Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are heartmedications that widen or dilate your blood vessels to improve the amount of blood your heart pumps and lower blood pressure. ACE inhibitors also increase blood flow, which helps to decrease the amount of work your heart has to do. Examples of ACE inhibitors include:
Heart disease has haunted generations of Robin Drummond's family. "I have a
family history of
heart disease on both sides," says the 55-year-old African-American and
resident of Hammond, La. "I've had uncles, aunts, and grandparents who've died
heart attacks and heart disease, and two of my mother's brothers died four
months apart. One had a heart attack in church, and four months later, one had
a heart attack in the post office."
When Drummond's father succumbed to heart disease...
ACE inhibitors are usually taken on an empty stomach one hour before meals. Follow the label directions on how often to take it. The number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and how long you need to take the medication will depend on the type of ACE inhibitor prescribed, as well as your condition.
While taking this drug, have your blood pressure and kidney function checked regularly, as advised by your doctor.
Never stop taking an ACE inhibitor, even if you feel that it is not working. If you are taking ACE inhibitors for heart failure, your heart failure symptoms may not improve right away. However, long-term use of ACE inhibitors helps manage chronic heart failure and reduces the risk that your condition will become worse.
Will my ACE Inhibitor Interact With Any Foods or Drugs?
An ACE inhibitor can interact with some foods and drugs. While taking an ACE inhibitor, do not use salt substitutes. These substitutes contain potassium and ACE inhibitor medications cause the body to retain potassium. Learn how to read food labels to choose low-salt and low-potassium foods. A dietitian can help you select the right foods.