Captopril

Captopril treats high blood pressure. This medication should not be used during pregnancy. Avoid salt substitutes containing potassium.

Captopril Overview

Reviewed: June 26, 2013
Updated: 

Captopril is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, a condition called Left Ventricular Dysfunction, and diabetic nephropathy. If taken after a heart attack, captopril can also help improve survival and lower the risk of developing congestive heart failure.

Captopril belongs to a group of drugs called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which relax blood vessels to lower blood pressure and make the heart more efficient.

This medication comes in tablet form and is taken 2 to 3 times a day. It should be taken without food or at least one hour before a meal or snack.

Common side effects of captopril include rash, cough, and loss of taste. Captopril can cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

Patient Ratings for Captopril

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What are you taking Captopril for?

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  • Other
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid
  • Bartter Syndrome
  • Diabetic Nephropathies
  • Edema
  • Heart Failure
  • Hypertension, Malignant
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular
  • Raynaud Disease
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left

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  • A month or so
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Captopril Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Captopril

Captopril is a prescription medication used to:

  • to treat high blood pressure
  • to treat congestive heart failure
  • to treat diabetic nephropathy
  • to improve survival and lower the risk of developing congestive heart failure after a heart attack

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Captopril Brand Names

Captopril may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Captopril Drug Class

Captopril is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Captopril

Serious side effects have been reported with captopril. See “Drug Precautions” section.

Common side effects are rash, itching, cough, metallic or loss of taste, skin flushing, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, constipation, dizziness, headache, weakness, fatigue, insomnia, and dry mouth.

This is not a complete list of captopril side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Captopril Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • potassium-sparing diuretics such as:
  • other diuretics such as:
  • aliskiren (Tekturna)
  • angiotensin receptor blockers such as candesartan (Atacand), losartan (Cozaar), and telmisartan (Micardis, Twynsta)
  • aspirin and other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as:
    • celecoxib (Celebrex)
    • diclofenac (Cambia, Cataflam, Flector, Voltaren, Zipsor and others)
    • etodolac (Lodine)
    • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin)
    • indomethacin (Indocin, Indocin SR)
    • ketoprofen (Orudis, Actron, Oruvail)
    • ketorolac (Toradol)
    • meloxicam (Mobic)
    • nabumetone (Relafen)
    • naproxen (Naprosyn)
    • naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan)
    • oxaprozin (Daypro)
    • piroxicam (Feldene)
  • lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)
  • potassium supplements
  • injectable gold (sodium aurothiomalate)

This is not a complete list of captopril drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Captopril Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with captopril including:

  • Hypotension. Excessive perspiration and dehydration may lead to an excessive fall in blood pressure (hypotension). Vomiting or diarrhea may also lead to a fall in blood pressure.
  • Decline in kidney function. Your doctor may need to perform tests to determine the stability of the function of your kidneys, especially in patients who already have kidney dysfunction.
  • Hyperkalemia. Captopril may lead to increased levels of potassium, which could lead to side effects such as heart arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) and nausea.
  • Cough. Persistent dry cough has been reported with all ACE inhibitors, and will resolve after discontinuation of therapy.
  • Valvular Stenosis. Those with aortic stenosis (stiffening of the main artery that carries blood away from the heart) might be at risk of decreased blood flow to the rest of the body.
  • Angioedema. Tell your healthcare professional right away if you have signs or symptoms of angioedema, which include:
    • swelling of face, eyes, lips, tongue, larynx and extremities
    • difficulty in swallowing or breathing
    • hoarseness (having difficulty making sounds when trying to speak)
  • Neutropenia. Report any sign of infection such as sore throat or fever, which may be a sign of neutropenia (a decreased amount of white blood cells).
  • Edema. Report any sign of edema (increase in swelling of the arms or legs), which may be a sign of declining kidney function.
  • Heart failure patients. Caution is advised against rapid increases in exercise or physical activity for those who are being treated for heart failure.
  • Intestinal Angioedema. Intestinal angioedema (swelling within the gut) has been reported in patients treated with ACE inhibitors. Report signs and symptoms of intestinal angioedema, including abdominal (stomach-area) pain, with or without nausea or vomiting.
  • Liver failure. This is a rare occurrence. Nevertheless, report any signs or symptoms of hepatic failure, including:
    • yellowing of the skin or eyes
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • fatigue
    • itching

Captopril can cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how captopril affects you.

Do not take captopril if you are hypersensitive to this product. Signs of a hypersensitivity reaction include:

  • chest pain
  • swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, arms, or legs
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • fainting
  • rash

Captopril Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of captopril, salt substitutes containing potassium should be avoided.

Inform MD

Before taking captopril, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • history of angioedema (swelling under the skin)
  • have diabetes (high blood sugar) and you are taking aliskiren (Tekturna; also in Amturnide, Tekamlo, Tekturna HCT). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take captopril if you have diabetes and you are also taking aliskiren.
  • have or have ever had heart or kidney disease or diabetes
  • are having surgery, including dental surgery. Inform the doctor or dentist that you are taking captopril.
  • are using salt substitutes containing potassium. If your doctor prescribes a low-salt or low-sodium diet, follow these instructions carefully.
  • pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Captopril and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Captopril falls into category D. It has been shown that use of captopril in pregnant women caused some babies to be born with problems. More specifically, it has been shown that use of drugs like captopril during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy harms the unborn baby’s kidneys and even increases the risk of death to the unborn baby. However, in some serious situations, the benefit of using this medication may be greater than the risk of harm to the baby.

Captopril and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Captopril has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from captopril, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of this medication. Determining the importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.

Captopril Usage

Take captopril exactly as prescribed.

Captopril comes in tablet form and is given either 2 or 3 times a day, at least 1 hour before a meal. It should be taken without food or at least one hour before a meal or snack.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of captopril at the same time.

 

Captopril Dosage

Take captopril exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The starting dose of captopril is 25 mg twice a day or three times a day. If the goal reduction of blood pressure has not been reached after one or two weeks, the dose may be titrated to 50 mg twice a day or three times a day.

The dose of captopril in hypertension usually is maxed at 50 mg three times a day. If the blood pressure has not been satisfactorily controlled after one to two weeks at this dose, (and the patient is not already receiving a diuretic), a dose of diuretic (such as hydrochlorothiazide, 25 mg daily), may be added by your doctor. This diuretic dose may be increased every one to two weeks until its maximum effective dose is reached.

Captopril Overdose

If you take too much captopril call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If captopril is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Do not store above 30º C (86º F).
  • Keep bottles tightly closed to protect from moisture.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Captopril FDA Warning

  • When pregnancy is detected, discontinue captopril as soon as possible.
  • Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and death to the developing fetus.