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Ramipril: Undertanding The Drug and Ramipril Side-Effects
Ramipril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor which is used to treat hypertension and congestive heart failure. ACE inhibitors lower the production of angiotensin II and therefore relax arterial muscles while simultaneously enlarging the arteries. This obviously allows the heart to pump blood more effectively and more easily. The main positive effect of this process is the increased rate of blood flow due to more blood being pumped through larger passages.

Ramipril is marketed by Sanofi-Aventis as Tritace and by King Pharmaceuticals as Altace. Ramipril is also marketed in India under the brand names Cardace, Zigpril and Zorem The compound was protected by the U.S. Patent Office and was originally scheduled to expire in October, 2008 when it was assigned to Aventis. In September, 2007, however, an appeal by Lupin Pharmaceuticals forced the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to reverse a district court trial verdict, finding that Aventis’ patent on Altace was invalid. The appeal cited the obviousness of the patent as reason for challenging validity. Such an obvious patent would render the patent useless, opening the gate of this medicine to generic manufacturers.

In terms of how Ramipril works, as a pro-drug, it is converted to the active metabolite ramiprilat by liver esterase enzymes. Ramiprilat is mostly excreted by the kidneys. The half-life of ramiprilat is variable and usually lasts between 3-16 hours though this is prolonged by heart and liver failure, as well as kidney failure.

Ramipril is often prescribed when patients show symptoms or indications of hypertension, which is one of the four main causes of heart failure. Ramipril is also deployed to combat congestive heart failure and following myocardial infarction in patients with clinical evidence of previous heart failure.

Ramipril can also be used as a preventative drug for susceptible patients over 55 years. It can be used to prevent myocardial infarction, stroke, cardiovascular death or dependency on revascularization procedures. The drug has also been given to patients battling diabetic nephropathy with micro-albuminuria. It should be noted that it is dangerous to take potassium supplements like Ramipril without seeking medical advice. Similarly, the drug is unsuitable to take while pregnant.

Ramipril can also be prescribed with increased risk when patients show contraindications such as acute renovascular disease, severe renal impairment (especially in patients with only one kidney or with bilateral renal artery stenosis), volume-depleted patients and in cases when the patient has a history of angioedema while on an ACE inhibitor.

The drug, Ramipril has several side-effects, some or all of which can occur when a patient is first subjected to treatment. The side-effects can also occur in different patients to various extents. The most common side-effects include the swelling of the mouth, tongue and or throat. Patients who are on other medication for ailments such as diabetes cane experience sweating and shaking as a side-effect of taking Ramipril, the result of an acute depletion of blood sugar levels. Some patients may develop a sore and very dry cough, dizziness and light-headedness due to low blood pressure.

Other side-effects include a decreased sex drive, tiredness and lethargy especially in the early stages of treatment. For these reasons, it is generally recommended that patients are started on the lowest dosage available, 1.25mg titrated very 1 - 2 weeks as required. You can buy Ramipril in other stronger dosages of 2.5mg, 5mg, and 10mg as well.

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