|Drug treatments: ACE inhibitors|
Angiotensin Converting Enzyme ("ACE") inhibitors have successfully treated all types of high blood pressure. Many brands are available that are similar in safety and effectiveness.
ACE inhibitors include:
- Captopril (Capoten)
- Enalapril (Vasotec)
- Quinapril (Accupril)
- Benazepril (Lotensin)
- Lsinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)
- Ramipril (Altace)
- Perindopril (Aceon)
- Trandolapril (Mavik)
ACE inhibitors are often recommended as first-line treatment for people with diabetes and kidney damage, heart attack survivors, stroke patients, and those with heart failure, particularly when taken with diuretics. They can also improve a person's odds of surviving after a heart attack and stroke.
Side effects are uncommon but may include:
- Irritating cough.
- Excessive drops in blood pressure.
- Allergic reactions.
- Although ACE inhibitors can protect against kidney disease, they also cause the kidneys to retain potassium, which can result in arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) or even cardiac arrest if levels become too high. Because of this, they are not generally given with potassium-sparing diuretics or potassium supplements.
- One rare but severe side effect -- granulocytopenia -- has been observed, which is an extreme reduction in white blood cells.
Reviewed By: Larry A. Weinrauch MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Cardiovascular Disease and Clinical Outcomes Research, Watertown, MA.. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.