Enalapril, sold under the trademark Vasotec, is a medicine used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and congestive heart failure.
It also treats disorders of the ventricles, the lower heart chambers, which pump blood from the heart.
Enalapril blocks a chemical that tightens blood vessels, relaxes them, which leads to lower blood pressure and improve heart function.
It is also used to treat kidney diseases associated with diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Enalapril is an ACE inhibitor (an inhibitor of the angiotensin-converting enzyme), which prevents the narrowing of blood vessels.
It also reduces mortality in systolic heart failure. The drug was developed by Merck & Co.
One of the side effects of Enalapril is dizziness, so do not move if you are dizzy.
Enalapril may also worsen kidney problems in people who already have kidney disease.
Discuss your medical history with your doctor to determine if you are allergic to Enalapril or other ACE inhibitors. Inactive ingredients can cause allergic reactions.
Enalapril and pregnancy
Enalapril can lead to injury or death of the developing fetus, so do not use Enalapril if you are pregnant.
Immediately notify your doctor if you are taking Enalapril and become pregnant.
Enalapril can cause several serious problems during pregnancy, some of which can lead to the death of your child.
It is also not recommended for use during breastfeeding.
Side Effects of Enalapril
Less serious side effects of Enalapril include:
- Nausea, diarrhea
- Dizziness, headache, drowsiness
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Rash, itching
More serious side effects may require immediate emergency care and include:
- Fainting, feeling dizzy
- Fever, flu symptoms, body pains
- Thoracic pain
- Rapid weight gain
- Angioedema, swelling of the hands, face, lips, tongue (African-American patients are in a higher risk area)
Drugs that can interact with Enalapril include:
- Additives of potassium
- Injections from arthritis
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and aspirin
Avoid alcohol when taking Enalapril because it can lower blood pressure even more, causing dizziness.
Dosage of Enalapril
Enalapril under the brand name Vasotec is supplied in the form of tablets at 2.5, 5 and 10 milligrams (mg).
From hypertension: the initial dose is usually 5 mg once a day. The dosage range is 10 to 40 mg per day, taken in a single dose or divided into two doses. A diuretic can also be added to this.
From congestive heart failure: Enalapril is often taken with diuretics at an initial dose of 2.5 mg. Doses are increased to 40 mg.
From left ventricular dysfunction: the initial dose is 2.5 mg twice daily to a maintenance dose of 20 mg.
For pediatric patients with essential hypertension: the initial dose is 0.08 mg per kg of body weight, to no more than 0.58 mg per kg.
Enalapril can also be taken as a liquid with or without food.
Call 911 or contact the Toxicology Center
The missed dose of Enalapril
Take the dose as soon as possible, but skip it if it’s time for the next dose. Do not double the dose.