverse effects
- What drugs or supplements interact with this class of drugs?
What are ACE inhibitors, and how do they work (mechanism of action)?
Angiotensin II is a very potent chemical produced by the body that primarily circulates in the blood. It causes the muscles surrounding blood vessels to contract, thereby narrowing the vessels. The narrowing of the vessels increases the pressure within the vessels causing increases in blood pressure (hypertension). Angiotensin II is formed from angiotensin I in the blood by the enzyme angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). (Angiotensin I in the blood is itself formed from angiotensinogen, a protein produced by the liver and released into the blood.) Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) are medications that slow (inhibit) the activity of the enzyme ACE, which decreases the production of angiotensin II. As a result, blood vessels enlarge or dilate, and blood pressure is reduced. This lower blood pressure makes it easier for the heart to pump blood and can improve the function of a failing heart. In addition, the progression of kidney disease due to high blood pressure or diabetes is slowed.
Why are ACE inhibitors prescribed (uses)?
- ACE inhibitors are used for:
- ACE inhibitors also improve survival after heart attacks. In studies, individuals with hypertension, heart failure, or prior heart attacks who were treated with an ACE inhibitor lived longer than patients who did not take an ACE inhibitor.
- ACE inhibitors are an important group of drugs because they prevent early death resulting from hypertension, heart failure or heart attacks.
- Some individuals with hypertension do not respond sufficiently to ACE inhibitors alone. In these cases, other drugs often are used in combination with ACE inhibitors.
List of examples of brand and generic drug names for ACE inhibitors
The following is a list of the ACE inhibitors that are available in the United States:
- benazepril (Lotensin)
- captopril (Capoten- discontinued brand)
- enalapril (Vasotec, Epaned, [Lexxel- discontinued brand])
- fosinopril (Monopril- Discontinued brand)
- lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril, Qbrelis)
- moexipril (Univasc- Discontinued brand)
- perindopril (Aceon)
- quinapril (Accupril)
- ramipril (Altace)
- trandolapril (Mavik)
Are there any differences among the different types of ACE inhibitors?
ACE inhibitors are very similar. However, they differ in how they are eliminated from the body and their doses. Some ACE inhibitors remain in the body longer than others, and are given once a day. Some ACE inhibitors need to be converted into an active form in the body before they work. In addition, some ACE inhibitors may work more on ACE that is found in tissues than on ACE that is present in the blood. The importance of this difference or whether one ACE inhibitor is better than another has not been determined.
Quick GuideHow to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips
ACE inhibitors side effects and adverse effects
ACE inhibitors are well-tolerated by most individuals. Nevertheless, they are not free of side effects, and some patients should not use ACE inhibitors.
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
The most serious, but rare, side effects of ACE inhibitors are:
What drugs or supplements interact with this class of drugs?
ACE inhibitors have few interactions with other drugs.
- Since ACE inhibitors may increase blood levels of potassium, the use of potassium supplements, salt substitutes (which often contain potassium), or other drugs that increase the body's potassium may result in excessive blood potassium levels.
- ACE inhibitors also may increase the blood concentration of lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) and lead to an increase in side effects from lithium.
- There have been reports that aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever etc.), indomethacin (Indocin, Indocin-SR), and naproxen (Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve) may reduce the blood pressure lowering effects of ACE inhibitors.
- Patients receiving diuretics may experience excessive reduction in blood pressure when ACE inhibitors are started. Stopping the diuretic or increasing salt intake prior to taking the ACE inhibitor may prevent excessive blood pressure reduction. Close supervision for at least two hours after the start of ACE inhibitors and until blood pressure is stable is recommended if the diuretic cannot be stopped.
- ACE inhibitors should not be combined with ARBs because such combinations increase the risk of hypotension, hyperkalemia, and renal impairment.
- Ace inhibitors should not be combined with aliskiren (Tekturna), another class of drugs that is used to treat high blood pressure because such combinations increase the risk of kidney failure, excessive low blood pressure, and hyperkalemia.
- Nitritoid reactions (symptoms include facial flushing, nausea, vomiting and low blood pressure) may occur when injectable (gold sodium aurothiomalate [Myochrysine]), used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, is combined with ACE inhibitors.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin (generic name) converting enzyme inhibitors, is a class of drugs that interact with blood enzymes to enlarge or dilate blood vessels and reduce blood pressure. These drugs are used to:
- Control high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Treat of heart failure and ventricular dysfunction
- Prevent and treat of kidney disease in people with diabetes or hypertension.
