ACE Inhibitors (ACE-I) & Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)
Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACE-I) and Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) are medications that work in very similar ways.
ACE-I and ARB medications help the heart by relaxing its blood vessels, which can lower blood pressure. This allows the heart to pump easier. ACE-I and ARB medicines also help prevent or correct changes in the shape of the heart that can occur because of heart failure.
These two types of medications are important in the treatment and management of heart failure and doctors usually prescribe an ACE-I first. If you experience side effects and cannot tolerate an ACE-I, you may be switched to an ARB medication.
Examples of ACE Inhibitors:
- Captopril (Capoten)
- Enalapril (Vasotec)
- Lisinopril (Zestril; Prinivil)
- Quinipril (Accupril)
- Ramipril (Altace)
ACE-I side effects may include: dizziness, non-productive cough, or in rare occasions swelling of your face, lips, or throat. Consult your doctor if you experience decreased blood pressure by feeling dizzy or experiencing fainting, weight gain, persistent cough, swelling of your face or if you become pregnant.
Examples of ARBs:
- Losartan (Cozaar)
- Valsartan (Diovan)
- Candesartan (Atacand)
- Irbesartan (Avapro)
- Telmisartan (Micardis)
- Olmesartan (Benicar)
ARB side effects may include: diarrhea, dizziness, headache, or feeling tired. Consult your doctor if you experience decreased blood pressure by feeling dizzy or experience fainting, weight gain, persistent cough, swelling of your face, lips, or throat or if you become pregnant.
If you are prescribed and ACE-I or an ARB, your doctor may need to monitor your blood pressure, kidney function, and potassium levels regularly.