What is Altace?
The active ingredient of Altace is Ramipril – an ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor. Altace is used to bring the blood pressure to acceptable levels, which prolongs the patient’s life.
What are the indications for using Altace?
Altace is used as a treatment for hypertension. This reduces the risk of nonfatal and fatal cardiovascular event, which first of all includes strokes and heart attacks. These benefits have been proven in randomized studies. Aside from this drug, the patient should also undergo a cardiovascular risk management that includes lipid control, antithrombotic therapy, diabetes management, limited sodium intake, exercise, and smoking cessation.
What is the dosage for Altace?
- Treatment of hypertension:
The initial dose of Altace is 2.5 mg per day. The dosage is then adjusted and can be anywhere from 2.5 to 20 mg every day, which can be taken as a single dose or separated into two. Some patients require two administrations per day since the effect of the drug diminishes after about 12 hours. If the blood pressure cannot be lowered to acceptable levels using Altace alone, a diuretic can also be added.
- Risk reduction of stroke, heart attack, and death from other cardiovascular causes:
The treatment starts out by administering 2.5 mg of Altace once/day for 7 days straight. Then the dosage is increased to 5 mg/day for the next three weeks. After that, the dosage can once again be increased to 10 mg/day if the patient can tolerate it well.
- Treatment of heart failure after a heart attack:
Patients that develop congestive heart failure after a heart attack should start taking Altace in the initial dose of 2.5 mg two times per day. If the blood pressure drops below the recommended levels, the dose can be lowered to 1.25 mg two times per day. After one week on the 1.25 mg dosage, the dose can be increased if the patient is tolerating it well till 5 mg two times per day.
What are the contraindications for using Altace?
First of all Altace is contraindicated for women who are pregnant, since renin-angiotensin inhibitors can cause death of the unborn child if they are administered during pregnancy. Other contraindications include severe renal impairment, renovascular disease, history of angioedema, and allergy to any of its components.
What are the adverse effects of Altace?
If the patient notices any of the following symptoms, he should call his doctor immediately. The most common symptoms include sweating, lightheadedness, faintness, dizziness, confusion, weakness and blurred vision (these symptoms are usually the result of hypotension). Less common side effects are chills, chest tightness, cloudy urine, chest pain, arm, back and jaw pain, fainting, nausea and shortness of breath.
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