ACE Inhibitors

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Blood Pressure Medications (ACE Inhibitors) Linked to Birth Defects

A June 8, 2006, study published in the New England Journal of Medicine links blood pressure medications, known as ACE inhibitors, to increased risk of major birth defects.

These medications were previously thought to be safe when taken early in pregnancy. But the study showed that babies, whose mothers took ACE inhibitors during their first trimester, were more than twice as likely to be born with serious heart and brain problems.

Currently, ACE inhibitors carry a “black box” warning by the Food and Drug Administration alerting users about the dangers in later stages of pregnancy. The label says that drugs should be discontinued when pregnancy is detected.

This study raises concerns about the lack of safety data for many drugs that are prescribed to pregnant women.

What are ACE Inhibitors?

ACE inhibitors belong to the class of medicines called high blood pressure medicines (antihypertensives). ACE inhibitors are used for controlling blood pressure, treating heart failure and preventing kidney damage in people with hypertension or diabetes.

ACE inhibitors are one of the most widely used drugs in treating high blood pressure. The first ACE inhibitor, catopril, came on the market 25 years ago. There is an estimated average of 42 million prescriptions written every year. Of these prescriptions, 2.7 million of them were written for women of childbearing age in 2002. Last year alone, 150 million prescriptions were filled and brought in $3.8 billion dollars, according to the pharmaceutical information company, IMS.

Some ACE Inhibitors include:

  • Capoten (Captopril)
  • Vasotec (Enalapril)
  • Prinivil, Zestril (Lisinopril)
  • Lotensin (Benazepril)
  • Monopril (Fosinopril)
  • Altace (Ramipril)
  • Accupril (Quinapril)
  • Aceon (Perindopril)
  • Mavik (Trandolapril)
  • Univasc (Moexipril)

If you or your loved one has suffered an Ace Inhibitor injury, contact us today. Submit the form to the right and we’ll let you know if you have a case and if we can represent you.