Altace Precautions and Warnings
Altace precautions and warnings include not using Altace in conjunction with salt substitutes containing potassium (unless directed by your healthcare provider). Other Altace precautions and warnings involve interactions with other medications such as diuretics as well as an increased risk of infection. Make sure you are aware of all Altace precautions and warnings to ensure safe use of the medicine.
Altace: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Altace® (ramipril) if you have:
- Heart disease, including congestive heart failure, aortic stenosis, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Liver disease, including cirrhosis
- Kidney disease or kidney failure
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus or SLE)
- A personal or family history of angioedema, which is swelling under the skin
- Any allergies, including allergies to ACE inhibitors, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
- Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Are on dialysis
- Will be undergoing surgery or anesthesia.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
- There are a number of medicines that Altace can interact with (see Altace Drug Interactions).
- ACE inhibitors are more likely than other drugs to cause allergic reactions. For example, there have been reports of severe allergic reactions occurring in people on Altace during dialysis. There have also been reports of severe reactions in people getting bee or wasp venom to protect against stings.
Make sure to discuss these risks with your healthcare provider. Also, seek emergency medical attention immediately if you notice things such as hives, an unexplained rash, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face or throat.
- ACE inhibitors may cause swelling (angioedema) of the head and neck, including the tongue, lips, eyes, or throat. This occurs more frequently in African Americans. Seek emergency medical care immediately if you notice swelling in the head or neck area, or if you have wheezing, difficulty breathing, or difficulty swallowing.
- In addition to head and neck angioedema, ACE inhibitors have been known to cause swelling in the intestines. This is known as intestinal angioedema. Symptoms may include but are not limited to stomach pain with or without vomiting. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop any of these symptoms.
- Altace may cause extreme low blood pressure in some people. Extreme low blood pressure is more likely to happen in people who are taking a diuretic, who are on dialysis, who are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting, or who sweat a lot. This is why it is important to drink fluids regularly while taking Altace. If you have any possible symptoms of low blood pressure, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting, contact your healthcare provider and stop taking the medicine.
Also, make sure not to drive, operate any heavy machinery, or perform any other tasks that require alertness before you know how Altace affects you.
- People on Altace can be at increased risk of infections. Talk to your healthcare provider if you develop any infections, such as a sore throat or fever.
- Altace is a pregnancy Category D medicine, meaning that Altace can pose health risks to your unborn child. Let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking Altace, contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Altace and Pregnancy for more information).
- ACE inhibitors, including Altace, are known to cause a cough. If a cough becomes bothersome, talk to your healthcare provider about alternate options for your condition (see Altace Cough).
- While taking Altace, do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes with potassium unless you have discussed this with your doctor. This is because in some people taking Altace, potassium in the blood can increase to dangerous levels.
- This medication may cause a decrease in kidney function, especially in people who are elderly, have kidney disease, have severe congestive heart failure (CHF), or are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or diuretics (water pills). Your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your kidney function with a blood test while you are taking it. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice a decrease in urination or swelling in your hands, legs, ankles, or feet, which can be signs of kidney problems.
- In clinical studies, ACE inhibitors, including Altace, have rarely been known to cause liver failure. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice things like nausea, tiredness, lethargy, itchy or yellowing skin, abdominal pain, or flu-like symptoms.
- If you are breastfeeding, it is not known whether or not Altace passes through your milk. Therefore, if you are nursing, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should stop taking Altace or stop breastfeeding.