The recommended dosage depends on the type of ACE inhibitor and the medical condition for which it is being taken. Check with the physician who prescribed the drug or the pharmacist who filled the prescription for the correct dosage.
This medicine may take weeks to noticeably lower blood pressure. Take it exactly as directed.
Do not stop taking this medicine without checking with the physician who prescribed it.
A person taking an ACE inhibitor should see a physician regularly. The physician will check the blood pressure to make sure the medicine is working as it should and will note any unwanted side effects. People who have high blood pressure often feel perfectly fine. However, they should continue to see their physicians even when they feel well so that the physician can keep a close watch on their condition. It is also important for patients to keep taking their medicine even when they feel fine.
ACE inhibitors will not cure high blood pressure, but will help control the condition. To avoid the serious health problems that high blood pressure can cause, patients may have to take medicine for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, medicine alone may not be enough. Patients with high blood pressure may also need to avoid certain foods, such as salty snacks, and keep their weight under control. The health care professional who is treating the condition can offer advice on what measures may be necessary. Patients being treated for high blood pressure should not change their diets without consulting their physicians.
Anyone taking this medicine for high blood pressure should not take any other prescription or over-thecounter (OTC) medicine without first checking with his or her physician. Some medicines, such as certain cold remedies, may increase blood pressure.
Some people feel dizzy or lightheaded after taking the first dose of an ACE inhibitor, especially if they have been taking a water pill (diuretic). Anyone who takes these drugs should not drive, use machines or do anything else that might be dangerous until they have found out how the drugs affect them. Such symptoms should be reported to the physician or pharmacist if they do not subside within a day or so. For the first one or two days of taking an ACE inhibitor, patients may become lightheaded when arising from bed in the morning. Patienst should rise slowly to a sitting position before standing up.
While a goal of treatment with an ACE inhibitor is to lower the blood pressure, patients must be careful not to let their blood pressure get too low. Low blood pressure can lead to dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting. To prevent the blood pressure from getting too low, observe these precautions:
Do not drink alcohol without checking with the physician who prescribed this medicine.
Captopril and moexipril should be taken one hour before meals. Other ACE inhinbitors may be taken with or without meals.
Avoid overheating when exercising or in hot weather. The loss of water from the body through heavy sweating can cause low blood pressure.
Check with a physician right away if illness occurs while taking an ACE inhibitor. This is especially true if the illness involves severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Vomiting and diarrhea can cause the loss of too much water from the body, which can lead to low blood pressure.
Anyone who is taking ACE inhibitors should be sure to tell the health care professional in charge before having any surgical or dental procedures or receiving emergency treatment.
Some ACE inhibitors may change the results of certain medical tests, such as blood or urine tests. Before having medical tests, anyone taking this medicine should alert the health care professional in charge.
Do not use a potassium supplement or a salt substitute that contains potassium without first checking with the physician who prescribed the ACE inhibitor.
Patients who are being treated with bee or wasp venom to prevent allergic reactions to stings may have a severe allergic reaction to certain ACE inhibitors.
Nancy Ross-Flanigan, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,