What is Enalapril?
Enalapril is a medicine that belongs to a group called ACE inhibitors (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors), used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
How does Enalapril Arginine work?
Enalapril works by relaxing the blood vessels, allowing blood to pass through them more easily. It also helps to make it easier for your heart to pump blood to all the parts of your body.
What are the benefits of taking Enalapril?
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) or heart problems can be linked to a number of factors, such as a family history, a diet high in salt or being overweight or inactive.
In addition to some lifestyle changes (such as smoking and/or drinking less and exercising more), it’s often advised to take medication, such as Enalapril, to manage the conditions in order to prevent more serious ailments such as stroke, heart attack or blood clots.
How do I use Enalapril?
Enalapril is a prescription-only medication. Always follow the advice of your doctor and read the patient information leaflet provided in the medication packet.
Take the tablets by swallowing whole with a drink of water, with or without food. You should take it at the same time of day, in order to help you remember.
Enalapril contains the active ingredient enalapril maleate, in strengths of either 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg or 20mg per tablet.
For high blood pressure, the usual starting dose is 5mg taken once a day, with the amount often rising to 10mg or 20mg once a day, if your doctor feels that you need it. If you are using Enalapril for heart failure or other heart problems, then this dose will differ and you should always take the medication exactly as prescribed and check with your doctor if you’re unsure.
If you forget to take your Enalapril tablet then you should skip the forgotten dose and move straight onto the next one. Don’t worry but don’t double up on your dose to make up for a missed one.
If you take more Enalapril than you should, then go to your nearest doctor or emergency department immediately. Overdose can lead to low blood pressure, symptoms of which include feeling dizzy or faint.
Side effects & precautions
Before taking Enalapril, you should always first consult your doctor. You should not take Enalapril if any of the following apply to you:
- If you are allergic to enalapril maleate, any of the other ingredients in these tablets
- If you have ever had swelling of your face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat which caused difficulty in swallowing or breathing when the reason was not known
- If you are more than 3 months pregnant
- If you have diabetes or impaired kidney function and you are treated with a blood pressure lowering medicine containing aliskiren
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a type of medicine similar to this
Your prescription of Enalapril may also be affected by a number of other factors, so you should make your doctor aware if any of the following apply:
- If you have a heart problem
- If you have a condition involving the blood vessels in the brain
- If you have a blood problem such as low or lack of white blood cells
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction
- If you have kidney problem (including kidney transplantation)
- If you are on a salt restriction diet, are taking potassium-containing medicines or supplements
- If you have been very sick or had bad diarrhoea recently
- If you have diabetes
- If you have a liver problem or develop jaundice
- If you are having dialysis
- If you are over 70 years of age
- If you have low blood pressure
- If you have collagen vascular disease
- If you think you are (or might become) pregnant
- If you are breastfeeding
Like many medications with active ingredients, Enalapril can affect or be affected by other medicines. Particular medications that you may experience this with include the following:
- Other medicines that lower blood pressure
- Potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium
- Lithium, used for the treatment of certain kind of depression
- Tricyclic antidepressants used for treating depression
- Medicines for mental problems called ‘antipsychotics
- Certain cough and cold medicines
- Certain pain or arthritis medicines
- Barbiturates (sedatives used for sleeplessness or epilepsy)
- Cholestyramine (used to help control cholesterol levels)
- Medicines for the treatment of cancer
- Antidiabetic drugs
- Allopurinol (used to treat gout)
- Ciclosporin (immunosuppressive agents for autoimmune disorders)
- Procainamide used to treat abnormal heart rhythms
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Medicines used to dissolve blood clots (thrombolytics)
- Antacids (used for the relief of indigestion)
- Medicines which are most often used to avoid rejection of transplanted organs.
If you are taking any of the above medications, then you should make your doctor aware so that they can advise whether or not Enalapril will be the best course of action for you.
Like with all sufferers of high blood pressure or heart failure, you should pair your medication with some lifestyle changes such as eating healthily, exercising regularly and avoiding excessive smoking or drinking.
Your doctor may also perform regular blood pressure, kidney function and blood tests while on this medication.
The most common side effects of using Enalapril include:
- Feeling dizzy, weak or sick
- Blurred vision
- Diarrhoea or abdominal pain, rash
- Headache, fainting
- Low blood pressure, changes in heart rhythm
- Weakness or fatigue, depression
- Increased potassium level
- Change in sense of taste, shortness of breath.
If you do experience one or more of these side effects and they persist or worsen, then inform your doctor right away. You should also contact your doctor if you notice any serious side effects such as difficulty breathing, ringing in the ears or yellowing of the skin or eyes.