What is the Difference Between ACE Inhibitors and Beta Blockers

The main difference between ACE inhibitors and beta blockers is that ACE inhibitors work by blocking the activity of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), whereas beta blockers work by blocking the activity of beta receptors in the body.

In brief, ACE inhibitors and beta blockers are two classes of drugs that are commonly used to treat high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions.

Key Areas Covered

1. What are ACE Inhibitors
     – Definition, Mechanism of Action
2. What are Beta Blockers
     – Definition, Mechanism of Action
3. Similarities Between ACE Inhibitors and Beta Blockers
     – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between ACE Inhibitors and Beta Blockers
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

ACE Inhibitors, Beta Blockers

Difference Between ACE Inhibitors and Beta Blockers - Comparison Summary

What are ACE Inhibitors

ACE inhibitors are a group of medicines used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and other cardiovascular conditions. These medications work by inhibiting the action of the angiotensin-converting enzyme, which is responsible for converting angiotensin I to angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is a potent vasoconstrictor that can increase blood pressure and cause other cardiovascular effects. Therefore, by blocking the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II, ACE inhibitors reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow. It also improves endothelial function, reduces oxidative stress, and decreases inflammation.

ACE inhibitors are classified as either short-acting or long-acting depending on their duration of action. Examples of ACE inhibitors include benazepril, lisinopril, captopril, and enalapril.

Compare ACE Inhibitors and Beta Blockers - What's the difference?

However, there are a few side effects of ACE inhibitors. The most common side effect of ACE inhibitors is a dry cough, which can be persistent and may require discontinuation of the medication. Moreover, the other common side effects include hypotension, dizziness, and hyperkalemia. It also causes angioedema, which is a rare but serious side effect. It is the swelling of the face, lips, and tongue or throat, which can cause difficulty in breathing.

What are Beta Blockers

Beta-blockers, also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents, are used to treat hypertension, heart failure, and other cardiovascular conditions. They work by blocking the action of beta-adrenergic receptors, which can reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and other cardiovascular effects.

The beta-adrenergic receptors are located in the heart, lungs, and other tissues and are activated by the neurotransmitter epinephrine and norepinephrine. Once activated, these receptors can increase the heart rate, blood pressure, and other cardiovascular effects. Furthermore, by blocking the action of beta-adrenergic receptors, beta-blockers can reduce the heart rate, blood pressure, and other cardiovascular effects.

ACE Inhibitors vs Beta Blockers

Moreover, beta-blockers are used to prevent, treat or improve symptoms in people who have irregular heart rhythms, heart failure, chest pain, heart attacks, migraine, and certain types of tremors. Some examples of beta blockers are acebutolol, bisoprolol, metoprolol, nadolol, and propranolol. Common side effects of beta blockers can include cold hands or feet, fatigue, and weight gain. However, the less common side effects include depression, shortness of breath, and trouble sleeping.

Similarities Between ACE Inhibitors and Beta Blockers

  • ACE inhibitors and beta blockers are used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and cardiovascular conditions.
  • Both can have potential side effects, such as dizziness or fatigue.
  • Moreover, both medications require a prescription from a healthcare professional.

Difference Between ACE Inhibitors and Beta Blockers

Definition

ACE inhibitors are drugs that work by blocking the activity of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), whereas beta-blockers are drugs that work by blocking the activity of beta receptors in the body.

Mechanism of Action

ACE inhibitors block the action of the angiotensin-converting enzyme, which results in the dilation of blood vessels and a decrease in blood pressure, while beta blockers block the action of epinephrine and norepinephrine in the heart, which results in a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure.

Diseases

Moreover, ACE inhibitors are commonly used to treat hypertension, heart failure, and diabetic kidney disease, while beta blockers are commonly used to treat hypertension, angina, arrhythmias, and heart failure.

Side Effects

Side effects of ACE inhibitors are dry cough, hypotension, dizziness, hyperkalemia, and angioedema, while side effects of beta blockers are cold hands or feet, fatigue, weight gain, depression, shortness of breath, and trouble sleeping.

Drugs

Examples of ACE inhibitors include benazepril, lisinopril, captopril, and enalapril, while examples of beta blockers include acebutolol, bisoprolol, metoprolol, nadolol, and propranolol.

Conclusion

In brief, the main difference between ACE inhibitors and beta blockers is their mechanism of action. ACE inhibitors block the action of the angiotensin-converting enzyme, which results in the dilation of blood vessels and a decrease in blood pressure, while beta blockers block the action of epinephrine and norepinephrine in the heart, which results in a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure.

Reference:

1. “Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.” Mayo Clinic.org
2. “Beta blockers.” Mayo Clinic.org

Image Courtesy:

1. “ACE in complex with inhibitor lisinopril” By Ivvanjak – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Synthesis of β-blockers” By Vaccinationist – (1998) Strategies for Organic Drug Synthesis and Design, Category: New York: Wiley, pp. 37–41 Retrieved on 9 March 2016. ISBN: 0-471-19657-6. (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

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