Categories: Nephrology

Why do ACE inhibitors cause cough?

A dry and often bothersome cough is the most common adverse effect of ACE inhibitors. Recent studies indicate that cough may develop in ~10% of the patients treated with ACE inhibitors.

WHY? Mechanism unknown. It is thought to likely involve the protussive mediators: 1) bradykinin and 2) substance P. Normally they would be degraded by ACE and when using ACEi they accumulate in the lungs causing a cough.

REFERENCES

  1. Dicpinigaitis PV. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor-induced cough: ACCP evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest. 2006 Jan;129(1 Suppl):169S-173S.
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Dr. C Humphreys

Internal Medicine

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