Generic name: captopril (KAP toe pril)
Brand name: Capoten
Drug class: Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
Captopril is an ACE inhibitor. ACE stands for angiotensin converting enzyme.
Captopril is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), congestive heart failure, kidney problems caused by diabetes, and to improve survival after a heart attack.
Captopril may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use captopril if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away.
If you have diabetes, do not use captopril together with any medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo).
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to captopril or to any other ACE inhibitor, such as benazepril, fosinopril, enalapril, lisinopril, moexipril, perindopril, quinapril, ramipril, or trandolapril.
You may also need to avoid taking captopril with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.
To make sure captopril is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
- liver disease;
- a connective tissue disease such as Marfan syndrome, Sjogren's syndrome, lupus, scleroderma, or rheumatoid arthritis; or
- if you have had an organ transplant.
Do not use if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away. Captopril can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester.
Captopril can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using captopril.
How should I take captopril?
Take captopril exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Captopril is usually taken 1 hour before meals. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Call your doctor if you have ongoing vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual. You can easily become dehydrated while taking captopril. This can lead to very low blood pressure, electrolyte disorders, or kidney failure.
Drink plenty of water each day while you are taking captopril.
Your blood pressure will need to be checked often, and you may need frequent blood tests.
This medication can cause false results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using captopril.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using captopril. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medicine even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What to avoid
Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may increase certain side effects of captopril.
Do not use salt substitutes or potassium supplements while taking captopril, unless your doctor has told you to.
Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink. In some cases, drinking too much liquid can be as unsafe as not drinking enough.
Avoid strenuous exercise without your doctor's approval if you are being treated for heart failure.
Captopril side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to captopril: hives; severe stomach pain; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- little or no urination, or urinating more than usual;
- shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;
- chest pain or pressure, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
- high potassium - nausea, slow or unusual heart rate, weakness, loss of movement; or
- sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms.
Common captopril side effects may include:
- flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
- numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands or feet;
- loss of taste sensation; or
- mild skin itching or rash.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect captopril?
Other drugs may interact with captopril, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.