Drug Class: What is Vasotec and why is it prescribed?
Drug Mechanism: How does Vasotec work?
Dosage: How should you take Vasotec
Possible food and drug interactions when taking Vasotec
Special information on Vasotec
Vasotec side effects
|Drug Class: What is Vasotec and why is it prescribed?|
Generic Vasotec (enalapril) is an antihypertensive (blood pressure lowering agent) known as an ACE inhibitor. Generic Vasotec controls high blood pressure (hypertension) by relaxing blood vessels; it is not a cure. High blood pressure levels can damage your kidneys, and may lead to a stroke or heart failure.
Generic Vasotec also helps to treat patients with congestive heart failure (in cases where heart does not pump strongly enough).
|Drug Mechanism: How does Vasotec work?|
Generic Vasotec contains the active ingredient enalapril maleate, which is a type of medicine called an ACE inhibitor.
Generic Vasotec works by blocking the action of a compound in the body called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). Normally ACE produces another compound called angiotensin II, as part of the body's natural control of blood pressure. Angiotensin II has two actions. Firstly, it causes blood vessels to constrict and narrow, and secondly, it reduces the production of urine by the kidneys. Both these actions increase the pressure within the blood vessels.
As Generic Vasotec blocks the action of ACE, it reduces the production of angiotensin II. This means that the blood vessels are allowed to relax and widen and more urine is produced by the kidneys. The overall effect of this is a drop in blood pressure. Generic Vasotec can therefore be used to treat high blood pressure.
The reduced pressure within the blood vessels means that the heart doesn't have to work as hard to pump the blood around the body. Generic Vasotec therefore reduces the workload of the heart and can be used to improve the symptoms of heart failure, where the heart does not pump efficiently. Generic Vasotec can also be used to prevent the development of heart failure in people whose heart is functioning poorly but who don't yet have any symptoms of this. Generic Vasotec is usually used in combination with a diuretic medicine to treat heart failure.
|Dosage: How should you take Vasotec|
High Blood Pressure
The usual starting dose of Generic Vasotec for people not using diuretics is 5 milligrams, taken once a day. The usual dose is 10 to 40 milligrams per day, taken as a single dose or divided into 2 smaller doses.
If you are taking a diuretic, your physician may ask you to stop for 2 to 3 days before using Generic Vasotec. Otherwise, he or she may give an initial dose of 2.5 milligrams of Generic Vasotec under medical supervision before any further medication is prescribed.
If you have a kidney disorder, your dosage will be adjusted according to its severity.
To Treat Heart Failure
The usual regular dose of Generic Vasotec is 2.5 to 20 milligrams each day, taken in 2 separate doses. The maximum daily dose is 40 milligrams, in 2 separate doses.
To Prevent Heart Failure
If you miss a Generic Vasotec dose
Generic Vasotec Overdose
Generic Vasotec Storage instructions
Generic Vasotec Preparations:
|Possible food and drug interactions when taking Vasotec|
Tell you doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with Generic Vasotec. Likewise, you should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines during treatment with Generic Vasotec.
People who are taking high doses of diuretic medicines such as frusemide may experience a large drop in blood pressure when Generic Vasotec is first started. To avoid this your doctor will, whereever possible, reduce or stop your diuretic dose for 2 to 3 days before Generic Vasotec is started. People who are taking a diuretic medicine in combination with this one should have regular blood tests to monitor their kidney function and blood potassium levels.
There is an increased risk of a raised blood potassium level (hyperkalaemia) if Generic Vasotec is taken in combination with any of the following:
These should only be used with Generic Vasotec if blood potassium levels are frequently monitored.
If Generic Vasotec is taken in combination with other medicines that decrease blood pressure, the effects on blood pressure may be additive. Medicines that reduce blood pressure include those used to treat high blood pressure (antihypertensives) and those that may decrease blood pressure as a side effect. Tell your doctor if you feel dizzy or lightheaded after starting treatment with Generic Vasotec, as this could indicate that your blood pressure has dropped too low and the doses of your medicines may need adjusting.
Generic Vasotec reduces the ability of the body to remove the medicine lithium. As this increases the risk of side effects, this medicine is not usually recommended for people taking lithium. If Generic Vasotec is used with lithium, lithium blood levels should be carefully monitored.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) eg aspirin (doses of 300mg or higher), indomethacin and ibuprofen, may reduce the effect of enalapril on lowering blood pressure. They may also increase the risk of kidney problems or raised blood potassium levels.
Generic Vasotec may enhance the blood sugar lowering effect of medicines used to treat diabetes, eg insulin or oral antidiabetic medicines. This has happened occasionally and unpredictably and may result in very low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia). People with diabetes should therefore carefully monitor their blood sugar while taking Generic Vasotec.
If Generic Vasotec is taken in combination with cyclosporine there may be an increased risk of side effects on the kidneys.
There may be an increased risk of a drop in white blood cell counts if Generic Vasotec is used in combination with the following:
|Special information on Vasotec|
Most Important Fact about Generic Vasotec
Generic Vasotec has to be taken regularly in order to be effective in high blood pressure. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of Generic Vasotec; and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Generic Vasotec does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.
Generic Vasotec precautions if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
Generic Vasotec is detected in human milk in trace amounts. Caution should be exercised when Generic Vasotec is given to a nursing mother.
Special warnings about Generic Vasotec
Blood pressure, kidney function and blood potassium levels should be monitored before initiating and at regular intervals throughout treatment. Alcohol may enhance the blood pressure lowering effect of Generic Vasotec, which may result in dizziness or fainting.
Stop taking Generic Vasotec and consult your doctor immediately if you experience difficulty breathing or swallowing, or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, throat, hands, feet or ankles while taking Generic Vasotec.
Why Generic Vasotec should not be prescribed?
If you have an allergy to Generic Vasotec or any other part of the medicine. If you are allergic to another angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, talk with healthcare provider.
If you are more than 12 weeks pregnant.
|Vasotec side effects|
More common side effects of Generic Vasotec may include:
Less common side effects of Generic Vasotec may include:
Rare side effects of Generic Vasotec may include:
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