- High Blood Pressure Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Salt Quiz!
- Lowering Blood Pressure Exercise Tips Pictures
- 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.
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.
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.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Stroke Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the Stroke Quiz to learn about stroke risks, causes, treatment, and most importantly, prevention....
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Quiz: Symptoms, Signs & Causes
Take this quiz and test your IQ of high blood pressure (hypertension), the cardiovascular disease that causes most strokes and...
Salt Quiz: Test Your Diet IQ
Do you love salt? Take the online Salt Quiz to get the facts about dietary salts and sodium in fruits, vegetables, processed...
Metabolic Syndrome Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Metabolic syndrome is serious and you should be concerned. Learn the causes, symptoms, treatments, and complications of metabolic...
Heart Disease Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take our Heart Disease Quiz to get answers and facts about high cholesterol, atherosclerosis prevention, and the causes,...
Kidney Disease Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Kidney disease is common. Take this kidney disease quiz to test your knowledge and learn the symptoms, causes and types of kidney...
Picture of Hypertension
High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg -- a systolic pressure above 140...
Picture of Blood Pressure
The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. See a picture of Blood Pressure and learn more about the...
Picture of Heart Detail
The heart is composed of specialized cardiac muscle, and it is four-chambered, with a right atrium and ventricle, and an...
Picture of Kidneys
The kidneys are a pair of organs located in the back of the abdomen. See a picture of the Kidneys and learn more about the health...
Picture of Heart
The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. See a picture of the Heart and learn more...
Heart Disease: Causes of a Heart Attack
Learn about heart disease and heart attack symptoms and signs of a heart attack in men and women. Read about heart disease...
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
What causes high blood pressure (hypertension)? Know the warning signs and symptoms of high blood pressure. Read about high blood...
Stroke Causes, Symptoms, and Recovery
What is a stroke? Learn about stroke symptoms like sudden numbness or weakness, confusion, vision problems, or problems with...
Heart Disease: Symptoms, Signs, and Causes
What is heart disease (coronary artery disease)? Learn about the causes of heart disease. Symptoms of heart disease include chest...
How to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips
Trying to lower high blood pressure (hypertension)? Discover exercises good for lowering blood pressure, along with other...
Am I Having a Heart Attack? Symptoms of Heart Disease
Heart attacks symptoms vary greatly for men and women, from anxiety and fatigue to nausea and sweating. Learn the warning signs...
Heart-Healthy Diet: 25 Foods to Protect Your Cardiovascular System
See 25 foods loaded with heart-healthy nutrients that help protect your cardiovascular system. Plus, find easy meal/recipes and...
High-Fiber Super Foods: Whole Grains, Fruits, & More
Learn about high-fiber foods. From fresh fruits to whole grains, these fiber-rich foods can lower cholesterol, prevent...
Food Swaps for Meals and Snacks for Heart Health in Pictures
Explore 10 food swaps for heart-wise dining. Learn what food to buy and how to cook in order to make a big difference for your...
Related Disease Conditions
Kidney Pain (Location, Symptoms, Relief)
Kidney pain has a variety of causes and symptoms. Infection, injury, trauma, bleeding disorders, kidney stones, and less common...
Kidney Failure (Symptoms, Signs, Stages, Causes, Treatment, and Life Expectancy)
Kidney failure can occur from an acute event or a chronic condition or disease. Prerenal kidney failure is caused by blood loss,...
12 Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms, Stages, Causes, and Life Expectancy
Congestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease,...
12 Heart Attack Symptoms and Early Warning Signs
Recognizing heart attack symptoms and signs can help save your life or that of someone you love. Some heart attack symptoms,...
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are...
Hypertension-Related Kidney Disease
Second Source WebMD Medical Reference...
Stroke (Signs, Symptoms, Warning Signs)
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...
Dizziness is a symptom that often applies to a variety of sensations including lightheadedness and vertigo. Causes of dizziness...
How the Heart Works
The heart is a very important organ in the body. It is responsible for continuously pumping oxygen and nutrient-rich blood...
Hyperkalemia (High Blood Potassium) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
Hyperkalemia is an abnormally high level of potassium in the blood. Hyperkalemia symptoms include nausea, fatigue, tingling...
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Signs, Causes, Diet, and Treatment
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million...
Diabetes Treatment (Type 1 and Type 2 Medications and Diet)
The major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar....
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to...
Heart failure (congestive) is caused by many conditions including coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, and...
Cough (Chronic, Persistent Cough in Adults and Children)
Chronic cough is a cough that does not go away and is generally a symptom of another disorder such as asthma, allergic...
A heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart...
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke)
When a portion of the brain loses blood supply, through a blood clot or embolus, a transient ischemic attack (TIA, mini-stroke)...
Intermittent claudication, or pain and cramping in the lower leg is caused by inadequate blood flow to the leg muscles. This lack...
Angina (Symptoms, Causes, Types, Diagnosis, and Treatment)
Angina is chest pain due to inadequate blood supply to the heart. Angina symptoms may include chest tightness, burning,...
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Benefits, Uses, Foods)
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that help decrease one's cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as reduce the risk of...
Fabry Disease (Symptoms and Life Expectancy)
Fabry disease (Fabry's disease, alpha-galactosidase-A) is a genetic disorder with symptoms such as burning sensations in...
Fitness: Exercise for a Healthy Heart
Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease. To achieve maximum benefits, do a mix of stretching exercise, aerobic...
High Blood Pressure Treatment (Natural Home Remedies, Diet, Medications)
High blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include...
