Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) are becoming a more frequent choice among the physicians for the treatment of hypertension. These drugs don’t have the ‘time rested’ record of diuretics or beta blockers but they are effective in the control of blood pressure and have little side effects. ACE-inhibitors are more effective in blacks. These drugs act by preventing the production of a substance called Angiotensin-I. Angiotensin I gets converted into Angiotensin II in our body and this produces vasoconstrictions (narrowing of blood vessels) which ultimately increases the blood pressure. Limiting the formation of angiotensin allows bradykinin (another local hormone) to keep the blood vessels in a dilated (vaso dilated) state.
a) Benazepril (Benace)
b) Captopril (Acetin, Capotril, Angiopril)
c) Enalapril (ENA, Enace, Envas, Enam)
e) Lisinopril (Cipril, Lipril, Linvas)
h) Ramipril (Cardace, Corpril, Ramace)
These cause few side effects. Dry cough has been reported as a side effect by 20 to 25 percent people taking it as a medication. This cough is more prevalent in women than in men. In some people the cough can be persistent and may be annoying enough to opt for another substitute for control of blood pressure. Some of the other side effects are rash, decrease in appetite, and altered sense of taste.
- Persons with kidney disease should not take ACE inhibitors as these drugs can contribute to kidney failure.
- ACE-inhibitors are not recommended in pregnant ladies or in women who are planning to become pregnant, because they can cause serious birth defects to the unborn child.