Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are heart medications that are used to widen or dilate the blood vessels. ACE inhibitors increase the amount of blood your heart pumps. This process lowers the blood pressure.

Examples: Accupril (Quinapril), Aceon (Perindopril), Altace (Ramipril), Capoten (Captopril), Lotensin (Benazepril) and Mavik (Trandolapril).

ACE inhibitors are usually prescribed to:

  • Help manage high blood pressure.
  • Prevent further weakening of the heart and prolongs life.
  • Lessen the impact on the heart strength during a heart attack.
  • Slows the process that leads to kidney damage in many people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Lessen the risk of having heart attack or stroke.


ACE inhibitors are not advisable to be taken by pregnant or lactating women. This medicine can lower the mother’s blood pressure that may result to kidney failure or high potassium in the blood. This may cause deformity or death to the baby.

Children should take this drug with caution since they are more sensitive to the effects of the changes on their blood pressure. Parents must discuss first with their doctors the potential benefits and risks of this drug for their child.

Side Effects

Side effects of this drug may include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Mouth Sores
  • Chest pain
  • Sore throat
  • Red Itchy Skin Rash
  • Unusual Bruising
  • Fast or Irregular Heartbeat
  • Dizziness, Lightheadedness, or Faintness when you Rise
  • Salty or Metallic Taste, or a Decreased Ability to Taste

Severe symptoms may include:

  • Swelling of FeetAnkles, or Lower Legs
  • Swelling of Neck, Face, and Tongue
  • Severe Vomiting
  • Severe Diarrhea
  • Too Much Potassium in the Blood

Symptoms are: Confusion, Irregular Heartbeat, Nervousness, Numbness or Tingling in Hands, Feet, or Lips, Shortness of Breath or Difficulty Breathing and Weakness or Heaviness in your Legs

Contact your doctor right away if you have any of these.

Drug Interaction

ACE inhibitors may interact with any food or medication you are taking, especially of:

  • Salt substitutes. ACE inhibitor medications may retain the potassium in the body and foods with salt substitutes may aggravate the situation.
  • Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs, like Aleve and Motrin) and Aspirin. This may cause your body to retain salt and water. It also decreases the effect of an ACE inhibitor. Check with your doctor before taking any anti-inflammatories.

Notify your doctor about all the medicines you are taking to avoid drug interactions.

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