Psychotropic effects of angiotensin-converting
enzyme inhibitors: what are the arguments

Mesure G, Fallet A, Chevalier JF
Service de Psychiatrie,
Centre hospitalier de Versailles,
hopital Richaud, Versailles.
Encephale 1995 Sep-Oct; 21(5):609-14


The authors report a case of acute mania induced by perindopril (Coversyl) in a 57 year old man with no prior history of mental illness. This Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitor (ACEI) had been introduced eight days prior to the first signs of excitation, in order to treat recently diagnosed arterial hypertension. Without proof of reintroduction, and on the basis of clinical observations, the attribution appears plausible. Similar observations have been made for other molecules in this class of medication, such as captopril (Lopril). A review of literature regroups recent data concerning psychotropic effects of ACEIs. Several reports claim that captopril clearly acts as an antidepressant. Studies on the mood or the quality of life of treated hypertensive patients show ACEIs to have an euphoric-type positive effect compared to other anti-hypertensive treatments. Captopril and perindopril also act like potential antidepressants in experimental models of antidepression. Furthermore, pharmacologic data confirm that the most lipophilic ACEIs penetrate the central nervous system and argue in favor of the role of these molecules in activating central opioides. As these data provide evidence of mood swing in some patients, but also of an overall benefit in hypertensive populations, the clinical importance of the antidepressant effect of ACEIs needs further investigations.
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