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Enalapril

Pronunciation

Generic Name: enalapril (en-AL-a-pril)
Brand Name: Vasotec

Enalapril may cause injury or death to the fetus if taken during pregnancy. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. If you are planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about other treatment options.


Enalapril is used for:

Treating high blood pressure, heart failure, and other heart problems. It may be used alone or with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

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

Do NOT use enalapril if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in enalapril
  • you have a history of angioedema (swelling of the hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing; hoarseness), including angioedema caused by treatment with an ACE inhibitor (eg, lisinopril)
  • you are pregnant
  • the patient is a child with severe kidney problems
  • 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.

Before using enalapril:

Some medical conditions may interact with enalapril. 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, aortic stenosis, heart failure), blood vessel problems (eg, in the heart or brain), blood flow problems, bone marrow problems, diabetes, or kidney problems (eg, renal artery stenosis)
  • if you have a history of stroke, recent heart attack, or kidney transplant
  • if you are receiving dialysis or apheresis treatments, or are scheduled to have surgery or receive anesthesia
  • if you have low blood sodium levels, high blood potassium levels, the blood disease porphyria, or an autoimmune disease (eg, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma)
  • if you are dehydrated, have low blood volume, or are on a low-salt (sodium) diet
  • if you are receiving treatments to reduce sensitivity to bee or wasp stings

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

  • Diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide) because the risk of low blood pressure may be increased
  • Everolimus or sirolimus because the risk of angioedema may be increased
  • Dextran sulfate because it may increase the risk of allergic reaction (eg, rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue) and light-headedness upon standing
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, celecoxib, ibuprofen, naproxen) because they may decrease enalapril's effectiveness, and the risk of kidney damage may be increased
  • Lithium or thiopurines (eg, azathioprine) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by enalapril
  • Certain gold-containing medicines (eg, sodium aurothiomalate) because flushing, nausea, vomiting, and low blood pressure may occur
  • Aliskiren or angiotensin receptor blockers (eg, losartan) 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), potassium supplements, or trimethoprim because the risk of high blood potassium levels may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if enalapril 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 enalapril:

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

  • Take enalapril by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • If you cannot swallow tablets, ask your doctor or pharmacist about preparing a suspension of enalapril.
  • Continue to take enalapril even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of enalapril, 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 enalapril.

Important safety information:

  • Enalapril may cause dizziness or light-headedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use enalapril with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Enalapril 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.
  • Check with your doctor before you use a salt substitute or a product that has potassium in it.
  • 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.
  • Enalapril may cause a dry, unproductive cough. If caused by enalapril, this symptom usually stops after treatment with enalapril is stopped.
  • Enalapril 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.
  • 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.
  • Enalapril may not work as well in black patients. Contact your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse.
  • Enalapril may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to enalapril. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Rarely, enalapril 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). Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take enalapril before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Lab tests, including blood pressure monitoring, blood electrolyte levels, and kidney function, may be performed while you take enalapril. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Enalapril should not be used in NEWBORNS; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Enalapril may cause birth defects or fetal death if you take it while you are pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. Enalapril is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking enalapril.

Possible side effects of enalapril:

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:

Dizziness; headache; persistent, dry cough.

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, throat, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); chest pain; decreased urination; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; mental or mood changes; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; shortness of breath; stomach pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, sore throat); symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, pale stools, yellowing of the skin or eyes); symptoms of low blood pressure (eg, fainting, severe dizziness, light-headedness); unusual bruising or bleeding.

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 enalapril:

Store enalapril at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) in a tightly-closed container. Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep enalapril out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about enalapril, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Enalapril 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 enalapril 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 enalapril. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to enalapril. 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 enalapril.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
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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