Hypertensive Kidney Disease
High blood pressure can damage the kidneys and is one of the leading causes of kidney failure (end-stage renal kidney disease)....
Heart Attack Pathology: Photo Essay
A heart attack is a layperson's term for a sudden blockage of a coronary artery. This photo essay includes graphics, pictures,...
The main features of metabolic syndrome include insulin resistance, hypertension (high blood pressure), cholesterol...
Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart's ability to pump blood is decreased because the heart's main pumping...
Diabetes and Kidney Disease
In the United States diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. High blood pressure and high levels of blood glucose...
Renal Artery Stenosis
Renal artery stenosis is a narrowing of the diameter of the renal arteries. When the renal arteries narrow, the result is...
Heart Attacks in Women
Heart disease, particularly coronary artery disease is the leading cause of heart attacks. Women are more likely to die from a...
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) affects many people today. Many people with HCM have no symptoms or only minor symptoms, and...
Kidney dysplasia is a condition in which one or both of a baby's kidneys do not develop normally. In kidney dysplasia, cysts...
Heart Disease in Women
Heart disease in women has somewhat different symptoms, risk factors, and treatment compared to heart disease in men. Many women...
Heart Attack Treatment
A heart attack involves damage or death of part of the heart muscle due to a blood clot. The aim of heart attack treatment is to...
Restrictive cardiomyopathy, the rarest form of cardiomyopathy, is a condition in which the walls of the lower chambers of the...
Heart Attack Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management....
Stroke is the third leading killer in the United States. Some of the warning signs of stroke include sudden confusion, trouble...
Heart Disease Treatment in Women
Heart disease treatment in women should take into account female-specific guidelines that were developed by the American Heart...
Heart Attack Prevention Overview
Heart attacks are the major causes of unexpected, sudden death among men and women. A heart attack also is a significant cause...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- High Blood Pressure FAQs
- Heart Disease FAQs
- Kidney Disease FAQs
- Stroke FAQs
- Salt FAQs
- Metabolic Syndrome FAQs
- Prescriptions: Complying with the Doctor's Orders
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- Are You Getting Enough Potassium?
Medications & Supplements
- High Blood Pressure Drugs (Hypertension)
- Vasodilators (Drug Class Side Effects, List of Names)
- lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil, Qbrelis) ACE Inhibitor
- Drug Interactions
- Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs)
- hydralazine (Apresoline)
- Congestive Heart Failure Medications
- captopril, Capoten
- ramipril, Altace
- benazepril (Lotensin HTC)
- fosinopril sodium, Monopril
- trandolapril, Mavik
- enalapril, Vasotec, Epaned
- lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide, Zestoretic, Prinzide
- quinapril, Accupril
- perindopril - oral, Aceon
- enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide, Vaseretic
- captopril and hydrochlorothiazide, Capozide
Prevention & Wellness
- Heart Failure Patients Shouldn't Stop Meds Even if Condition Improves: Study
- Dying Patients Often Given Medicines That Won't Help Them
- Bonus From Your Blood Pressure Med: Fewer Fractures?
- Can Drugmakers Buy Doctors' Loyalty With Cheap Meals?
- Vitamin D Boosts Heart Function in Study
- Newer Blood Pressure Drugs as Good as Older Ones: Study
- Drugs May Protect the Heart During Chemotherapy
- Angioplasty May Not Boost Survival for Some Heart Disease Patients
- Younger Women Less Likely to Take Meds After Heart Attack
- Taking Blood Pressure Drugs at Night May Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
- Blood Pressure Meds May Cut Alzheimer's Risk
- Cholesterol Drugs May Boost Outcomes After Bypass
- Heart Groups Issue Updated Blood Pressure Guidelines
- Common Blood Pressure Drug May Lower Risk For Lou Gehrig's Disease: Study
- Early Sign of Kidney Disease Often Ignored, Study Says
- Minority Patients Less Likely to Stick With Heart Attack Meds: Study
- Common Blood Pressure Meds May Cut Risk of Early Death in Kidney Patients: Study
- Certain Allergies Plus Blood Pressure Meds Could Be Bad Mix
- Common Blood Pressure Drugs Tied to Lower Risk of Alzheimer's: Study
- Common Blood Pressure Drugs May Help Slow Dementia
- Drug May Ease Angina in People With Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart Failure Drug May Only Help Heart's Function, Not Symptoms
- Injected 'Hydrogel' May Help Repair Failing Hearts
- Drug May Make Walking Easier for People With Artery Disease
- Heart Failure Drugs Put to the Test
- Fainting Spells Often Tied to Too Many Meds at Once: Study
- Many Older Heart Attack Survivors Don't Stick With Meds
- More Pregnant Women on Blood Pressure Drugs: Study
- In Diabetes, Any Protein in Urine May Signal Heart Risk
- Fish Oil Doesn't Lower Heart Risk in Diabetics
- New Guidelines for Kidney Disease Due to Lupus
- Role of Screening, Monitoring in Early Kidney Disease Unclear
- Heart Failure Death Risk Lower for Women
- Kidney Damage Greatly Raises Diabetics' Risk for Death
- Treatment Advances Improve the Odds for Heart Failure Patients
- Asian-Americans More Apt to Die in Hospital After Heart Attacks
- Is High Blood Pressure Linked to Birth Defects?
- Insect Stings Hold Deadly Risk for Some
- Underused Treatments Could Save Lives From Heart Failure
- ED, Heart Disease May Be Deadly Duo
Quick GuideHow to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
- Surgery Second Opinion
- Caregivers: Don't Forget Your Needs
- Drug Abuse Recovery
- Dupuytren’s Treatment
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.