ACE Inhibitors

ACE Inhibitor Lawsuit

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are used to control high blood pressure. They are often prescribed to prevent stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease, and improve survival in people who have already had heart attacks. ACE inhibitors can cause birth defects in the children of women who take them during any phase of pregnancy. If you have taken this and suffered injury, you may have a potential ACE inhibitor lawsuit.

ACE Inhibitor Medications

ACE inhibitors lower blood pressure by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme that produces a chemical in the body which causes the muscles around the blood vessels to contract. When those muscles contract the blood vessels are narrowed, increasing blood pressure.

There are a number of ACE inhibitor drugs including:

  • Accupril (quinapril)
  • Aceon (perindopril)
  • Altace (ramipril)
  • Capoten (captopril)
  • Lotensin (benazepril)
  • Mavik (trandolapril)
  • Monopril (fosinopril)
  • Prinivil (lisinopril)
  • Univasc (moexipril)
  • Vasotec (enalapril, enalaprilat)
  • Zestril (lisinopril)

ACE Inhibitor Birth Defects

During the last six months of pregnancy, ACE inhibitors can cause birth defects and fetal death. Kidney defects are of particular concern during this period.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, in 2006, found that babies exposed to ACE inhibitors only during the first trimester of pregnancy were at increased risk for the following types of birth defects:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Central nervous system
  • Genital
  • Urologic

ACE Inhibitors Dangerous in any Phase of Pregnancy

It was originally believed that ACE inhibitors were only dangerous during the last six months of pregnancy.  However, it later became known that ACE inhibitors also pose a risk to fetuses during the first trimester. If you were taking an ACE inhibitor during any part of your pregnancy and suffered a birth injury, you may have an ACE inhibitor lawsuit.

Pregnancy and Hypertension

High blood pressure (hypertension) during pregnancy can be very dangerous for both the mother and the baby. It can lead to fatal complications for either or both. Hypertension is the most common medical problem encountered in pregnancy.

Even though ACE inhibitors are very dangerous to unborn babies, women who are taking ACE inhibitors and become pregnant should not stop taking their medication without talking to their doctors about the risks and alternatives.

Both chronic hypertension and gestational hypertension (high blood pressure brought on by pregnancy) are on the rise. It is believed that rising obesity rates and the fact that women are having babies later in life may be contributing factors.

If your child suffered birth defects after you took ACE inhibitors during pregnancy, you may be entitled to compensation. Please, schedule a consultation with a local injury attorney right away to see if you have an ACE inhibitor lawsuit.