"What are ACE inhibitors and how do they work?
The class of drugs called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, as the class name suggests, reduces the activity of angiotensin converting enzyme. ACE converts angiotensin I pr"...
Anaphylactoid and Possibly Related Reactions
Presumably because angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors affect the metabolism of eicosanoids and polypeptides, including endogenous bradykinin, patients receiving ACE inhibitors (including ACEON) may be subject to a variety of adverse events, some of them serious. Black patients receiving ACE inhibitors have a higher incidence of angioedema compared to nonblacks.
Head and Neck Angioedema
Angioedema of the face, extremities, lips, tongue, glottis, or larynx has been reported in patients treated with ACE inhibitors, including ACEON (0.1% of patients treated with ACEON in U.S. clinical trials). Angioedema associated with involvement of the tongue, glottis or larynx may be fatal. In such cases, discontinue ACEON treatment immediately and observe until the swelling disappears. When involvement of the tongue, glottis, or larynx appears likely to cause airway obstruction, administer appropriate therapy, such as subcutaneous epinephrine solution 1:1000 (0.3 to 0.5 mL), promptly.
Intestinal angioedema has been reported in patients treated with ACE inhibitors. These patients presented with abdominal pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); in some cases there was no prior history of facial angioedema and C-1 esterase levels were normal. The angioedema was diagnosed by procedures including abdominal CT scan or ultrasound, or at surgery, and symptoms resolved after stopping the ACE inhibitor. Intestinal angioedema should be included in the differential diagnosis of patients on ACE inhibitors presenting with abdominal pain.
ACEON can cause symptomatic hypotension. ACEON has been associated with hypotension in 0.3% of uncomplicated hypertensive patients in U.S. placebo-controlled trials. Symptoms related to orthostatic hypotension were reported in another 0.8% of patients.
Symptomatic hypotension is most likely to occur in patients who have been volume or salt-depleted as a result of prolonged diuretic therapy, dietary salt restriction, dialysis, diarrhea or vomiting [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
ACE inhibitors may cause excessive hypotension, and may be associated with oliguria or azotemia, and rarely with acute renal failure and death. In patients with ischemic heart disease or cerebrovascular disease, an excessive fall in blood pressure could result in a myocardial infarction or a cerebrovascular accident.
In patients at risk of excessive hypotension, ACEON therapy should be started under very close medical supervision. Patients should be followed closely for the first two weeks of treatment and whenever the dose of ACEON and/or diuretic is increased.
If excessive hypotension occurs, the patient should be placed immediately in a supine position and, if necessary, treated with an intravenous infusion of physiological saline. ACEON treatment can usually be continued following restoration of volume and blood pressure.
ACE inhibitors have been associated with agranulocytosis and bone marrow depression, most frequently in patients with renal impairment, especially patients with a collagen vascular disease such as systemic lupus erythematosus or scleroderma.
Fetal/Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality
ACE inhibitors can cause fetal and neonatal morbidity and death when administered to pregnant women. Several dozen cases have been reported in the world literature. When pregnancy is detected, ACE inhibitors should be discontinued as soon as possible.
The use of ACE inhibitors during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy has been associated with fetal and neonatal injury, including hypotension, neonatal skull hypoplasia, anuria, reversible or irreversible renal failure and death. Oligohydramnios has also been reported, presumably resulting from decreased fetal renal function; oligohydramnios in this setting has been associated with fetal limb contractures, craniofacial deformation and hypoplastic lung development.
Prematurity, intrauterine growth retardation, patent ductus arteriosus, and other structural cardiac malformations, as well as neurologic malformations, have been reported following exposure to ACE inhibitors during the first trimester of pregnancy.
When patients become pregnant, healthcare providers should make every effort to discontinue the use of ACEON as soon as possible. Rarely (probably less often than once in every thousand pregnancies), no alternative to ACE inhibitors will be found. In these rare cases, the mothers should be apprised of the potential hazards to their fetuses, and serial ultrasound examinations should be performed to assess the intra-amniotic environment.
If oligohydramnios is observed, ACEON® (perindopril erbumine) should be discontinued unless it is considered life-saving for the mother. Contraction stress testing (CST), a non-stress test (NST) or biophysical profiling (BPP) may be appropriate, depending upon the week of pregnancy. Patients and healthcare providers should be aware, however, that oligohydramnios may not appear until after the fetus has sustained irreversible injury.
