Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors for Heart Failure
How It Works
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors block the activity of an enzyme that causes blood vessels to constrict (narrow). As a result, blood vessels relax and widen (dilate), making it easier for blood to flow through the vessels, which reduces blood pressure.
Preventing blood vessels from narrowing helps improve blood flow, reduces the backup of blood in the heart and lungs, and decreases the pressure that the heart's left chamber (ventricle) must pump against.
These medicines also increase the release of water and salt (sodium) to the urine, which lowers blood pressure. ACE inhibitors (and angiotensin II receptor blockers, also called ARBs) also act directly on the hormones that regulate sodium and water balance in the body.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: April 26, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Margaret Hetherington, PHM, BsC - Pharmacy