What are Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors?
ACE, or Angiotensin Converting Enzyme, Inhibitors are a class of medications that your healthcare provider may prescribe to help control hypertension. It is diagnosed by either 1. Systolic (the top number of the blood pressure reading) consistently 140 mmHg or higher, or 2. Diastolic (the bottom number of reading) consistently 90 mmHg or higher. Over 66 million adults have high blood pressure and over half of people with this condition are either not controlled, unaware of having it, or not being treated.
Other Reasons for Prescribing Antihypertensive Pills
ACE inhibitors can be prescribed for other reasons including heart disease, heart failure, and to delay progression to kidney failure in people with diabetes. Ensure to ask your healthcare provider what health problem each of your medications is meant to treat. You can easily determine if you have been prescribed an ACE inhibitor by identifying the letters -pril at the end of the medications’ generic name. Lisinopril, ramipril, and benazepril are commonly prescribed antihypertensive pills; there are several others.
The most common side effects experienced when taking an ACE inhibitor include hypotension, fatigue, dry bothersome cough, and swelling.
How These Medications Work
ACE Inhibitors reduce blood pressure by blocking the release of angiotensin converting enzyme causing the blood vessels to dilate or enlarge. Most people who are prescribed these medications are able to enjoy their beneficial effects without experiencing bothersome side effects. The most common side effects experienced when angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor include low blood pressure, fatigue, dry bothersome cough, and swelling. Ensure that you discuss any potential side effects with your healthcare provider immediately who may need to choose an alternative medicine to treat your condition.
The Importance of Compliance
Seeing your healthcare provider on a routine basis is not enough if you do not follow the instructions that have been given once a health and wellness concern is identified. One of the most important steps that you can take to prevent worsening of your health is to take any medications that are prescribed. Most people will require lifetime treatment with medications for certain chronic diseases, but some will be able to eventually stop taking certain medicines if strict compliance with diet and lifestyle changes can be maintained. Chronic health problems such as high blood sugar, hypertension, and high cholesterol are significant contributors to worse events such as heart attack, stroke, and congestive heart failure if not appropriately managed.