Medication in the class of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACEIs) include:
- Captopril (Capoten®)
- Enalapril (Vasotec®)
- Fosinopril (Monopril®)
- Lisinopril (Zestril®)
- Perindopril (Coversyl®)
- Ramipril (Altace®)
- Trandolapril (Mavik®)
Medications in the class of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) include:
- Candesartan (Atacand®)
- Losartan (Cozaar®)
- Valsartan (Diovan®)
- Telmisartan (Micardis®)
- Irbesartan (Avapro®)
- Olmesartan (Olmetec®)
How do ACEIs / ARBs work:
ACE Inhibitors and ARBs have been shown to make people living with heart failure live longer and feel better. These medications work by dilating blood vessels, and decreasing stress on the heart.
When should I take this medication?
- Take this medication at the same time(s) every day.
The most common side effects include:
- These medications cause your blood pressure to drop. In general, unless this causes dizziness or lightheadedness, this drop in blood pressure is not a concern.
- Increase in the level of potassium in your blood or worsening of your kidney function. Your healthcare provider will send you for blood tests to ensure this does not happen.
- A persistent dry cough that occurs with ACEIs. If the ACE inhibitor is stopped or switched to an ARB, the cough goes away.
- Changes in your taste, such as a metallic taste in your mouth.
- Rash. Talk to your health care provider if you develop a new rash.
- Rarely, a severe allergic reaction called angioedema can occur. This involves swelling of the face, tongue, lips and hands. If this happens, you should seek immediate attention.
What should I remember while taking this medication?
- This medication may be taken with or without food, but should be taken at the same time(s) each day.
- To avoid getting dizzy, stand up slowly from a sitting position or when lying down.
- Use cautiously if you have certain types of kidney problems (check with your health care provider).
- Tell your health care provider or pharmacist of any prescription and non-prescription medications you are taking.
- Check with your health care provider before using potassium supplements (you may require extra blood tests to measure the amount of potassium in your blood).
- If you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, it is important to discuss this with your health care provider. This medicine may cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy. Talk to your health care provider if you are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed. Take the next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time. If you are unsure of what to do, speak to your health care provider or pharmacist.