Infants with histories of in utero exposure to ACE inhibitors should be closely observed for hypotension, oliguria and hyperkalemia. If oliguria occurs, attention should be directed toward support of blood pressure and renal perfusion. Exchange transfusion or dialysis may be required as a means of reversing hypotension and/or substituting for disordered renal function. Perindopril, which crosses the placenta, can theoretically be removed from the neonatal circulation by these means, but limited experience has not shown that such removal is central to the treatment of these infants.
Impaired Renal Function
As a consequence of inhibiting the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, changes in renal function may be anticipated in susceptible individuals. Renal function should be monitored periodically in patients receiving ACEON [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
In patients with severe congestive heart failure, where renal function may depend on the activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, treatment with ACE inhibitors, including ACEON, may be associated with oliguria, progressive azotemia, and, rarely, acute renal failure and death.
In hypertensive patients with unilateral or bilateral renal artery stenosis, increases in blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine may occur; usually reversible upon discontinuation of the ACE inhibitor. In such patients, renal function should be monitored during the first few weeks of therapy.
Some ACEON-treated patients have developed minor and transient increases in blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine especially in those concomitantly treated with a diuretic.
Elevations of serum potassium have been observed in some patients treated with ACE inhibitors, including ACEON. Most cases were isolated single values that did not appear clinically relevant and were rarely a cause for withdrawal. Risk factors for the development of hyperkalemia include renal insufficiency, diabetes mellitus and the concomitant use of agents such as potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements and/or potassium-containing salt substitutes [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Serum potassium should be monitored periodically in patients receiving ACEON.
Presumably because of the inhibition of the degradation of endogenous bradykinin, persistent nonproductive cough has been reported with all ACE inhibitors, generally resolving after discontinuation of therapy. Consider ACE inhibitor-induced cough in the differential diagnosis of cough.
Rarely, ACE inhibitors have been associated with a syndrome that starts with cholestatic jaundice and progresses to fulminant hepatic necrosis and sometimes death. The mechanism of this syndrome is not understood. Patients receiving ACE inhibitors who develop jaundice or marked elevations of hepatic enzymes should discontinue the ACE inhibitor and receive appropriate medical follow-up.
In patients undergoing surgery or during anesthesia with agents that produce hypotension, ACEON may block angiotensin II formation that would otherwise occur secondary to compensatory renin release. Hypotension attributable to this mechanism can be corrected by volume expansion.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
No evidence of carcinogenic effect was observed in studies in rats and mice when perindopril was administered at dosages up to 20 times (mg/kg) or 2 to 4 times (mg/m²) the maximum proposed clinical doses (16 mg/day) for 104 weeks.
No genotoxic potential was detected for ACEON, perindoprilat and other metabolites in various in vitro and in vivo investigations, including the Ames test, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae D4 test, cultured human lymphocytes, TK ± mouse lymphoma assay, mouse and rat micronucleus tests and Chinese hamster bone marrow assay.
Impairment of Fertility
There was no meaningful effect on reproductive performance or fertility in the rat given up to 30 times (mg/kg) or 6 times (mg/m²) the proposed maximum clinical dosage of ACEON during the period of spermatogenesis in males or oogenesis and gestation in females.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category D [see BOXED WARNING and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Radioactivity was detectable in fetuses after administration of 14C-perindopril to pregnant rats.
Milk of lactating rats contained radioactivity following administration of 14C-perindopril. It is not known whether perindopril is secreted in human milk. Because many drugs are secreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when ACEON is given to nursing mothers.
Safety and effectiveness of ACEON in pediatric patients have not been established.
The mean blood pressure effect of perindopril was somewhat smaller in patients over 60 than in younger patients, although the difference was not significant. Plasma concentrations of both perindopril and perindoprilat were increased in elderly patients compared to concentrations in younger patients. No adverse effects were clearly increased in older patients with the exception of dizziness and possibly rash.
Start at a low dose and titrate slowly as needed. Monitor for dizziness because of potential for falls.
Experience with ACEON in elderly patients at daily doses exceeding 8 mg is limited.
The bioavailability of perindoprilat is increased in patients with impaired hepatic function [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Last reviewed on RxList: 4/19/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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