Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are medicines. They treat heart, blood vessel, and kidney problems.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
ACE inhibitors are used to treat heart disease. These medicines make your heart work less hard by lowering your blood pressure. This keeps some kinds of heart disease from getting worse. Most people who have heart failure take these medicines.
These medicines treat high blood pressure, strokes, or heart attacks. They may help lower your risk for stroke or heart attack.
They are also used to treat diabetes and kidney problems. This can help keep your kidneys from getting worse. If you have these problems, ask your doctor if you should be taking these medicines.
There are many different names and brands of ACE inhibitors. Most work as well as another. Side effects may be different for different ones.
ACE inhibitors are pills that you take by mouth. Take all of your medicines as your doctor told you to. Follow up with your doctor regularly. Your doctor will check your blood pressure and do blood tests to make sure the medicines are working properly. Your doctor may change your dose from time to time. In addition:
Side effects from ACE inhibitors are rare.
You may have a dry cough. This may go away after a while. If it does not, tell your doctor. Sometimes reducing your dose helps. But sometimes your doctor will switch you to a different medication. Do not lower your dose without talking with your doctor first.
You may feel dizzy or lightheaded when you start taking these medicines, or if your doctor increases your dose. Standing up slowly from a chair or your bed may help. If you have a fainting spell, call your doctor right away.
Other side effects include:
If your tongue or lips swell, call your doctor right away, or go to the emergency room. You may be having a serious allergic reaction to the medicine. This is very rare.
Call your doctor if you are having any of the side effects listed above. Also call your doctor if you are having any other unusual symptoms.
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Updated by: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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