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Monday 23 April 2007

How Ace Inhibitors Work to Lower Blood Pressure

By: Sebastian Foss

Blood pressure medications come in different forms and each is intended to cause a different reaction in the blood or blood vessels. An ace inhibitor is one such medication used in the treatment of hypertension.

Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors prevent the manufacture of a hormone in the body called angiotensin II. Angiotensin II makes blood vessels narrower. When the hormone production is blocked, the arteries remain wider and allow blood to flow through with less pressure on the vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure.

Brand Names for Ace Inhibitors

Benazepril, Enalapril and Lisinopril are three ACE inhibitors commonly used in the treatment of high blood pressure. They are seldom the first course of action but are used to treat the more severe cases of hypertension. Ideally, maintaining a proper weight and eating right are the best ways to control blood pressure. After that a diuretic type of medication may be prescribed, which works based on the idea of flushing the arteries so pressure is reduced.

The brand names under which the common ACE inhibitors used to treat high blood pressure are sold are Lotensin (benazepril), Vasotec (enalapril) and Prinivil and Zestril (lisinopril). All of these work to increase blood flow by keeping the arteries open and wide.

ACE inhibitors have side effects just like any other drugs. It can feel as if you have a bad cold because many of the symptoms that are possible are a cough, sore throat, fever, and mouth sores. Other symptoms include an itchy, red skin rash, swelling of the neck, face or tongue, or a salty or metallic taste in your mouth. While all of these are not extremely common, they have been reported in enough cases to be listed as possible side effects to taking ACE inhibitors.

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