Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors)

Bit of a mouthful and thats why we call them “ACE” in pumping marvellous.

ACE inhibitors have been shown to extend life and improve symptoms in people with heart failure. It is recommended that anyone with heart failure caused by a failing left ventricle (most people) should take an ACE inhibitor.

All ACE inhibitors have names that end in pril and include ramipril, captopril, enalapril, lisinopril and perindopril. They work by making the blood vessels open up more (dilate), which makes the blood flow more easily and reduces blood pressure, easing the strain on the heart.

The most common side effects are a dry, irritating cough. Some people simply cannot put up with it and have to switch to another treatment, but persevere if you can. Some people find the cough is less of a problem with a different ACE inhibitor, or that it disappears after a few weeks. Another side effect is hypotension. This means your blood pressure has fallen too low, making you feel dizzy or giddy, especially when you get up after sitting or lying down.