These drugs also improve the survival rate of people who have survived heart attacks and they prevent early death of people from heart attacks, high blood pressure, and heart failure. Sometimes ACE inhibitors are combined with other drugs for treating a condition. Examples of ACE inhibitors include:
- benazepril (Lotensin)
- captopril (Capoten)
- enalapril (Vasotec)
- fosinopril (Monopril)
- ramipril (Altace)
Examples of the most common side effects of this class of drugs are:
There are serious side effects of this drug like
ACE inhibitors all are similar in the way they work; however, they differ in how the body eliminates doses of the drug. Drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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Treatment & Diagnosis
- High Blood Pressure FAQs
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- Kidney Disease FAQs
- Stroke FAQs
- Salt FAQs
- Metabolic Syndrome FAQs
- Prescriptions: Complying with the Doctor's Orders
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal - What to Do with Old or Unusable Medication
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Medications & Supplements
- High Blood Pressure Drugs (Hypertension)
- Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs)
- lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil, Qbrelis) ACE Inhibitor
- hydralazine (Apresoline)
- Drug Interactions
- Congestive Heart Failure Medications
- Vasodilators (Drug Class Side Effects, List of Names)
- ramipril, Altace
- captopril, Capoten
- enalapril, Vasotec, Epaned
- benazepril (Lotensin HTC)
- trandolapril, Mavik
- perindopril - oral, Aceon
- quinapril, Accupril
- fosinopril sodium, Monopril
- lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide, Zestoretic, Prinzide
- enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide, Vaseretic
- captopril and hydrochlorothiazide, Capozide
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Top ACE Inhibitors Related ArticlesComplete List
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) OverviewCongestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, myocarditis, and cardiomyopathies are just a few potential causes of congestive heart failure. Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure may include fatigue, breathlessness, palpitations, angina, and edema. Physical examination, patient history, blood tests, and imaging tests are used to diagnose congestive heart failure. Treatment of heart failure consists of lifestyle modification and taking medications to decrease fluid in the body and ease the strain on the heart. The prognosis of a patient with congestive heart failure depends on the stage of the heart failure and the overall condition of the individual.
Diabetes MellitusDiabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin dependent). Symptoms of diabetes include increased urine output, thirst, hunger, and fatigue. Treatment of diabetes depends on the type.
Heart Attack Symptoms and Early Warning SignsRecognizing heart attack symptoms and signs can help save your life or that of someone you love. Some heart attack symptoms, including left arm pain and chest pain, are well known but other, more nonspecific symptoms may be associated with a heart attack. Nausea, vomiting, malaise, indigestion, sweating, shortness of breath, and fatigue may signal a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms and signs in women may differ from those in men.
Heart Disease (Coronary Artery Disease)
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to the heart. Heart disease can lead to heart attack. Risk factors for heart disease include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Family history
Angina, shortness of breath, and sweating are just a few symptoms that may indicate a heart attack. Treatment of heart disease involves control of heart disease risk factors through lifestyle changes, medications, and/or stenting or bypass surgery. Heart disease can be prevented by controlling heart disease risk factors.
CAD SlideshowWhat is heart disease (coronary artery disease)? Learn about the causes of heart disease. Symptoms of heart disease include chest pain and shortness of breath. Explore heart disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
Heart Disease SlideshowLearn about heart disease and heart attack symptoms and signs of a heart attack in men and women. Read about heart disease diagnostic tests, treatments, and prevention strategies.
Heart Disease QuizTake our Heart Disease Quiz to get answers and facts about high cholesterol, atherosclerosis prevention, and the causes, symptoms, treatments, testing, and procedures for medically broken hearts.
Illustrations of the HeartThe muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. See a picture of the Heart and learn more about the health topic.
High Blood Pressure HypertensionHigh blood pressure is defined as a pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher in the arteries. Genetic factors, high salt intake, and increased arterial stiffness cause high blood pressure. Dizziness, headache, nausea, and shortness of breath are just a few symptoms of high blood pressure. Untreated high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, atherosclerosis, eye damage, stroke, and increased risk of aneurysms. High blood pressure can be managed with weight loss, lifestyle changes, and medication.
High Blood PressureWhat causes high blood pressure (hypertension)? Know the warning signs and symptoms of high blood pressure. Read about high blood pressure medications, diet, and long term treatments.
HyperkalemiaHyperkalemia is an abnormally high level of potassium in the blood. Hyperkalemia symptoms include:
- tingling sensations, or
- muscle weakness.
Kidney Disease QuizKidney disease is common. Take this kidney disease quiz to test your knowledge and learn the symptoms, causes and types of kidney disease and what foods to eat and avoid!
Kidney FailureKidney failure can occur from an acute event or a chronic condition or disease. Prerenal kidney failure is caused by blood loss, dehydration, or medication. Some of the renal causes of kidney failure are:
- multiple myeloma, and
- acute glomerulonephritis.
- bladder obstruction,
- prostate problems,
- tumors, or
- kidney stones.
Kidney pain has a variety of causes and symptoms. Infection, injury, trauma, bleeding disorders, kidney stones, and less common conditions may lead to kidney pain. Symptoms associated with kidney pain may include:
- Flank pain
- Painful urination
Treatment of kidney pain depends on the cause of the pain.
ParathyroidectomyParathyroidectomy is the removal of one or more of the parathyroid glands to treat hyperparathyroidism. Risks of parathyroidectomy include:
- paralysis of the vocal cords,
- difficulty swallowing thin liquids,
- difficulty breathing,
- and drug reactions.
- damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve,
- bleeding or hematoma,
- problems maintaining calcium levels in the blood,
- need for further and more aggressive surgery,
- need for a limited or total thyroidectomy,
- prolonged pain,
- impaired healing,
- and recurrence of the tumor.
Stroke SlideshowWhat is a stroke? Learn about stroke symptoms like sudden numbness or weakness, confusion, vision problems, or problems with coordination. Discover causes and recovery of a stroke.
Take the Stroke QuizTake the Stroke Quiz to learn about stroke risks, causes, treatment, and most importantly, prevention.
Stroke Symptoms and Treatment
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding (hemorrhagic). Symptoms of a stroke may include
- double vision or vision loss,
- vertigo, and
- difficulty speaking or understanding speech.
A physical exam, imaging tests, neurological exam, and blood tests may be used to diagnose a stroke. Treatment may include administration of clot-busting drugs, supportive care, and in some instances, neurosurgery. The risk of stroke can be reduced by controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stopping smoking.