Treating High Blood Pressure With Ace or ARB Inhibitors

Treating High Blood Pressure With Ace or ARB Inhibitors

Heart Anatomy - Anterior (Front) View

ACE (angiotension-converting enzymes) or ARB (angiotension-receptor blockers) are popular blood pressure medications because they work well at suppressing a powerful enzyme that can cause arterial walls to constrict and drive up blood pressure. This is called “angiotension”.

They keep arterial walls relaxed, thereby lowering the blood pressure, and decrease the work that the heart has to do.

There are a number of commonly prescribed ACE inhibitors on the market including: Capoten, Altace, Vasotec, Lotensin, Monopril and Accupril.

There are also several ARBs out including: Losartan, Diovan, and many more.

The potential side effects of ACE inhibitors is chronic cough; it is always seen in ACE inhibitors, not ARBs. Headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, chest tightness, tiredness, decreased kidney function, decreased sexual activity, bone marrow, liver, and increased potassium.

Because of these side effects I always check my patients’ renal function and potassium before prescribing an ACE inhibitor.

You should also make sure your doctor knows if you have a history of kidney disease, collagen or vascular disease, or diabetes. Potential nutrient depletion is another common side effect of ACE inhibitors. Nutrients that may be deplete include zinc, B6, magnesium, phosphorus, magnesium, and Q10. These group of medications is usually my #1 hypertensive medication after diet, lifestyle and targeted interventions are used.

Best in health,

Dean R. Silver, M.D.