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Potassium level

I had angioplasty in Mar 2004 after experiencing chest discomfort. Never had a heart attack. The Cardio put me on Metoprolol ( 50mg); Altace 2.5 mg and baby aspirin in addition to Lipitor 20mg. Sep. 2009 he took me off the Metoprolol and increased the Altace to 10 mg.

My Blood potassium level at the time was perfectly normal at 3.6; after the spike in the ace-inhibitor my potassium level has risen in two months to 5.6, which I believe is an unsafe level. My family doctor has now asked me to go back to the 2.5 mg dosage and get re-tested after two weeks.

I have read that ace-inhibitors can cause an increase in potassium levels.

Any comments? Are there alternatives to ace inhibitors?


Thanks and Regards
1 Responses
367994 tn?1304957193
You are correct ACE inhibitors may cause hyperkalemia (high level of potassium). It seems potassium is normally excreted by the kidneys, so disorders that decrease the function of the kidneys can result in hyperkalemia. The kidneys normally remove excess potassium from the body. Therefore, most cases of hyperkalemia are caused by disorders that reduce the kidneys' ability to excrete potassium. Individuals with kidney dysfunctions are especially sensitive to medications that can increase blood potassium levels and that includes an ACE inhibitor..

Have you had a blood test for creatine level?The kidneys maintain the blood creatinine in a normal range. Creatinine has been found to be a fairly reliable indicator of kidney function.

Coreg (beta blocker and ACE inhibitor) can/will dilate vessels as does an ACE inhibitor, and is sometimes used for heart patients.  Discuss the options with your doctor.
Hope this provides an insight for you.

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