Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center

Select An Article

High Blood Pressure and ACE Inhibitors

Font Size

Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are high blood pressure drugs that widen or dilate the blood vessels to improve the amount of blood the heart pumps and to lower blood pressure. ACE inhibitors also increase blood flow, which helps to decrease the amount of work your heart has to do and can help protect your kidneys from the effects of hypertension and diabetes.

ACE inhibitors are used to treat a number of heart-related conditions, including high blood pressure, heart failure, heart attack, and preventing kidney damage associated with high blood pressure and diabetes. Examples of ACE inhibitors include:

Recommended Related to Hypertension

High Blood Pressure in Children

Most people think of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, as a condition that affects older people. This may have been true in the past, but these days, high blood pressure affects people of all ages -- including young children. Why is high blood pressure in children a growing problem? What can you do to protect your child from this threat? The first step is to learn all you can about high blood pressure in children, its causes, consequences, and treatment.

Read the High Blood Pressure in Children article > >

What Are the Side Effects of ACE Inhibitors?

Like any drug, an ACE inhibitor is likely to have some side effects. They may include:

  • Cough. If this symptom persists or is severe, contact your doctor. Ask your doctor what type of cough medicine you should use to control the cough.
  • Red, itchy skin or rash. Contact your doctor; do not treat the rash yourself.
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or faintness upon rising. This side effect may be strongest after the first dose, especially if you have been taking a diuretic (water pill). Get up more slowly. Contact your doctor if these symptoms persist or are severe.
  • Salty or metallic taste or a decreased ability to taste. This effect usually goes away as you continue taking the medication.
  • Physical symptoms.Sore throat, fever, mouth sores, unusual bruising, fast or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, and swelling of feet, ankles and lower legs. Contact your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Swelling of your neck, face, and tongue. See a doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms. These represent a serious emergency.
  • High potassiumlevels. This is a potentially life-threatening complication. Therefore, people on ACE inhibitors should regularly have blood tests to measure potassium levels. Signs of too much potassium in the body include confusion, irregular heartbeat, nervousness, numbness or tingling in hands, feet or lips, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and weakness or heaviness in legs. Contact your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Kidney failure. Although ACE inhibitors help to protect the kidneys, it can also cause kidney failure in some people.
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea. If you have severe vomiting or diarrhea you may become dehydrated, which can lead to low blood pressure. Contact your doctor right away.

Also contact your doctor if you have any other symptoms that cause concern.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

blood pressure
Symptoms, causes, and more.
Learn the causes.
Compressed heart
5 habits to change.
Mature man floating in pool, goggles on head
Exercises that help.
heart healthy living
Erectile Dysfunction Slideshow
Bernstein Hypertension Affects Cardiac Risk
Compressed heart
Heart Disease Overview Slideshow
thumbnail for lowering choloesterol slideshow
Heart Foods Slideshow
Low Blood Pressure