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:
Like any drug, an ACE inhibitor is likely to have some side effects. They may include:
Also contact your doctor if you have any other symptoms that cause concern.
Women should not take ACE inhibitors during pregnancy, especially during their second and third trimesters. ACE inhibitors can lower blood pressure and cause kidney failure or high potassium levels in the blood of the mother. They can cause death or deformity in the newborn.
It is recommended that babies not be breast fed if the mother is taking an ACE inhibitor, because the medicine can pass through breast milk.
Yes, kids can take ACE inhibitors. However, children are more sensitive to the effects of these drugs on blood pressure. Thus, they are at higher risk of having severe side effects from the drug. Before giving this drug to children, parents are encouraged to discuss the potential benefits and risks with their pediatric cardiologist (heart doctor).