Side Effects of Ace Inhibitors & Beta Blockers

Both angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) and beta blockers are used in the treatment of high blood pressure, also called hypertension 1. ACE inhibitors work by easing the constriction of blood vessels in the body so your heart can pump at a regular rate rather than an accelerated rate. Beta blockers lessen the effects of the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline), which also relaxes blood vessels to make it easier for your heart to work properly.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

ACE Inhibitors

ACE inhibitors also may produce some side effects that aren’t serious and will go away with continued use. These include:

  • weakness
  • unusual ejaculation
  • belching
  • discouragement
  • lowered libido
  • indigestion
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • irritability
  • insomnia

Consult your doctor if they persist.

Beta Blockers

Serious side effects from beta blockers—those for which you should call your doctor—include:

  • mental confusion
  • blurry vision
  • chills
  • rapid heartbeat also known as tachycardia
  • anxiety
  • vomiting
  • decreased appetite
  • night blindness
  • tunnel vision
  • auditory
  • visual or sensory hallucinations
  • fever
  • double vision also called diplopia
  • throat soreness
  • mental or mood changes that are severe

Less serious and generally temporary side effects may include

  • erection pain
  • diarrhea
  • irritability
  • drowsiness
  • decreased libido
  • temporary hair loss
  • spinning sensations
  • concentration difficulties

Overdose Side Effects

Taking too much of any drug can cause some side effects. With ACE inhibitors, these include:

  • tachycardia
  • lightheadedness
  • seizures
  • confusion
  • bodily weakness
  • reduced urination

An overdose may require emergency medical treatment. For beta blockers, overdose side effects may include

  • abnormal dullness or weakness
  • speech slurring
  • nightmares
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • headaches
  • irregular breathing
  • even coma
The Wrap Up

Serious side effects from beta blockers—those for which you should call your doctor—include mental confusion, blurry vision, chills, rapid heartbeat also known as tachycardia, anxiety, vomiting, decreased appetite, night blindness, tunnel vision, auditory, visual or sensory hallucinations, fever, double vision also called diplopia, throat soreness and mental or mood changes that are severe. For beta blockers, overdose side effects may include abnormal dullness or weakness, speech slurring, nightmares, depression, anxiety, headaches, irregular breathing and even coma. With ACE inhibitors, these include tachycardia, lightheadedness, seizures, confusion, bodily weakness and reduced urination.

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