A patient with heart failure (HF) due to systolic dysfunction is being educated by the nurse on angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. The nurse should include which of the following in the discharge teaching?


• 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 persistent dry cough that may not subside until the medication is discontinued. This should only be reported if it becomes bothersome.

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

Visit our website for other NCLEX topics now!