|Type of medicine||ACE inhibitor (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor)|
Cilazapril is used in the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart failure (a condition where the pumping action of the heart is reduced).
ACE inhibitors like cilazapril prevent your body from creating a hormone known as angiotensin II. They do this by blocking (inhibiting) a chemical called angiotensin-converting enzyme. This relaxes your blood vessels and helps to reduce the amount of water put back into your blood by the kidneys. These actions help to decrease blood pressure. People with high blood pressure often do not feel unwell but, if left untreated, high blood pressure can harm the heart and damage blood vessels leading to a heart attack or stroke.
In heart failure, there may be too much circulating fluid in your blood vessels. ACE inhibitors help to reduce this. They appear to have a protective effect on the heart and slow the progression of the heart failure. Cilazapril is used alongside other medicines in the treatment of heart failure.
Before taking cilazapril
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking cilazapril it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you use salt substitutes which contain potassium.
- If you are dehydrated - for example, if you have had diarrhoea or sickness very recently.
- If you have been told you have atherosclerosis (a build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of your arteries).
- If you have peripheral vascular disease (a particular type of poor circulation).
- If you have collagen vascular disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or scleroderma.
- If you have been told you have cardiomyopathy (cardiac muscle disease), or aortic stenosis (narrowing of the main blood vessel from your heart).
- If you have ever had angio-oedema (where your face, tongue or throat swells).
- If you are having desensitisation treatment to protect against bee and wasp stings.
- If you have dialysis treatment, or treatment to remove cholesterol from your blood by a machine (LDL apheresis).
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic or unusual reaction to any other ACE inhibitor (such as ramipril, lisinopril and perindopril), or to any other medicine.
How to take cilazapril
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the brand of cilazapril you have been given, and a full list of possible side-effects from taking it.
- Take cilazapril exactly as your doctor has told you. The usual dose is one tablet each day. Your dose will also be on the label of the pack.
- Your doctor may advise you to take your very first dose of cilazapril at bedtime. This is because you may feel dizzy when you first start taking it.
- After this first dose, take cilazapril at a time of day you find easy to remember and take your doses at the same time each day. This will help you avoid missing any doses. You can take cilazapril tablets before or after meals.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your progress can be monitored. Your doctor will want you to have some blood tests to check on your kidney function from time to time.
- It is very important that you follow any dietary and lifestyle advice that you may have been given by your doctor, such as eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and taking regular exercise.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with cilazapril. This is because some medicines (such as anti-inflammatory painkillers and indigestion remedies) may interfere with these tablets.
- If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about taking cilazapril and alcohol. Alcohol will increase feelings of light-headedness and may not be recommended for you.
- If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently, as these tablets may lower the levels of sugar in your blood. Your doctor will advise you about this.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking cilazapril. This is because cilazapril taken with an anaesthetic may make your blood pressure drop too low.
- Treatment with cilazapril is usually long-term unless you experience an adverse effect. Continue to take the tablets unless you are advised otherwise.
Can cilazapril cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common cilazapril side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling light-headed or dizzy, especially when standing up||Getting up more slowly should help. If you begin to feel dizzy, lie down so that you do not faint, then sit for a few moments before standing. If this continues beyond the first few days, speak with your doctor|
|Dry irritating cough||If this continues, speak with your doctor, as an alternative medicine may be better for you|
|Feeling or being sick, indigestion, diarrhoea||Stick to bland foods - avoid rich and spicy meals|
|Constipation||Try to eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water each day|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Feeling tired||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines|
Important: if you experience any of the following rare but serious symptoms, stop taking cilazapril and contact your doctor for advice straightaway:
- Any difficulty breathing, or swelling of your face, mouth, tongue or throat. These are signs of an allergic reaction.
- Any yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes. These may be signs of jaundice which is a rare side-effect.
- A severe skin rash.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store cilazapril
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Vascace® tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, Vascace® tablets, Roche Products Ltd, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated July 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Adrian Bonsall|
|Last Checked: 14/03/2012||Document ID: 3410 Version: 24||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.