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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Altace

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An indi vidual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 11/16/1999]
Question: My doctor recently put me on Zestoretic 10/12.5 for mildly high blood pressure. However, I recently read about a recent study touting the benefits of a hypertension medication called Altace (ramipril), which indicates that the latter medication *could prevent cardiovascular deaths, heart attacks and stroke in 22 percent of patients at risk for cardiovascular disease.*

It also says that *A significantly fewer number of people in the ramipril group developed diabetes versus the placebo group.* Since my dad had diabetes, I would naturally like to lower my risk of contracting that disease.

(This study is on the Web at http://www.monarchpharm.com/index.cgi?CONTEXT=nrcrnt&BISKIT=94229066721305&id=30&year= )

My question is, is Zestoritic in the same category of medications as Altace, and am I getting similar benefits, or should I try to get my doctor to switch me to Altace? Is there a significant cost difference in the two drugs, or some other reason (other than which is the best for the task) that might influence my doctor's decision as to which drug to prescribe? I don't want to be overly influenced by a study that a pharmaceutical company may have *bought and paid for*, but I still have that nagging doubt that maybe for some reason I'd be better off Altace. So, I'd really appreciate an impartial opinion as to the differences in the two medications, and whether Altace is really any better than Zestoretic.

Answer: They are both ACE inhibitors(angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors). Clinically, I doubt that there would be a difference between the two in terms of the study. However, you can take Alcace plus a diuretic (two pills) and achieve the same effect as the combination he/she placed you on. I use them interchangeably.

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