Ace inhibitors and a cough
Some people notice that they get a ticklish, dry cough when they first start taking ACE-inhibitor drugs like ramipril. Usually this gets better in a few weeks as your body gets used to the new drug. Starting at a low dose and building the dose up slowly helps. More than often the cough is due to something else but in other cases it can be persistent.
It is rare for the cough to be severe and persistent from taking an ACE-inhibitor, enough to make you want to stop taking the drug, but if it is, there are several options so don’t worry. There is another class of drugs that blocks the receptor that the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme acts on. These ACE receptor blocker drugs usually end in “-artan,” so you will see names like losartan or candesartan. These drugs seem to have similar effects to the ACE-inhibitors. They do not cause a cough and are therefore easier to take for people who have trouble taking ACE-inhibitors. The ACE receptor blockers have not been on the market as long as ACE-inhibitors, and there are not as many long-term research studies about them, but what is known so far is very encouraging. Like the ACE-inhibitors, they help lower the blood pressure and seem to protect the kidneys from damage that causes you to lose protein in your urine.
The reson why these class of drugs are prescribed to heart failure patients is that “in patient speak” it widens the blood vessels and they become a little bit more elastic therefore taking some of the strain and stress off the heart as the blood vessels and arteries are wider. It is very important to keep taking your prescribed drugs but if there is a problem then there is generally another solution like mentioned above.
Dry nasty coughs
As some of you may already know as you are experiencing a dry cough already it is uncomfortable and sometimes can put you in uncompromising situations. There could be numerous reasons for a dry cough but one of the most likely if you are a heart failure patient is the taking of ACE inhibitors. Below you will find some information on potential easing a dry cough.
ACE inhibitors are a commonly prescribed class of medications for high blood pressure. Most of their generic names end in -il, for example, lisinopril or ramipril (although verapamil is a drug for hypertension that is in a different class). About one in five people who uses these drugs develops a constant cough that simply won’t go away. Persons of Asian or Latin American Hispanic descent are more likely to have a bad reaction to this class of drugs, but a related class of medications call the ACE-receptor blockers does not have this side effect.
What can you do about a chronic cough? Aside from treating the underlying conditions, try these helpful considerations.
• Take a vitamin B supplement that includes vitamin B6. You may not experience greater lung capacity, but you will probably experience less wheezing and coughing.
• Eat a piece of fruit every day and servings of green vegetables several times a week. Studies in the UK of people with asthma, chronic bronchitis, or COPD who never ate fruit or vegetables have consistently noted dramatic improvement after including even one serving of fruit and vegetables a day in the diet.
• Indentify your personal coughing triggers, whether they are tobacco smoke, some frequently eaten food, fumes, dust, or pollen, and make a point of avoiding them.
• If you are allergic to pollen, limit your time outdoors between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., when most plants pollinate.
• Try yoga. You don’t have to do the asanas (postures) perfectly. The breathing practice that accompanies yoga will help you control cough and breathe more deeply.
And, finally, try eating onions. Onions, as well as whole apples, grapefruit, and grapefruit juice, are great sources of the antioxidant quercetin. This plant chemical is a natural antihistamine, stopping the process of inflammation in the lungs, nose, and throat that keeps air passages constantly irritated.
In a Finnish study involving 10,000 men and women, the flavonoids quercetin, hesperitin, and naringenin, found in apples and oranges, protected against asthma. Other fruits and vegetables, such as grapefruit, cabbage, and various fruit and vegetables were not associated with a decreased risk of asthma. A British study focusing on consumption of apples found that eating 1-1/2 oz (42 g) of apple a day reduced risk of asthma attacks by about one-third. Many people who eat these foods on a regular basis report that their coughing is greatly improved, and in some cases, coughing completely disappears.
It’s worth a go anyway. Remember always discuss supplements and changes in your regular diet to your Doctor or Nurse.