by Verlyn Ross
This article is written to discuss heart disease and ACE inhibitors, what they are and their impact on you as a heart patient.
There are a variety of medications that a person can be prescribed for heart disease. One of these is known as angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. These are a group of medications that serve to dilate (or widen) the blood vessels in order to improve the quantity of blood that is pumped through the heart and they also serve to lower blood pressure. Also sometimes referred to as ACE inhibitors, they serve to increase the amount of blood flow and by doing so, this cuts down on how much work the heart must do.
ACE inhibitors are prescribed to patients for a variety of heart conditions with the most common being heart failure. Patients with high blood pressure are often prescribed ACE inhibitors, as are those with diabetes. For those suffering from Type 2 diabetes, this medication has been proven to slow down the process that causes damage to the kidneys. If administered to a patient shortly after suffering a heart attack, ACE inhibitors can prevent further damage and can also increase the survival rate of patients. Paramedics arriving at the scene of a heart attack are often trained to administer ACE inhibitors to patients. ACE inhibitors act as prevention for heart attacks and strokes for those people classified as high-risk.
ACE inhibitors are sold under a variety of different brand names. Examples of these include Capoten (captopril), Vasotec (enalapril), Prinivil and Zestril (lisinopril), and Lotensin (benazepril). Other types of ACE inhibitors include Monopril (fosinopril), Altace (ramipril), Accupril (quinapril), Aceon (perindopril), Mavik (trandolapril), and Univasc (moexipril).
It is best to take ACE inhibitors on an empty stomach, approximately one hour before you eat a meal. It is so important to always carefully follow the directions on the prescription label. Never take too many pills at once or too few pills at once. It is the kind of heart condition you have as well as the type of ACE inhibitor you have been prescribed that will determine the duration of the medication, the number of doses you are required to take as well as the time span that must elapse between doses.
While you are on an ACE inhibitor it is important to have your kidneys as well as your blood pressure checked on a regular basis as problems can arise if these two things are not monitored. It is never smart to suddenly just stop taking your medication if you do not like how it makes you feel or you question whether or not it is actually working at all. Be aware that if you have been prescribed an ACE inhibitor for heart failure, you may need to take the medication for a while before you begin to see results. You should still keep taking it regardless. When it comes to heart failure, ACE inhibitors decrease the chance that your health condition will become chronic and will get worse as time progresses.
If you have questions about ACE inhibitors speak to your doctor or healthcare professional about your concerns. The more knowledgeable you are about the medications you are prescribed, the better equipped you will be to cope with your heart condition. Always stay informed about new advances in heart research as well.
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