What Are ACE Inhibitors?
“ACE” is short for angiotensin-converting enzyme. ACE inhibitors are medications that help prevent your body from producing too much of a natural chemical called angiotensin II. Some common generic and brand names include:
- Benazepril (Lotensin)
- Captopril (Capoten)
- Enalapril (Vasotec)
- Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)
What Are They Used for?
ACE inhibitors are used to:
- treat high blood pressure;
- treat heart failure and related conditions such as a low ejection fraction (EF);
- reduce the damage from a heart attack; and
- prevent kidney damage (for example, from diabetes).
How Do They Work?
ACE inhibitors block an enzyme that is needed for angiotensin I to be converted into angiotensin II. Angiotensin II can have harmful long-term effects on your heart and blood vessels. It can cause blood vessels to narrow and can also raise blood pressure.
Taking ACE inhibitors can relax the arteries; lower blood pressure; and lessen work for the heart.