Dreadful cough 2 months after starting Ramipril

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I'm posting this as it's only seeing this forum that made me aware of how bad and common ACE cough is!  I'm fuming that the side effects leaflet said there was a 7-10% of a tickly cough.  It started as a tickle once or twice a day and it's got progressively worse so that now I am coughing so violently sometimes I am gagging and have a coughing fit at least every 2 minutes, even through the night.  My throat was closing up one day too and my chest felt tight.  I haven't slept properly in weeks and can't sleep in bed with my partner it's so bad.  If this possible side effect was talked about when it was prescribed I would have known much sooner to stop.  I've now stopped but three days later I'm awaiting an improvement which I now read could take months!  

I've read medical reports that explain why it causes this cough - why on earth don't they tell you?  It's absolutely ruined the last four weeks of my life and everyone in the office hates me!  mad

I just want others to read this before they start taking it.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    clare76683...it's very common for ACE inhibitors to cause a dry cough. Rampiril is an ACE inhibitor., as is any other bp medication ending in "il". Most reports do describe a dry cough, but they really don't explain how this happens...

    just that the med could cause a dry cough. 

    Do not stop taking your medication without consulting your Dr. By doing so, you could cause rebound hyptertension.!!! Quite likely the Dr. will take you off the Rampiril & prescribe an ARB..which could be Irbesartan, Candesartan etc. I have not mentioned Valsartan because of the recent recall of this medication.

    It could take a little while for the cough to go away once the cause has been eliminated. Not everyone experiences dry cough when on an ACE inhibitor. I take Coversyl Plus HD (Perindopril) & I do have a cough, but I've had the cough before even starting the med. The Dr. suspects that I may have asthma, but I passed the breath test, & he now wants me to do a Methacoline test, which will confirm or rule out asthma.Frankly, I am not short of breath, do not have watery eyes., etc...but do think the carpet in my apartment needs changing, which we are in the process of doing.

    Again...get to your Dr....stopping your medication is playing Russian roullette.

    • Posted

      Just want to say thank you so much to Doug, Mike and Mo for taking the time to reply.  I've been off for 6 days now and last night was the first night I didn't have the terrible coughing fits, just irritation.  I'm hopeful that it might be coming to an end.

      I did go back to the docs on Monday and have been prescribed Istin but slightly perturbed by the list of possible side effects.  I guess time will tell but I'm now more inclined to make lifestyle changes rather than just see meds as the silver bullet. 

      I will try the low carb diet.

      I think I was disappointed that the doctors knew this was possible but didn't warn me.  If I had known I could have gone back sooner and not let it get so bad.  When I went on Monday when the cough had been bad for weeks he just nodded and said 'oh yes, it can cause that' like it was no big deal.  

      I'll keep up with the forum as it's nice to see people helping each other.  

  • Posted

    I absolutely would not be without my Blood Pressure monitor.  As they keep reducing the recommendations for Blood Pressure, more and more people are being put on BP meds (usually for life) and none of them come without side effects.

    I have taken myself off my BP medication, I was on Ramipril most recently, which actually didn’t give me the cough, but before that I was on Amolodopine which gave me dreadful swollen ankles and stiff joints and made me feel 90!  I made some lifestyle changes, I went on a Low Carb Diet, which is renowned for reducing BP, and added a few things to my diet like milled flax seeds and Hibiscus tea.  I bought an Omron BP meter, the same as my doctor’s Surgery use, and I record all my BPs on an app called iBP, I used to take it daily but now only once or twice a week.

    and, low and behold, half of my BP problems were anxiety related (white coat syndrome),  measuring at home my BP became ‘acceptable’ and now, that the lifestyle changes have taken effect my BP is normal, sometimes on the low side.  

    I take my iPad with all my readings to by annual review and my GP is perfectly happy.  I expected him to be angry that I had taken myself off the drugs, but he congratulated me and said he would cross ‘Hypertension’ off my notes.

    Most Doctor’s don’t advise lifestyle changes, because they don’t think people will stick with them and many don’t even know which lifestyle changes to recommend.  A Low Carbohydrate Diet is brilliant at lowering Blood Pressure.  I’m 8 years in now, BP still perfect!

    • Posted

      Hi Mo, It was so re-assuring to read your post. I was on Ramipril and looked up the side effects when I got muscular aches and pains. Like you I decided to stop taking the medication (although I should have probably asked GP first). I had previously been on a calcium channel blocker. Like you I decided that life style changes was the better option. I need to lose weight and so I am carefully monitoring my intake in order to achieve that (albeit slowly!). I exercise regularly but I need to drink more water as I know I do not drink enough. I have been taking beetroot juice and several natural supplements to lower bp. I have serious white coat syndrome (last time it was taken in hospital it showed 220?109!!). However I have an Omron BP monitor and I take my own BP regularly at different times of the day. Average is around 140/80 so I am quite happy with that. I really am concerned about the side effects of medication and I read that "they" have now said in the U.S. that 115/75 is the "new" norm. This has increased greatly the number of people on medication in the U.S. so the pharmaceutical companies must be impressed with the increased profits. I am always bemused as to where the "normal" blood pressures come from. Are we all to be treated the same then, no matter what our size or age? I will take on board your advice about low carb but I already eat a very healthy vegetarian diet so I don't know how much effect that might have on my BP. To be honest especially after the latest scare with Valsartan I am reluctant to ever take any medications again. Sometimes the side effects appear to outweigh the benefits.


