Enalapril belongs to the class of drugs known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It is prescribed either as a standalone treatment or in combination with other medications for the management of high blood pressure and heart failure. Its mechanism of action involves reducing the levels of specific chemicals that cause blood vessels to constrict, leading to improved blood flow and enhanced heart function.
Uses and Dosage
Your doctor will provide instructions on how to take this medication, typically once or twice a day, with or without food.
If you’re using the suspension form, be sure to shake the bottle thoroughly before each dose, and use a specialized measuring device or spoon to accurately measure the dose.
The amount of medication you take will depend on your medical condition and how your body responds to treatment, and for children, the dosage will also be based on their weight.
Take this medication regularly at the same time(s) each day to get the most benefit from it, even if you feel well. This is especially true for high blood pressure, as most people don’t experience any symptoms.
It may take several weeks to see the full benefit of this medication when treating high blood pressure, and even longer for heart failure. If you don’t notice any improvement or your condition worsens, such as your blood pressure readings remaining high or increasing, be sure to inform your doctor.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- fever, sore throat, chills, and other signs of infection
Prior to taking enalapril, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any allergies, particularly to ACE inhibitors like benazepril, or if you have any other allergies. This medication may also contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other issues.
Before using this medication, share your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have a history of angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat), high levels of potassium in your blood, or have had blood filtering procedures like LDL apheresis or dialysis.
Enalapril can cause dizziness, and consuming alcohol or marijuana may exacerbate this effect. To ensure your safety, avoid driving, operating machinery, or engaging in any activities that require alertness until you’re confident that you can do so safely.
Excessive sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting can cause dehydration and increase your risk of feeling lightheaded. If you experience prolonged diarrhea or vomiting, inform your doctor, and be sure to drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration.
This product may raise your potassium levels. Prior to using potassium supplements or salt substitutes that contain potassium, it’s important to speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
Older adults may be more sensitive to this medication’s side effects, such as dizziness and increased potassium levels.
If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor. You should not get pregnant while taking enalapril, as it may harm your unborn baby. If you do become pregnant, speak with your doctor immediately to weigh the risks and benefits of this medication.
Speak with your doctor before breastfeeding, as this medication can pass into breast milk, although it is unlikely to harm a nursing infant.
Form and Strength
Vasotec is available in the following forms and strengths:
Does Vasotec increase urination?
This medicine will make you urinate more. If you have difficulty passing urine, please tell your doctor.
Does Vasotec affect heart rate?
Vasotec does not work directly on your heart to lower your heart rate. Instead, it allows your blood vessels to relax which lowers your blood pressure.