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Captopril Side Effects

In Summary

More frequently reported side effects include: cough and skin rash. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to captopril: oral liquid, oral tablet

Along with its needed effects, captopril may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking captopril:

Less common
  • Chest pain
  • cloudy urine
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • Arm, back, or jaw pain
  • bloody urine
  • chest discomfort
  • chest tightness or heaviness
  • decreased blood pressure
  • decreased or increased frequency or amount of urine
  • dilated neck veins
  • increased thirst
  • irregular breathing
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • loss of appetite
  • low blood pressure
  • lower back or side pain
  • nausea
  • paleness or cold feeling in the fingertips and toes
  • sweating
  • swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
  • tingling or pain in the fingers or toes when exposed to cold temperatures
  • troubled breathing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • weight gain
Incidence not known
  • Bleeding gums
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • blurred vision
  • chills
  • confusion
  • cough
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • high fever
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Some side effects of captopril may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common
  • Change in taste
  • feeling of warmth
  • itching skin
  • loss of taste
  • rash
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to captopril: compounding powder, oral tablet


The most common side effect is rash.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Rash (up to 13.1%)
Common (1% to 10%): Pruritus, alopecia
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Angioedema
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Urticaria, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, erythema multiforme, photosensitivity, erythroderma, pemphigoid reactions, exfoliative dermatitis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dry mouth, diarrhea, constipation, gastric irritation
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Stomatitis/aphthous ulceration, mouth ulcers, intestinal angioedema
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Glossitis, peptic ulcer, pancreatitis[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, taste impairment, loss of taste
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Paresthesia, headache, drowsiness
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Cerebrovascular incidents
Frequency not reported: Syncope, ataxia, somnolence[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Cough, dyspnea
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Bronchospasm
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Rhinitis, allergic alveolitis/eosinophilic pneumonia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypotension
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Tachycardia or tachyarrhythmia, angina pectoris, palpitations, Raynaud's syndrome, flushing, pallor, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Cardiac arrest, cardiogenic shock
Frequency not reported: Rhythm disturbances, orthostatic hypotension[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Proteinuria
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Polyuria, oliguria, urinary frequency
Rare (less than 0.1%): Impotence[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Sleep disorder
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Loss of libido
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Confusion, depression
Frequency not reported: Nervousness[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Chest pain, fatigue, malaise
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Gynecomastia, fever
Frequency not reported: Asthenia, alkaline phosphatase elevated[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Renal insufficiency, acute renal failure, nephrotic syndrome
Very rare (less than 0.01%): BUN elevated, serum creatinine elevated
Frequency not reported: Glomerulopathy[Ref]


Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Anorexia, weight loss, loss of appetite
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Hyperkalemia, hypoglycemia, serum potassium increased, serum sodium decreased
Frequency not reported: Hyponatremia[Ref]


Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Disturbed vision, dry eye, itchy eye
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Blurred vision[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Neutropenia/agranulocytosis, pancytopenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia, lymphadenopathy, eosinophilia, hemoglobin decreased, hematocrit decreased, leukocytes decreased, thrombocytes decreased, erythrocyte sedimentation rate elevated[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Liver enzymes elevated, bilirubin elevated, impaired hepatic function, cholestasis, hepatitis
Frequency not reported: Jaundice[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Autoimmune disease, positive antinuclear antibody titer
Frequency not reported: Serum sickness-like syndrome, anaphylactoid reactions[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Myalgia, arthralgia
Frequency not reported: Myasthenia[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. "Product Information. Capoten (captopril)." Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ.

Some side effects of captopril may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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