A patient with heart failure (HF) due to systolic dysfunction is being educated by the nurse on ACE inhibitors. The nurse correctly explains by saying:

"ACE inhibitors relax blood vessels and can lower blood pressure, making it easier for the heart to pump."
"ACE inhibitors will help improve your ability to exercise."
"ACE inhibitors will help improve your lung function."
"Report any cough to your health care provider."


• Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are medicines that treat heart, blood vessel, and kidney problems. Some examples include: Captopril, Ramipril, Enalapril, Lisinopril, and Perindopril

• Though the reasons are not fully understood, numerous trials have found that therapy with ACE inhibitors significantly improves exercise capacity in patients with HF

• ACE inhibitors improve lung function by increasing alveolar-capillary membrane diffusing capacity and pulmonary vascular function in patients with HF

• Some side effects associated with ACE inhibitors include hypotension, acute renal failure, and hyperkalemia

• Up to 20% of patients taking ACE inhibitors develop a dry hacking cough, which can be effectively treated with NSAIDs

• ACE inhibitors are contraindicated in pregnancy since they are associated with an increased incidence of fetal complications

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