(e nal' a pril)
Do not take enalapril if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking enalapril, call your doctor immediately. Enalapril may harm the fetus.
WHY is this medicine prescribed?
Enalapril is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. It is also used in combination with other medications to treat heart failure. Enalapril is in a class of medications called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It works by decreasing certain chemicals that tighten the blood vessels, so blood flows more smoothly and the heart can pump blood more efficiently.
High blood pressure is a common condition, and when not treated it can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of the body. Damage to these organs may cause heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and other problems. In addition to taking medication, making lifestyle changes will also help to control your blood pressure. These changes include eating a diet that is low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising at least 30 minutes most days, not smoking, and using alcohol in moderation.
HOW should this medicine be used?
Enalapril comes as an immediate and extended-release (long-acting) tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice a day with or without food. To help you remember to take enalapril, take it around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take enalapril exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of enalapril and gradually increase your dose.
Enalapril controls high blood pressure and heart failure but does not cure them. Continue to take enalapril even if you feel well. Do not stop taking enalapril without talking to your doctor.
Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?
Enalapril is also sometimes used to treat kidney disease related to diabetes. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?
Before taking enalapril,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to enalapril; other ACE inhibitors such as benazepril (Lotensin, in Lotrel), captopril (Capoten), fosinopril (Monopril), lisinopril (in Prinzide, in Zestoretic), moexipril (Univasc, in Uniretic), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril, in Accuretic, in Quinaretic), ramipril (Altace), and trandolapril (Mavik, in Tarka); any other medications; or any ingredients in enalapril tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you have diabetes and you are taking aliskiren (Tekturna, in Amturnide, in Tekamlo, in Tekturna HCT). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take enalapril if you have diabetes and you are also taking aliskiren.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as indomethacin (Indocin, Tivorbex); diuretics ('water pills'); lithium (Lithobid); and potassium supplements. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart or kidney disease; lupus; scleroderma (a condition in which extra tissue grows on the skin and some organs); diabetes; or angioedema (a condition that causes difficulty swallowing or breathing and painful swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs).
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking enalapril.
- you should know that diarrhea, vomiting, not drinking enough fluids, and sweating a lot can cause a drop in blood pressure, which may cause lightheadedness and fainting.
What SPECIAL DIETARY instructions should I follow?
Talk to your doctor before using salt substitutes containing potassium. If your doctor prescribes a low-salt or low-sodium diet, follow these directions carefully.
What should I do IF I FORGET to take a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?
Enalapril may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- 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
Enalapril may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly to determine your response to enalapril. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to enalapril.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
- Lexxel® (as a combination product containing Enalapril, Felodipine)[¶]
- Teczem® (as a combination product containing Diltiazem, Enalapril)[¶]
- Also available generically
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.