"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"...
ALTACE (ramipril capsules) has been evaluated for safety in over 4,000 patients with hypertension; of these, 1,230 patients were studied in US controlled trials, and 1,107 were studied in foreign controlled trials. Almost 700 of these patients were treated for at least one year. The overall incidence of reported adverse events was similar in ALTACE (ramipril capsules) and placebo patients. The most frequent clinical side effects (possibly or probably related to study drug) reported by patients receiving ALTACE (ramipril capsules) in US placebo-controlled trials were: headache (5.4%), "dizziness" (2.2%) and fatigue or asthenia (2.0%), but only the last was more common in ALTACE (ramipril capsules) patients than in patients given placebo. Generally, the side effects were mild and transient, and there was no relation to total dosage within the range of 1.25 to 20 mg. Discontinuation of therapy because of a side effect was required in approximately 3% of US patients treated with ALTACE (ramipril capsules) . The most common reasons for discontinuation were: cough (1.0%), "dizziness" (0.5%), and impotence (0.4%). Of observed side effects considered possibly or probably related to study drug that occurred in US placebo-controlled trials in more than 1% of patients treated with ALTACE (ramipril capsules) , only asthenia (fatigue) was more common on Altace (ramipril capsules) than placebo (2% vs. 1%).
PATIENTS IN US PLACEBO CONTROLLED STUDIES
In placebo-controlled trials, there was also an excess of upper respiratory infection and flu syndrome in the ramipril group, not attributed at that time to ramipril. As these studies were carried out before the relationship of cough to ACE inhibitors was recognized, some of these events may represent ramipril-induced cough. In a later 1-year study, increased cough was seen in almost 12% of ramipril patients, with about 4% of patients requiring discontinuation of treatment.
Heart Failure Post Myocardial Infarction
Adverse reactions (except laboratory abnormalities) considered possibly/probably related to study drug that occurred in more than one percent of patients and more frequently on ramipril are shown below. The incidences represent the experiences from the AIRE study. The follow-up time was between 6 and 46 months for this study.
Percentage of Patients with Adverse Events Possibly/ Probably
Related to Study Drug
Placebo-Controlled (AIRE) Mortality Study
|Abnormal Kidney Function||1||0.5|
Safety data in the HOPE trial were collected as reasons for discontinuation or temporary interruption of treatment. The incidence of cough was similar to that seen in the AIRE trial. The rate of angioedema was the same as in previous clinical trials (see WARNINGS).
|Discontinuation at any time||34||32|
|Reasons for stopping Cough||7||2|
|Hypotension or Dizziness||1.9||1.5|
Other adverse experiences reported in controlled clinical trials (in less than 1% of ramipril patients), or rarer events seen in postmarketing experience, include the following (in some, a causal relationship to drug use is uncertain):
Body As a Whole: Anaphylactoid reactions. (See WARNINGS.)
Renal: Some hypertensive patients with no apparent pre-existing renal disease have developed minor, usually transient, increases in blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine when taking ALTACE (ramipril capsules) , particularly when ALTACE (ramipril capsules) was given concomitantly with a diuretic. (See WARNINGS.) Acute renal failure.
Angioneurotic Edema: Angioneurotic edema has been reported in 0.3% of patients in US clinical trials. (See WARNINGS.)
Gastrointestinal: Hepatic failure, hepatitis, jaundice, pancreatitis, abdominal pain (sometimes with enzyme changes suggesting pancreatitis), anorexia, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, dyspepsia, dysphagia, gastroenteritis, increased salivation and taste disturbance.
Dermatologic: Apparent hypersensitivity reactions (manifested by urticaria, pruritus, or rash, with or without fever), photosensitivity, purpura, onycholysis, pemphigus, pemphigoid, erythema multiforme, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Neurologic and Psychiatric: Anxiety, amnesia, convulsions, depression, hearing loss, insomnia, nervousness, neuralgia, neuropathy, paresthesia, somnolence, tinnitus, tremor, vertigo, and vision disturbances.
Miscellaneous: As with other ACE inhibitors, a symptom complex has been reported which may include a positive ANA, an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, arthralgia/arthritis, myalgia, fever, vasculitis, eosinophilia, photosensitivity, rash and other dermatologic manifestations. Additionally, as with other ACE inhibitors, eosinophilic pneumonitis has been reported.
Fetal/Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality. See WARNINGS : Fetal/Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality .
Post-Marketing Experience: In addition to adverse events reported from clinical trials, there have been rare reports of hypoglycemia reported during ALTACE (ramipril capsules) therapy when given to patients concomitantly taking oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin. The causal relationship is unknown.
Clinical Laboratory Test Findings
Creatinine and Blood Urea Nitrogen: Increases in creatinine levels occurred in 1.2% of patients receiving ALTACE (ramipril capsules) alone, and in 1.5% of patients receiving ALTACE (ramipril capsules) and a diuretic. Increases in blood urea nitrogen levels occurred in 0.5% of patients receiving ALTACE (ramipril capsules) alone and in 3% of patients receiving ALTACE (ramipril capsules) with a diuretic. None of these increases required discontinuation of treatment. Increases in these laboratory values are more likely to occur in patients with renal insufficiency or those pretreated with a diuretic and, based on experience with other ACE inhibitors, would be expected to be especially likely in patients with renal artery stenosis. (See WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS.) Since ramipril decreases aldosterone secretion, elevation of serum potassium can occur. Potassium supplements and potassium-sparing diuretics should be given with caution, and the patient's serum potassium should be monitored frequently. (See WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS.)
