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ACE inhibitor or ARB?

12/22/2009 - Questions and Answers

ACE inhibitor or ARB?

By: Novoviva webmaster

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Question

I've got high blood pressure that's controlled by medication - a water pill and enalapril. My doctor wants to switch the enalapril to a new drug that she calls an "ARB".

What's an ARB, and is it any better than enalapril? It's certainly more expensive!
 

Answer

Enalapril is an angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitor that's an excellent drug for lowering blood pressure, and reduces the death rate in people with congestive heart failure. ARBs are a different class of drugs with a similar way of working; they are called angiotensin-receptor-blockers. You can see from the names that both types of drug block angiotensin, one way or another. And they are both equally effective in lowering raided blood pressure.
 

ACE inhibitors have a slight disadvantage for some patients. They cause a dry, persistent cough in a small percentage of those who take them. If you have been experiencing such a cough, this may be the reason your doctor recommends a switch to an ARB. Otherwise, there aren't any established reasons to prefer an ARB over an ACE-inhibitor, at least to date.

 

Related Links
ARBs Do More than Just Lower Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure: Are the Older Drugs Better?

Created on: 01/31/2005
Reviewed on: 12/22/2009

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