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Dr AW, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 127
Experience:  MBBS with hospital experience as SHO in a wide variety of fields
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Can I stop taking my ramipril, my gp has asked me to do so

Customer Question

Can I stop taking my ramipril, my gp has asked me to do so as i have high level of potassium in my blood, and a dry unproductive cough persistent
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr AW replied 8 years ago.

Ramipril (an ACE inhibitor antihypertensive drug) can cause hyperkalaemia (high potasium level in the blood) which if left high can cause other problems such as heart abnormal heart rythms.

Another possible side effect of ACE inhibitors is a dry cough.

Stopping the ramipril is a sensible course of action and indicated in hyperkalaemia.

If there is still hyptension then there are other classes of antihypertensives that can be prescribed such as calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, diuretics, alpha blockers.

Additionally you are correct, ramipril has been shown in studies to be less effective in blacks then in caucasians.

I hope this information is useful, feel free to reply for any clarification

Dr AW and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
my resting BP is 135 over 94 and i woke up with a fact whilst i was still taking the med i had /have frequent headaches on waking i last took the ramiprill 48 hrs ago. I often feel sleepy all day and often do sleep all day on and off when I can.My head just feels 'not right' ! kind of heavy and slugish..with poor recall. I am sorry to go on but I am concerned..
Expert:  Dr AW replied 8 years ago.

The diastolic blood pressure is on the high side. However it is wise to have this monitored by your GP to advise on treatment.

Ramipril can cause headaches. However this doesn't mean that this was the cause of your headache, as there are multiple possible causes for headache.

The other symptoms you describe are feeling sleepy and sluggish. Again there are lots of possible reasons for this. These can include depression, electrolyte abnormality from the side effects of ramipril which is reversible, hypotension secondary to the ramipril, other possible metabolic abnormalities etc. If you are having lots of stress at the moment this could be giving the headaches, result in night time sleeplessness and daytime sleepiness.

Given these symptoms it would be sensible to see your GP who will most likely perform a neuro exam and screen for depression. You will also need blood tests to monitor that potassium and renal function to check this returns to normal, rule out anaemia, check thyroid function to rule out hypothyroid, glucose check to rule out diabetes.

I hope this information is useful, feel free to reply for any clarification