ACE inhibitors (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme inhibitors) prevent the development of a natural substance called angiotensin II which causes vasoconstriction, which leads to hypertension.
ACE inhibitors apply their effect by inhibiting the ACE enzyme that converts angiotensin I, an inactive compound, to angiotensin II. The latter acts directly on the arteries so as to cause them to constrict, which causes an increase in blood pressure. In the absence of angiotensin II, blood vessels widen and blood pressure decreases rapidly.
ACE inhibitors are prescribed to treat heart failure and hypertension.
See also: ACE Inhibitors.
Cardiovascular drug groups:
Diuretics | Beta Blockers | Calcium Channel Blockers | ACE Inhibitors | Centrally Acting Adrenergic Drugs | Peripherally Acting Adrenergic Drugs | Nitrates | Hypolipidemic Agents | Cardiac Glycosides | Antithrombotics