Ace Inhibitors – Pharmacology for Nurses with podcast

Medications

Ace Inhibitors – Pharmacology for Nurses

Ace Inhibitors are also known as Angiotensin-converting enzyme is used to treat conditions such as:

  • Hypertension
  • Migraines
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart failure (CHF)
  • Heart Attacks (MI)
  • Some Chronic renal failures
  • Diabetes
  • Scleroderma

For exam questions on Ace inhibitors, remember that it is used to:

 

  • lower the blood pressure
  • Increase cardiac output by dilating vessels
  • Reduce afterload

Ace inhibitors relax blood vessels by preventing an enzyme in the patients body from producing a substance called angiotensin II.  Angiotensin II affects the cardiovascular system by narrowing blood vessels and releasing hormones that increase blood pressure. The narrowing of the blood vessels causes hypertension and this makes the cardiac muscle (heart) work harder. Therefore, Ace inhibitors stop the constriction of the blood vessels, lowering the blood pressure and decreases the workload of the heart.

It is important to note that angiotensin II can also promote growth in a negative way, meaning that it can increase the size or thickness of cardiovascular structures that can lead to hypertrophy of the heart.

Here is a podcast regarding Ace Inhibitors:

 

Names of Ace Inhibitors

Ace inhibitors have a generic name that end with the suffix “Pril”.

  • Captopril
  • Trandolapril
  • Benazepril
  • Fosinopril
  • Lisinopril
  • Moexipril
  • Ramipril
  • Perindopril
  • Quinapril

 

Side Effects for Ace Inhibitors – Mnemonic

CAPTOPRIL

C – Cough (dry hacking)

A – Anaphylaxis/Angioedama

P – Palpitations

T – Taste (altered taste sensation)

O – Orthostatic Hypotension

P – Potassium Elevation (Hyperkalemia)

R – Renal Impairment/Rash

I – Impotence

L – Leukocytosis/Lithium levels may increase

 

It is important to note that Ace inhibitors can cause birth defects and should not be prescribed to a pregnant patient or a patient who is planning on becoming pregnant. Ace inhibitors must also be used with caution in patients with renal stenosis.

 

Disclaimer:

Please follow your facilities medication administration guidelines. The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be nursing education and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your facilities policies and procedures for current protocols.

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Anna C. RN-BC, BSN, PHN, CMSRN Anna began writing extra materials to help her BSN and LVN students with their studies. She takes the topics that the students are learning and expands on them to try to help with their understanding of the nursing process. She is a clinical instructor for LVN and BSN students along with a critical care transport nurse.

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