ACE inhibitors are critical in the treatment of heart failure. They are also used to control high blood pressure, prevent kidney damage from diabetes, and prevent more heart damage after a heart attack.
Examples of them include:
- Benazepril (Lotensin)
- Captopril (Capoten)
- Enalapril (Vasotec)
- Fosinopril (Monopril)
- Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)
- Moexipril (Univasc)
- Perindopril (Aceon)
- Quinapril (Accupril)
- Ramipril (Altace)
- Trandolapril (Mavik)
How Do I Take Them?
They’re usually taken on an empty stomach an hour before meals. Follow the label on how often to take them. The number of doses you take each day, the time between doses, and how long you’ll take your ACE inhibitor will depend on what you were prescribed as well as your condition.
What Are the Side Effects of ACE Inhibitors?
Dizziness , lightheadedness, or faintness upon rising: These may be strongest after the first dose, especially if you have been taking a diuretic (water pill). Get up more slowly. Call your doctor if these symptoms persist or are severe.
If you have any of the following side effects, call your doctor right away:
- Sore throat
- Mouth sores
- Unusual bruising
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Swelling of feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or lips
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Weakness or heaviness in legs
If you have swelling of your neck, face, or tongue , get emergency medical help immediately. Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.
If you become sick with severe vomiting or diarrhea, you may become dehydrated, which can lead to low blood pressure. Call your doctor. Also contact your doctor if you have any other symptoms that cause concern.
Should I Avoid Certain Foods or Medicine While Taking ACE Inhibitors?
Yes. These include:
Salt substitutes: They have potassium, and ACE inhibitors make your body retain potassium.
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (like acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen , and naproxen ): These may cause your body to retain sodium and water and decrease the effect of an ACE inhibitor. Check with your doctor before taking any anti-inflammatory drugs.
It is important that your doctor know about all the medicines you’re taking, as some may interact with ACE inhibitors. Talk to your doctor before taking any new medication, including over-the-counter drugs, herbs, and supplements.
Other Guidelines for ACE Inhibitors
Never stop taking your medication, even if you feel that it is not working. Your heart failure symptoms may not improve right away when taking ACE inhibitors. But long-term use of ACE inhibitors helps manage chronic heart failure and reduces the risk that it will get worse.