Hemoglobin and Hematocrit: Decreases in hemoglobin or hematocrit (a low value and a decrease of 5 g/dl or 5% respectively) were rare, occurring in 0.4% of patients receiving ALTACE (ramipril capsules) alone and in 1.5% of patients receiving ALTACE (ramipril capsules) plus a diuretic. No US patients discontinued treatment because of decreases in hemoglobin or hematocrit.
Other (causal relationships unknown): Clinically important changes in standard laboratory tests were rarely associated with ALTACE (ramipril capsules) administration. Elevations of liver enzymes, serum bilirubin, uric acid, and blood glucose have been reported, as have cases of hyponatremia and scattered incidents of leukopenia, eosinophilia, and proteinuria. In US trials, less than 0.2% of patients discontinued treatment for laboratory abnormalities; all of these were cases of proteinuria or abnormal liver-function tests.
Read the Altace Capsules (ramipril capsules) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Gold: Nitritoid reactions (symptoms include facial flushing, nausea, vomiting and hypotension) have been reported rarely in patients on therapy with injectable gold (sodium aurothiomalate) and concomitant ACE inhibitor therapy including ALTACE (ramipril capsules) .
With nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents: Rarely, concomitant treatment with ACE inhibitors and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents have been associated with worsening of renal failure and an increase in serum potassium.
With diuretics: Patients on diuretics, especially those in whom diuretic therapy was recently instituted, may occasionally experience an excessive reduction of blood pressure after initiation of therapy with ALTACE (ramipril capsules) . The possibility of hypotensive effects with ALTACE (ramipril capsules) can be minimized by either discontinuing the diuretic or increasing the salt intake prior to initiation of treatment with ALTACE (ramipril capsules) . If this is not possible, the starting dose should be reduced. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
With potassium supplements and potassium-sparing diuretics: ALTACE (ramipril capsules) can attenuate potassium loss caused by thiazide diuretics. Potassium-sparing diuretics (spironolactone, amiloride, triamterene, and others) or potassium supplements can increase the risk of hyperkalemia. Therefore, if concomitant use of such agents is indicated, they should be given with caution, and the patient's serum potassium should be monitored frequently.
With lithium: Increased serum lithium levels and symptoms of lithium toxicity have been reported in patients receiving ACE inhibitors during therapy with lithium. These drugs should be coadministered with caution, and frequent monitoring of serum lithium levels is recommended. If a diuretic is also used, the risk of lithium toxicity may be increased.
Other: Neither ALTACE (ramipril capsules) nor its metabolites have been found to interact with food, digoxin, antacid, furosemide, cimetidine, indomethacin, and simvastatin. The combination of ALTACE (ramipril capsules) and propranolol showed no adverse effects on dynamic parameters (blood pressure and heart rate). The co-administration of ALTACE (ramipril capsules) and warfarin did not adversely affect the anticoagulant effects of the latter drug. Additionally, co-administration of ALTACE (ramipril capsules) with phenprocoumon did not affect minimum phenprocoumon levels or interfere with the subjects' state of anti-coagulation.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
No evidence of a tumorigenic effect was found when ramipril was given by gavage to rats for up to 24 months at doses of up to 500 mg/kg/day or to mice for up to 18 months at doses of up to 1000 mg/kg/day. (For either species, these doses are about 200 times the maximum recommended human dose when compared on the basis of body surface area.) No mutagenic activity was detected in the Ames test in bacteria, the micronucleus test in mice, unscheduled DNA synthesis in a human cell line, or a forward gene-mutation assay in a Chinese hamster ovary cell line. Several metabolites and degradation products of ramipril were also negative in the Ames test. A study in rats with dosages as great as 500 mg/kg/day did not produce adverse effects on fertility.
Pregnancy Categories C (first trimester) and D (second and third trimesters). See WARNINGS : Fetal/Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality .
Ingestion of single 10 mg oral dose of ALTACE resulted in undetectable amounts of ramipril and its metabolites in breast milk. However, because multiple doses may produce low milk concentrations that are not predictable from single doses, women receiving ALTACE (ramipril capsules) should not breast feed.
Of the total number of patients who received ramipril in US clinical studies of ALTACE (ramipril capsules) 11.0% were 65 and over while 0.2% were 75 and over. No overall differences in effectiveness or safety were observed between these patients and younger patients, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
One pharmacokinetic study conducted in hospitalized elderly patients indicated that peak ramiprilat levels and area under the plasma concentration time curve (AUC) for ramiprilat are higher in older patients.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established. Irreversible kidney damage has been observed in very young rats given a single dose of ramipril.
Last reviewed on RxList: 6/12/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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