    • Posted

      christine75626...Yes, the Rampiril does have side effects, but a lot of medications certainly do. Rampiril is an ACE Inhibitor...known to cause hard,dry cough., but some people don't get the cough. When the cough does happen, the Dr. will change the med to an ARB, i.e. Olmesartan, Irbestartan, etc. The Valsartan scare certainly alarmed millions of people. I was told that the contamination didn't affect meds in the US but from what you've written, this is not accurate. I fail to understand just why Canada & the U.S. would allow medicines produced in China to be distributed in our countries. We have stringent laws. It was stated that the contamination was the result of some sort of chemical that got into the mix, & that chemical COULD cause cancer. Naturally, & thankfully our governing health authorities banned it. Drs phones were ringing off the hooks, & rightfully so. They simply changed the patients' meds. 

      As for the 'new norm" of be being 115/75; that to me is totally irresponsible. No two people are alike.

      Age plays a huge factor as well. I can't get to 120/75 let alone 115/75. My doc is quite happy with me being at 140/80., but of course he'd like it a little lower..but it's not easy because I have things going on in my body & to see my Dr. is a 1 1/2 to 2 hr. drive. If I had readings of 115/75 or ever 125/75, I would refuse medication. You're right. I think the pharmaceutical companies are having a heyday. A one size fits all is ridiculous. 

      Keep eating healthy...walking too, etc...But never ever stop taking your meds without your Dr.'s knowledge or consent. People were advised strongly during the Valsartan fiasco not to suddenly stop taking their meds...but of course to contact their Dr. 

      With the ACE cough, some Dr.s do say "you may experience a dry hacking cough, but you may not". If you do..come back, we'll try something else". If the Dr. doesnt' advise the patient, then the Pharmacist usually does. 

      Take care...let us know how you get on.

    • Posted

      I am glad you enjoyed my post.  We are becoming increasingly sceptical about most pharmaceuticals, to be honest.  We try to avoid them whenever possible.  I think, at the moment, that ‘a pill for every ill’ has gotten out of control.  

      At the moment I am happy to be on a single blood thinning drug (I have a clotting disorder) and my man is on a single BP lowering med - and gradually losing weight, he has lost 30kg to date - maybe 10kg to go to perfect BMI and hoping to become drug free in the next year or so.

      Our eyes have been opened! Pharmaceutical companies have way too much influence, in Universities, In Continuous Professional Development for Doctor’s, most of them just don’t think outside the box of ‘We need to add another medication’.

      We need to take back control and be more personally responsible, it’s a hard lesson! Lifestyle medicine has been much neglected for many years, but we all need to embrace it.

    • Posted

      Mo1953...I read your post to christine75626, & I must say how much I agree with you!!!

      It seems the medical profession has the attitude of "a pill for every ill". They're so quick to get out their prescription pad, yet if one were howling in pain they'd suffer because of those who have abused the pain meds. Doctors are now very hesitant to prescribe pain killers, & I understand why. 

      You're also right in saying the Pharmaceutical companies have too much influence. Doctors also need to think outside the box. A lot of GPs don't think about trigger points., those little "knots" that get into muscles. Those trigger points cause pain, in the arms, neck, etc...& the pain really isn't in the arm...it's in the TRIGGER POINT. An RMT can find those trigger points, & work on them, rather than a GP prescribing yet another drug. If a doctor can't figure out what's wrong with us, our condition is then labelled as "idiopathic"., meaning no known cause. There are some people who are seriously ill, yet doctors don't know the cause. Nobody will ever convince me that the human body will suddenly do something without a cause. Doctors need to find the cause...there's something beyond what they're taught to rule out. Same with rare diseases. They will dismiss a possible ailment because it's very rare you would get it, say 1% or 2%..BUT people have been known to get rare diseases. Because it's rare, doesn't mean we won't get it. World renown clinics are encouraging doctors to study rare diseases more, simply because they can & do happen. 

      Yes, we do need to take control & be more personally responsible..that's for sure..but sometimes we can only do so much & this is when we turn to our doctors for help. Medicine isn't like it was years ago. Some will say it has vastly improved...I challenge that statement. The QUALITY is not there as i used to be. 


  • Posted

    Hi Calre, I had a very bad cough for about a year, and I was wondering what is was and even thinking I had an underlying lung problem. I went to the doctors and they fobbed me off with things like, oh it's just flem going down your throat etc. Well I eventually found out about the coughing side effects of Ramipril through this website, and I am glad I did, I told my doctor about it, and although they all knew about this side effect, they did nothing about it till I complained, I eventually got taken off all blood pressure tablets, and I am now on tablets which slows down my heart beat but it also has the added benefit of lowering my blood pressure. It did take a few months before the effects of the Ramipil cough to go away, and I am ok now, Best of luck with your own health. Doug

    • Posted

      Hi Doug

      I suppose at least I should be grateful that my doctor didn't try to fob me off and knew straight away what it was.  I'm glad your cough has subsided.  It sounds so insignificant when you say 'cough' but it's very debilitating and disruptive when it happens.

      I'm so glad all is ok with you now. 

      Best wishes



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