Captopril

Pronunciation

Generic Name: captopril (KAP-toe-pril)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Captopril can cause injury and possibly death to a fetus if used during pregnancy. Talk with your doctor right away if you suspect that you are pregnant. If you are planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about other treatment options.


Captopril is used for:

Treating high blood pressure or heart failure. It is also used to treat kidney problems caused by diabetes in certain patients. It is also used to improve survival and manage heart failure in certain patients after a heart attack. It may be used alone or in combination with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Captopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. It works by helping to relax blood vessels. This helps to lower blood pressure.

Do NOT use captopril if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in captopril or to any other ACE inhibitor (eg, enalapril), including if you have a history of angioedema (swelling of the hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing; or hoarseness) caused by an ACE inhibitor
  • you are pregnant
  • you are taking a medicine that contains aliskiren and you also have diabetes or kidney problems. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure if a medicine you take contains aliskiren
  • you are taking dextran sulfate

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using captopril:

Some medical conditions may interact with captopril. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are able to become pregnant
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of heart problems (eg, heart failure, aortic stenosis), blood vessel problems, blood flow problems, bone marrow problems, diabetes, or kidney problems (eg, renal artery stenosis)
  • if you have a history of a stroke, recent heart attack, or a kidney transplant
  • if you have an autoimmune disease (eg, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma)
  • if you are dehydrated or have low blood volume
  • if you have high blood potassium levels, low blood sodium levels, or are on a low-salt (sodium) diet
  • if you are on dialysis, are receiving apheresis treatments, or are scheduled to have surgery or receive anesthesia
  • if you are receiving treatments to reduce sensitivity to bee or wasp stings

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with captopril. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Dextran sulfate, diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), or nitrates (eg, nitroglycerin) because the risk of low blood pressure may be increased
  • Everolimus or sirolimus because the risk of angioedema may be increased
  • Aliskiren or angiotensin II receptor blockers (eg, valsartan) because the risk of certain side effects (eg, kidney problems, high blood potassium levels, low blood pressure) may be increased
  • Eplerenone, potassium-sparing diuretics (eg, amiloride, spironolactone, triamterene), potassium supplements, or trimethoprim because the risk of high blood potassium levels may be increased
  • Certain gold-containing medicines (eg, sodium aurothiomalate) because flushing, low blood pressure, nausea, and vomiting may occur
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, celecoxib, ibuprofen, indomethacin) because they may decrease captopril's effectiveness and the risk of kidney problems may be increased
  • Insulin or other diabetes medicine (eg, glyburide) because the risk of low blood sugar may be increased
  • Lithium or thiopurines (eg, azathioprine) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by captopril

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if captopril may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use captopril:

Use captopril as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take captopril by mouth on an empty stomach 1 hour before meals.
  • Captopril works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • Drink plenty of fluids while taking captopril. Not drinking enough fluids or excessive sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting can lead to light-headedness or fainting.
  • Continue to take captopril even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of captopril, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use captopril.

Important safety information:

  • Captopril may cause dizziness or light-headedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use captopril with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Captopril may cause dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects. If light-headedness occurs, especially during the first few days of treatment, contact your doctor.
  • Dehydration, excessive sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea may increase the risk of low blood pressure. Contact your health care provider at once if any of these occur.
  • Do not take more than the recommended dose or stop taking captopril without checking with your doctor.
  • Captopril may cause a dry, unproductive cough. If caused by captopril, this symptom usually stops after treatment with captopril is stopped.
  • Captopril may cause a serious side effect called angioedema. The risk may be higher in black patients. Contact your doctor at once if you develop swelling of the hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing; or hoarseness.
  • Patients who take medicine for high blood pressure often feel tired or run down for a few weeks after starting treatment. Be sure to take your medicine even if you may not feel "normal." Tell your doctor if you develop any new symptoms.
  • Captopril may not work as well in black patients. Contact your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse.
  • Captopril may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. This risk may be greater if you have certain other health problems (eg, kidney problems, collagen vascular disease). Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • If you have high blood pressure, do not use nonprescription products that contain stimulants. These products may include diet pills or cold medicines. Contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Check with your doctor before you use a salt substitute or a product that has potassium in it.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take captopril before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Diabetes patients - Captopril may cause the results of some tests for urine ketones to be wrong. Ask your doctor before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Lab tests, including blood pressure monitoring, kidney function, blood potassium or other electrolyte levels, and urine protein tests, may be performed while you use captopril. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Captopril should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Captopril may cause birth defects or fetal or newborn death if you take it while you are pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. Captopril is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking captopril.

Possible side effects of captopril:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Cough; dizziness; taste changes.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing or swallowing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); burning, numbness, or tingling; chest pain; confusion; decreased urination; fainting; irregular, fast, or slow heartbeat; new or worsened swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; numbness of an arm or leg; one-sided weakness; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe or persistent dizziness or light-headedness; shortness of breath; slurred speech; stomach pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); sudden, severe headache or vomiting; symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, persistent sore throat); symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, pale stools, yellowing of the skin or eyes); unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision problems (eg, blurred vision).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include fainting; severe dizziness or light-headedness.

Proper storage of captopril:

Store captopril at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep captopril out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about captopril, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Captopril is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take captopril or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about captopril. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to captopril. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using captopril.

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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