ACE Inhibitor Lawsuit
ACE Inhibitors and Lung Cancer
ACE inhibitors, a popular group of drugs used to treat high blood pressure, have been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer. Parker Waichman, LLP., is currently investigating the blood pressure medication side effects and accepting clients for potential ACE inhibitor lawsuits.
What are ACE inhibitor side effects?
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, also known as ACEIs or ACE inhibitors, are a class of medications prescribed to treat hypertension. ACE inhibitors dilate blood vessels in order to increase the flow of blood in the body.
Introduced in 1981, ACE inhibitors prevent enzymes from producing angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is a chemical compound that constricts blood vessels and releases hormones that raise blood pressure. By inhibiting these enzymes, ACEIs prevent angiotensin II from increasing a patient’s blood pressure.
ACE inhibitors are highly effective in controlling blood pressure, congestive heart failure, diabetes-related kidney damage, renal disease, and preventing stroke and cardiovascular disease. For this reason, ACE inhibitors are one of the most commonly prescribed medications in America for cardiovascular or renal conditions.
Physicians favor ACE inhibitors because they’ve been shown to prevent early death from hypertension, heart failure, or heart attacks. In studies of patients with cardiovascular conditions, patients who received an ACE inhibitor survived longer than patients who didn’t receive the medication in the control group.
Unfortunately, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has shown that ACE inhibitors may pose a previously unknown threat to patients who take the medication for an extended period of time: blood pressure medication and lung cancer. These and other side effects indicate there may be a potential ACE inhibitor lawsuit.
ACE Inhibitors Common Side Effects
ACE inhibitors have many side effects, which may be expected from the enormous amount of patients prescribed the high blood pressure medication each year. In March 2018, a study published in ResearchGate showed there are more than 10,000 ACE inhibitor prescriptions each year.
Common side effects of ACE inhibitors may include, but are not limited to:
- Chest pain
- Dry cough
- Metallic taste
- Sun sensitivity
- Muscle weakness
- Elevated potassium levels
- Increased uric acid levels
- Increased blood urea nitrogen
- Increased creatinine levels
- Increased risk of lung cancer
- Low blood pressure
There are also rare, much more severe side effects, such as:
- Allergic reactions
- Kidney failure
- Liver dysfunction
- White blood cell decrease
Although ACE inhibitor side effects range from unpleasant to severe, they’re all relatively well-known. That is, ACE inhibitor risks are printed on the box. However, recent research shows ACE inhibitors may increase the risk of lung cancer. Many patients taking ACE inhibitors for blood pressure are unaware of possible ACE inhibitor toxicity.
Do ACE inhibitors cause cancer?
A recent study, published in the British Medical Journal, linked ACE inhibitors to an increased risk of lung cancer when compared to similar medications known as angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). The study analyzed 992,061 people over 21 years to determine if ACE inhibitors could aid in cancerous growths in the lungs.
The theory was ACE inhibitors may increase the risk of lung cancer through the build-up of bradykinin and substance P in the lung, which has been found on lung cancer tissue, and may directly stimulate the growth of lung cancer.
Dr. Laurent Azoulay at McGill University in Canada led a team of researchers that analyzed UK primary care records of patients taking ACEIs and ARBs between 1995 and 2015.
ACEIs were found to have a 14% increased risk of lung cancer compared with ARBs. The risks began showing after five years of use and increased with longer duration of use, with a 31% increase in risk after 10 years of use.
What are ACE inhibitors long-term side effects?
ACE inhibitors are commonly prescribed for treating many cardiovascular diseases and conditions, most commonly hypertension. Al age groups, including children, are at some risk for complications as a result of taking ace inhibitors for blood pressure.
Additionally, as shown in British Medical Journal study, the longer an individual uses ace inhibitors the higher the risk of complications developing. Populations most at risk are individuals with chronic heart conditions, diabetics, particularly those with diabetic neuropathy, and those who already practice behaviors that may exacerbate the risk of lung cancer such as smokers or users of e-cigarettes.
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Filing an ACE Inhibitor Lawsuit
The BMJ’s study was observational in nature, meaning no control over outside variables was exercised. However, the evidence of potential medication side effects indicates the possibility of an ACE inhibitor lawsuit.
Since this is simply a statement of correlation, without accounting for socioeconomic differences, diet, and family history of lung cancer, no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, and the researchers cannot rule out the possibility that other unmeasured factors in the development of lung cancer. However, a 31% increase in occurrence does warrant further inquiry into this field.
If you’ve been diagnosed with lung cancer after taking an ACE inhibitor medication, contact us for a free lawsuit consultation today.