|Type of medicine||ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitor|
|Used for||High blood pressure
Treatment and prevention of heart failure
|Also called||Enalapril maleate
Innozide® (contains enalapril with hydrochlorothiazide)
Enalapril is in a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) is an enzyme in the body that is necessary in the formation of a chemical called angiotensin II. Angiotensin II causes the narrowing of arteries, thereby increasing blood pressure. ACE inhibitors prevent the formation of angiotensin II, hence widening the blood vessels and helping lower the blood pressure.
Enalapril can be used on its own or alongside other medicines in the treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure (a condition where the pumping action of the heart is reduced).
Before taking enalapril
Before taking enalapril make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you suffer from kidney or liver problems.
- If you are on a salt restricted diet or use salt substitutes which contain potassium.
- If you have dialysis treatment.
- If you are dehydrated (for example if you have had diarrhoea and sickness very recently).
- If you have atherosclerosis (the build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of arteries).
- If you suffer from peripheral vascular disease (a particular type of poor circulation).
- If you suffer from a collagen vascular disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or scleroderma.
- If you have cardiomyopathy (cardiac muscle disease) or aortic stenosis (narrowing of the blood vessel from the heart).
- If you have a history of angioedema (where the face, tongue and throat swell).
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic or unusual reaction to any other ACE inhibitor (this includes ramipril, lisinopril and perindopril), a type of medicine called sulphonamides (if you have been prescribed Innozide®) or to any other medicine.
How to take enalapril
- Before beginning treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Take your medication exactly as directed by your doctor.
- It is not important whether you take your dose before or after food.
- Enalapril is usually taken once a day. Try to take enalapril at the same time each day to avoid missing any doses.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- If you are having any treatment like an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
- Keep your regular doctor's appointment so your progress can be monitored.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
- Treatment with enalapril is usually life-long.
- Do not take indigestion remedies at the same time as enalapril. If you need to take an indigestion remedy, leave at least two hours before or after your dose of enalapril.
- Enalapril may cause dizziness or lightheadedness, especially the first time you take it. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, operate machinery or do other jobs that could be dangerous if you were not fully alert.
- If you have been prescribed Innozide®, the hydrochlorothiazide contained in this product may cause a positive reaction to 'anti-doping' tests used in sport.
Can enalapril cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, all 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 side-effects||What can I do if I experience this|
|Dry, tickly cough||If this becomes troublesome, speak with your doctor|
|Dizziness, blurred vision||Make sure your reactions are normal before driving, operating machinery or doing any other jobs which could be dangerous if you were feeling dizzy or have blurred vision. If this affects you, do not drink alcohol as it may increase any feelings of dizziness and blurred vision|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headache continues speak with your doctor|
|Feeling sick, diarrhoea||Eat little and often. Stick to simple foods. Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids|
|Other common side-effects include: weakness, tiredness, low mood, fainting, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, taste disturbances and abdominal pain||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
Important: if you experience any of the following, speak with your doctor or go to your local accident and emergency department without delay:
- Difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, mouth, tongue or throat
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
- Chest pain
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store enalapril
- 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; 60th Edition (September 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Innovace® tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, Innovace® tablets, Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated January 2011.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Innozide ® tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, Innozide ® tablets, Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated January 2011.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Hui Teoh|
|Last Checked: 14/12/2010||Document ID: 3420 Version: 23||© 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.