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What are angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors for heart failure?

Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are drugs which we use a lot in heart failure. They are also used for people with high blood pressure. Possible side effects when taking an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor are:
  • Increased potassium level -- Sometimes, if you're taking lots of pills, increased potassium level is a good thing. If you're not, that's a problem.
  • Change in sense of taste -- Probably 2-3% of people taking ACE inhibitors complain that food just doesn't taste good anymore when they start using these medications. This problem may or may not improve.
  • Cough -- The most common side effect and the one that's a problem for doctors is that some people get a cough when using ACE inhibitors. It's a dry, tickling, teasing cough that just drives people crazy.
G C. Clinard, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors are a type of heart failure medication that works by preventing the body from creating angiotensin, a substance in the blood that causes vessels to tighten and raises blood pressure. In large-scale studies, ACE inhibitors have been proven to slow the progression of heart failure.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.