Captopril (By mouth)

Introduction

Captopril (KAP-toe-pril)

Treats high blood pressure and heart failure. A lower blood pressure will reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. Also used in the first few days after a heart attack to help reduce the risk of death and to treat kidney problems caused by diabetes. This medicine is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor.

Brand Name(s)

Capoten

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Take this medicine 1 hour before meals.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids if you exercise, sweat more than usual, or have diarrhea or vomiting.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using other medicine for high blood pressure (such as aliskiren, atenolol, losartan, metoprolol, olmesartan, propranolol, timolol, valsartan, Benicar®, Cozaar®, Diovan®, Hyzaar®, Tekturna®, Toprol®), nitrate medicine (such as nitroglycerin, Isordil®, Sorbitrate®), or a diuretic (water pill, such as amiloride, chlorthalidone, spironolactone, triamterene, Aldactazide®, Aldactone®, Combipres®, Dyazide®, Dyrenium®, Maxzide®, Midamor®, Tenoretic®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), injectable gold (such as sodium aurothiomalate), or an NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®).
  • Ask your doctor before you use any medicine, supplement, or salt substitute that contains potassium.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems, liver disease, heart failure, heart or blood vessel disease, heart valve problems, low blood pressure, or a mineral imbalance (such as high potassium or low sodium in the blood). Tell your doctor if you have diabetes or an autoimmune disorder (such as a collagen vascular disease).
  • Call your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain (with or without nausea or vomiting). This could be a symptom of intestinal angioedema.
  • This medicine could lower your blood pressure too much and cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded. Stand or sit up slowly if you are dizzy. This is more likely to happen when you begin to use the medicine. It could also happen if you become dehydrated, such as if you have diarrhea or vomiting, sweat heavily, or do not drink enough water. If you faint, stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Check with your doctor if you have a fever, chills, or sore throat. These could be symptoms of an infection resulting from low white blood cell counts.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have upper stomach pain, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
  • This medicine may be less effective in black patients. Black patients also have an increased risk of angioedema (swelling of the hands, arms, face, mouth, or throat).
  • Do not stop using this medicine without asking your doctor, even if you feel well. This medicine will not cure your high blood pressure, but it will help keep it in normal range. You may have to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate, or cloudy urine
  • Chest pain (may be related to your disease and not a side effect)
  • Confusion, weakness, trouble breathing, or numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or lips
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Severe stomach pain (with or without nausea or vomiting)
  • Uneven heartbeat

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry cough
  • Headache

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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