Europe – EMA affirms ACE inhibitors, ARBs safe during COVID-19

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has issued a statement reiterating that people should continue to take certain blood pressure medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recent observational studies, the agency said, have not shown that taking angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) increases the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus or worsening illness for people with COVID-19. The statement reaffirms EMA’s previous stance “that patients should continue to use ACE inhibitors or ARBs as advised by their doctors,” advising patients with concerns to contact healthcare professionals.

The concern about these medications’ safety stemmed from knowledge that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, achieves entry into human cells via the ACE-2 receptor. This receptor may be upregulated in people taking ACE inhibitors and ARBs, theoretically providing more targets for the virus’ spike protein, which binds to the ACE-2 receptor…