Ramipril is a general version of the Altace drug used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).
Ramipril also reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke and death in people aged 55 years and older.
It also improves survival when a person’s heart can not pump enough blood to sweat after a heart attack.
Ramipril is included in a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors.
Doctors sometimes prescribe ramipril without label to treat people with other health conditions, such as kidney problems associated with scleroderma (congealing and thickening of the skin), diabetes and Alport syndrome associated with genetic disorder.
The FDA approved Ramipril in 1991, and Pfizer produces this drug.
Uramipril currently has no warnings against its combined use with other drugs against hypertension.
Ramipril can cause harm and death to the developing fetus. Do not take ramipril if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
People who are insensitive to ACE inhibitors should not use ramipril.
In addition, people with diabetes or renal impairment should not take ramipril simultaneously with aliskiren (Tekturna).
The use of ACE inhibitors, including ramipril, is associated with the following health problems:
- Increased risk of angioedema
- Impaired liver function
- Impaired renal function
- Neutropenia and agranulocytosis (conditions associated with a low number of neutrophils, such as leukocytes)
Pregnancy and Ramipril
Ramipril can harm a developing fetus, especially when it is taken during the second and third trimesters.
Drugs such as ramipril may worsen renal function in an unborn baby, and also cause poor development of the lungs and bones.
Ramipril is also associated with numerous other problems for newborns, including death. Do not take ramipril if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Do not take ramipril if you are breast-feeding.
Ramipril: side effects
The most common side effects are:
Less common side effects of the drug include:
- Hypotension and dizziness that occur after getting up from a sitting or lying position
- Thoracic pain
- Frequent urination and other signs of abnormal kidney function
Rare side effects
Ramipril can cause a wide range of rare health problems that may require medical attention. These include:
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Gastrointestinal problems, including abdominal pain, poor appetite (anorexia), constipation and dry mouth
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome (an immune condition that causes swelling and several skin problems)
- Purple skin rash
- Anxiety and Depression
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and hearing loss
- Increased sweating
- Weight gain
- Labored breathing
You should always tell your doctor about any medications that you take, especially:
- Aliskiren (Tekturna)
- Lozartan (Cosaar), valsartan (Diovan), telmisartan (Mikardis) and other BRA
- Spironolactone (Aldactone), amiloride (Midamor) and some other diuretics
- Additives of potassium
- Gold thiomalate sodium (Myochrysine)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Temsirolimus (Torisel) and other mTOR inhibitors used to treat kidney cancer
The dosage of ramipril
Ramipril is a hard gelatin capsule, which has three types of dosage: 1.25 milligrams (mg), 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg.
Capsules should be taken whole.
If you have difficulty swallowing the capsule, you can open it and sprinkle the contents of the preparation on a small amount (about 4 ounces) of apple sauce or mix it with 4 ounces of water or apple juice.
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor will prescribe an initial daily dose of 2.5 mg to 20 mg. After 2-4 weeks, the dosage is usually adjusted according to how your blood pressure reacts to the medication.
If you are taking ramipril to reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular events, your doctor will most likely prescribe a daily dose of 2.5 mg for one week, then 5 mg once a day for three weeks and finally 10 mg one once a day.
If you have had a heart attack, your doctor can prescribe 2.5 mg of ramipril twice a day to prevent heart failure. Your doctor may reduce the dose by half if the drug causes your blood pressure to fall too low.