|Trade names||Altace, others|
|Defined daily dose||2.5 mg|
|Protein binding||73% (ramipril)|
|Metabolism||Liver, to ramiprilat|
|Elimination half-life||13 to 17 hours|
|Excretion||Kidney (60%) and fecal (40%)|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||416.518 g·mol−1|
|3D model (JSmol)|
|Melting point||109 °C (228 °F)|
Ramipril, sold under the brand name Altace among others, is a medication used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and diabetic kidney disease. Also used to prevent cardiovascular disease in those at high risk. It is a reasonable initial treatment for high blood pressure. It is taken by mouth.
Common side effects include headaches, dizziness, feeling tired, and cough. Serious side effects may include liver problems, angioedema, kidney problems, and high blood potassium. Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding is not recommended. It is an ACE inhibitor and works by decreasing renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system activity.
Ramipril was patented in 1981 and approved for medical use in 1989. It is available as a generic medication. A month supply in the United Kingdom costs the NHS less than £1 as of 2020. In the United States, the wholesale cost of this amount is about US$2. In 2017, it was the 134th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than five million prescriptions.
Medical uses include:
- High blood pressure
- Congestive heart failure
- Following heart attack in people with evidence of heart failure
- People over 55 years at high risk: prevention of heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular death, or need of revascularization procedures
- Kidney damage due to diabetes with protein in the urine (In low doses it is used as a prophylaxis for developing nephropathy and related secondary cardiovascular events.)
- Dry cough
- Dizziness and light-headedness due to low blood pressure
- Fatigue, especially in the early stages
- Mouth dryness in the early stages
- Signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, persistent sore throat)
- Chest pain
- Neutropenia (low white blood cells)
- Impotence (erectile dysfunction)
Serious allergic reactions to this drug are unlikely, but immediate medical attention must be sought if they occur. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include, but are not limited to a rash or swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat. In extreme cases, ramipril may lead to potentially fatal liver problems.
Contraindications to its use include renovascular disease (impaired blood flow in the kidneys), severe kidney impairment (especially in patients with one kidney or with bilateral renal artery stenosis), people who are volume-depleted, a history of angioedema while on an ACE inhibitors, pregnancy and hypotension.
People should not take ramipril (or any ACE inhibitors) if they have hyperkalemia. It is also recommended to avoid using salt-substitutes as this can further increase potassium levels in the blood.
Mechanism of action
ACE inhibitors inhibit the actions of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), thereby lowering the production of angiotensin II and decreasing the breakdown of bradykinin. The decrease in angiotensin II results in relaxation of arteriole smooth muscle leading to a decrease in total peripheral resistance, reducing blood pressure as the blood is pumped through widened vessels. Its effect on bradykinin is responsible for the dry cough side effect.
Ramipril, a prodrug or precursor drug, is converted to the active metabolite ramiprilat by carboxylesterase 1. Ramiprilat is mostly excreted by the kidneys. Its half-life is variable (3–16 hours), and is prolonged by heart and liver failure, as well as kidney failure.
Society and culture
A month supply of 2.5mg/day in the United Kingdom costs the NHS less than £1 as of 2020. In the United States, the wholesale cost of this amount is about US$2. In 2017, it was the 134th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than five million prescriptions.
The compound was protected by a patent which was assigned to the German pharmaceutical company Hoechst AG (since merged into Aventis) on 29 October 1991. The patent was scheduled to expire on 29 October 2008. On 11 September 2007, in an appeal by the Indian company Lupin Ltd., the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a district court trial verdict and found that Aventis's patent on ramipril was invalid for "obviousness", opening this drug to generic manufacturers.
It is marketed as Prilace by Arrow Pharmaceuticals in Australia, Ramipro by Westfield Pharma in the Philippines, Tritace by Sanofi-Aventis in Italy and United States and Altace by King Pharmaceuticals in the United States, Novapril by Pharmanova in Ghana, Ramitens by PharmaSwiss, Ampril by Krka in Slovenia, Corpril by Cemelog-BRS in Hungary, Piramil and Prilinda by Hemofarm in Serbia, by Lek in Poland and by Novartis and Opsonin Pharma Limited as Ramace in Bangladesh, and in Canada as Altace (Sonfi) and Ramipril (Pharmascience).
Ramipril is marketed in India under the brand names Cardace, Zigpril, Ramistar, Odipril and Zorem . Ramipril is marketed in Myanmar under brand name Endpril .
The Heart Outcomes and Prevention Evaluation trial seemed to show ramipril possessed cardioprotective qualities which extended beyond its qualities as an antihypertensive. However, the trial and the interpretation of its results have been criticised.
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