ACE inhibitors are drugs that block the body’s production of angiotensin II from angiotensin I. Angiotensin II is a hormone that circulates in the bloodstream affecting the cardiovascular system; its main role is to constrict or tighten, blood vessels. This constriction can cause hypertension resulting in kidney failure, because blood flow is not normal. Additionally it causes the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. Blocking production of angiotensin II with ACE inhibitors prevents the constriction of the blood vessels as well as the body’s ability to retain water, lowering the blood pressure and reducing the energy the heart is required to use.
People taking ACE inhibitors should monitor their creatinine and potassium levels in their blood. Talk to your physician about your medication regimen if you are experiencing a persistent dry cough from taking ACE inhibitors.
Here is a helpful handout from BC Renal Agency to help you learn about this medication!