Update – COVID-19 and Medication for Heart Failure and Blood Pressure
Some commentators have recently questioned if commonly used drugs such as ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs), which are often used to control heart failure and blood pressure, can make patients more likely to contract COVID-19 or more likely to experience severe symptoms and/or adverse outcomes from COVID-19.
Leading international heart specialists are strongly urging people who take these drugs to not stop taking them because stopping them might result in a heart attack or stroke. They believe that the risks associated with not taking these drugs if they have been prescribed are far greater than the still theoretical chance of a worse COVID-19 outcome.
This advice is echoed by recent statements from major medical societies in the United States in reaction to the notion that certain medicines might make COVID-19 worse. A joint statement by the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Heart Failure Society of America has urged patients not to change or stop these medications.
There is even some evidence that ACE inhibitors and ARBs might even be beneficial in treating COVID-19, as they might limit lung damage in some viral pneumonias, according to experts.
GHH and these groups have called for more research as soon as possible to clarify these issues.