Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Hypertension/high blood pressure health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

ACE inhibitors

Ace inhibitors are commonly prescribed blood pressure and heart tablets. ACE stands for angiotensin converting enzyme.

Common examples of ACE inhibitors are enalapril, lisinopril, perindopril and ramipril.

These drugs work by blocking the action of some hormones involved in blood pressure management in the body. This in turn relaxes blood vessels and improves the amount of blood pumped by the heart and lowers blood pressure.

Increasing blood flow means the heart doesn’t have to work as hard. ACE inhibitors also help protect the kidneys from the damaging effects of high blood pressure and diabetes.

ACE inhibitors may also be prescribed for people with heart failure and after a person has had a heart attack.

What are the possible side-effects of ACE Inhibitors?

Seek medical advice if you are concerned about side-effects, which may include:

  • Persistent dry cough
  • Red, itchy skin rash
  • Dizziness, light-headedness, feeling faint
  • Salty or metallic taste in the mouth
  • Being less able to taste things
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Mouth sores
  • Swollen feet, ankles and lower legs
  • Unusual bruising
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain - this needs urgent medical advice
  • Swelling of the neck, face, and tongue - this is a medical emergency
  • Kidney failure
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • High potassium levels - these will be monitored with blood tests as this can cause confusion, irregular heartbeat, nervousness, numbness or tingling in hands, feet or lips, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, weakness or heaviness in legs.

ACE inhibitors can interact with other medications, including over-the-counter products and supplements. Seek medical advice before taking anything not already prescribed for you when taking ACE inhibitors.

ACE inhibitors are not suitable during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Seek medical advice if you have any other symptoms that cause concern.

Guidelines for taking ACE inhibitors

Always take medicines as directed by the doctor. Don't stop taking any medication without talking to your doctor first.

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on October 10, 2016

Heart disease newsletter

The latest heart-health news and information, delivered to your inbox.
Sign Up

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman_holding_head_in_pain
How to help headache pain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
boost your metabolism
Foods to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol
period_questions_answered
Tips to support digestive health
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
sick child
Dos and don'ts for childhood eczema
couple makigh salad
Nutrition for over 50s
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning and organising tips
adult man contemplating
When illness makes it hard to eat
Allergies
Allergy myths and facts
woman holding stomach
Understand this common condition