Altace is part of a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors. ACE stands for angiotensin-converting enzyme. Altace helps to block the angiotensin-converting enzyme, which is normally part of a reaction in the body that causes blood vessels to narrow (constrict). By blocking this enzyme, Altace causes blood vessels to relax, which can lower blood pressure.
By helping blood vessels relax, Altace also increases the efficiency of the heart. This means that the heart does not have to work as hard and more blood can be pumped out to the rest of the body. Both of these are helpful for a person with congestive heart failure.
Altace has not been approved for use in children.
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Altace for treating something other than the conditions listed above. This is called an "off-label" use. Some off-label uses of Altace include using it to treat kidney problems in people with scleroderma (which is hardening and thickening of the skin).