Drug Safety

, Volume 26, Issue 12, pp 895–908

Adverse Effects of ACE Inhibitors in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure and/or Ventricular Dysfunction

Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials

Authors

    • Fundació Institut Català de Farmacologia; Servei de Farmacologia Clínica, Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron, and Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and ToxicologyUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Sara Bonet
    • Fundació Institut Català de Farmacologia; Servei de Farmacologia Clínica, Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron, and Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and ToxicologyUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Josep M Arnau
    • Fundació Institut Català de Farmacologia; Servei de Farmacologia Clínica, Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron, and Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and ToxicologyUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Xavier Vidal
    • Fundació Institut Català de Farmacologia; Servei de Farmacologia Clínica, Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron, and Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and ToxicologyUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Joan-Ramon Laporte
    • Fundació Institut Català de Farmacologia; Servei de Farmacologia Clínica, Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron, and Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and ToxicologyUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Original Research Article

DOI: 10.2165/00002018-200326120-00004

Cite this article as:
Agustí, A., Bonet, S., Arnau, J.M. et al. Drug-Safety (2003) 26: 895. doi:10.2165/00002018-200326120-00004

Abstract

Background: The evidence-based benefit/risk evaluation of therapeutic interventions in randomised clinical trials should include both the assessment of the benefits and of the adverse outcomes. There is ample evidence that ACE inhibitors improve the symptoms and prognosis of chronic heart failure (CHF) and ventricular dysfunction. However, there is little systematic information on the tolerability and adverse effects associated with their use in these conditions.

Objective: To estimate the adverse events related to ACE inhibitor use in the treatment of CHF and ventricular dysfunction.

Design and Methods: Description of adverse events in reports of randomised clinical trials of ACE inhibitors in CHF or ventricular dysfunction was examined, and a meta-analysis was performed. Trials were included if they were placebo- or standard treatment-controlled, and if the treatment duration was at least 8 weeks. Relative risks and their 95% CIs were estimated with a random effects model.

Results: Only 22 (43%) of 51 original reports contained information on the number of withdrawals and their causes. Missing information from the remaining 29 trials was obtained from the authors. The weighted mean duration of treatment was 100.2 weeks. After excluding administrative reasons, heart failure, myocardial infarction and hypertension, the withdrawal rates attributed to adverse events were 13.8% and 9.4% for the ACE inhibitor and control groups, respectively (RR = 1.54 [95% CI 1.30–1.83]; weighted difference = 3.1 per 100 treated patients [95% CI 1.8–4.4]). Cough, hypotension, renal dysfunction, dizziness, hyperkalaemia, and impotence were all significantly more prevalent among patients treated with ACE inhibitors than among those in the control groups.

Conclusions: Among patients with CHF or ventricular dysfunction enrolled in randomised clinical trials, treatment with an ACE inhibitor for an average of 2 years leads to an additional 3% of treatment withdrawals. In a significant proportion of the reports on these randomised clinical trials, information on adverse events leading to treatment withdrawal was inadequate. Proper evidence-based evaluation of the benefit/risk of therapeutic interventions needs a more systematic approach to reporting of adverse events experiences recorded in clinical trials.

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2003