Angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors belong to the class of medicines called high blood pressure medicines (antihypertensives). High blood pressure/hypertension affects millions of people worldwide. ACE inhibitors are used for controlling blood pressure, treating heart failure, and preventing kidney damage in people with hypertension or diabetes.
ACE inhibitors are one of the most widely used drugs in treating high blood pressure. The first ACE inhibitor, captopril, came on the market 25 years ago. There is an estimated average of 42 million prescriptions written each year. Of these prescriptions, 2.7 million of them were written for women of childbearing age in 2002.
Some ACE Inhibitors include:
- Capoten (captopril)
- Vasotec (enalapril)
- Prinivil, Zestril (lisinopril)
- Lotensin (benazepril)
- Monopril (fosinopril)
- Altace (ramipril)
- Accupril (quinapril)
- Aceon (perindopril)
- Mavik (trandolapril)
- Univasc (moexipril)
A June 8, 2006 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine links blood pressure medications, known as ACE inhibitors, to increased risk of major birth defects.
Previously, these medications were thought to be safe when taken early in pregnancy. But, this study shows that babies whose mothers take ACE inhibitors during their first trimester are more than twice as likely to be born with serious heart and brain problems.
Currently, ACE inhibitors carry a “black box” warning by the Food and Drug Administration, alerting users about the dangers in later stages of pregnancy. The label says that drugs should be discontinued when pregnancy is detected.
This new study raises concerns about the lack of safety data for many drugs that are prescribed to pregnant women.
If you or a loved one has used ACE inhibitors and had a child who was born with a birth defect, contact us today to see if you may have a personal injury claim.