Letters to the Editor

Additional Side Effects of ACE Inhibitors

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Am Fam Physician. 2002 Dec 1;66(11):2048.

to the editor: I would like to suggest two additions to the American Family Physician patient information handout on angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.1 First, angioedema is a rare but potentially fatal complication of ACE inhibitor use. All persons who use ACE inhibitors should be informed of this side effect, which may occur more commonly in blacks. Second, more emphasis should be placed on exercising caution with the use of over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs may cause serious, potentially life-threatening hyperkalemia, especially in older patients who are the patients most likely to use both of these classes of drugs. It is important for physicians to educate their patients who are receiving ACE inhibitors about avoidance of over-the-counter NSAIDs.


1. Bicket DP. Using ACE inhibitors appropriately [Information from your family physician]. Am Fam Physician. 2002;66:473–4.

Send letters to Kenneth W. Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online, e-mail: afplet@aafp.org, or 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy., Leawood, KS 66211-2680.

Please include your complete address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors.

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Copyright © 2002 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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