Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors for Coronary Artery Disease
How It Works
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors interfere with the formation of a hormone (angiotensin II) that can narrow (constrict) blood vessels. ACE inhibitors help lower blood pressure and reduce the workload on the heart, which lowers the chances of heart attack.
Why It Is Used
ACE inhibitors are recommended for people who have coronary artery disease, particularly those who also have diabetes. They may lower your risk for a future heart attack or heart failure. These drugs frequently are also used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
How Well It Works
ACE inhibitors help lower blood pressure and reduce the workload on the heart, which lowers the chances of a heart attack. They also help people who have heart failure to live longer. And they slow the development of kidney failure in people who have diabetes.
Side effects may include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
If you are pregnant or may become pregnant, do not take ACE inhibitors.
Usually ACE inhibitors cause very few side effects. The most common side effect is an irritating dry cough. Most people find the cough to be a minor problem that they can live with in exchange for the benefits of this medicine. If you take an ACE inhibitor and have a problem with coughing, then you might take an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) instead. ARBs are less likely to cause a cough.
ACE inhibitors may interact with other medicines such as pain relievers called NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), antacids, potassium supplements, certain diuretics, and lithium. If you are taking one of these medicines, talk with your doctor before taking an ACE inhibitor.
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