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Using ACE Inhibitors Appropriately - Article
ABSTRACT: When first introduced in 1981, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors were indicated only for treatment of refractory hypertension. Since then, they have been shown to reduce morbidity or mortality in congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, diabetes mellitus, chronic renal insufficiency, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Pathologies underlying these conditions are, in part, attributable to the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Angiotensin II contributes to endothelial dysfunction. altered renal hemodynamics, and vascular and cardiac hypertrophy. ACE inhibitors attenuate these effects. Clinical outcomes of ACE inhibition include decreases in myocardial infarction (fatal and nonfatal), reinfarction, angina, stroke, end-stage renal disease, and morbidity and mortality associated with heart failure. ACE inhibitors are generally well tolerated and have few contraindications. (Am Fam Physician 2002;66:473.)
ABSTRACT: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers have different pharmacologic mechanisms for blocking the effect of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system on the cardiovascular system. Pharmacologically, the combination of these drug classes completely blocks the deleterious effect of angiotensin in patients with heart failure. However, clinical trials have not shown a marked benefit from using this combination compared with using angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors alone. Patients who take combination therapy do not live longer, although they are less likely to be hospitalized for worsening symptoms. Most patients who take combination therapy will not experience marked improvement in symptoms or quality of life.
ABSTRACT: Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists (or blockers) are a newer class of antihypertensive agents. These drugs are selective for angiotensin II (type 1 receptor); unlike angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, they do not inhibit bradykinin metabolism or enhance prostaglandin synthesis. Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists are well tolerated. Cough occurs much less often with these agents than with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and they do not adversely affect lipid profiles or cause rebound hypertension after discontinuation. Clinical trials indicate that angiotensin-II receptor antagonists are effective and safe in the treatment of hypertension. Their use in congestive heart failure and renal disease is under investigation.