Fosinopril | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

fosinopril, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Monopril
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for fosinopril

Oral tablet
1

Fosinopril is a prescription drug used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart failure. It comes as a tablet you take by mouth.

2

Fosinopril is available as a generic drug. There is no brand-name version available.

3

More common side effects can include headache, tiredness, cough, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or chest pain.

4

Don’t take this drug if you are pregnant. Fosinopril may cause birth defects or loss of the pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

5

This drug can cause an allergic reaction that causes swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat, as well as trouble breathing or swallowing. If you have these symptoms, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Pregnancy warning. Do not take this drug if you are pregnant. Fosinopril may cause birth defects or loss of the pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Allergic reaction

Fosinopril may cause an allergic reaction called angioedema. This can cause swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat, as well as trouble breathing or swallowing. It can also cause pain in the stomach area, with or without nausea and vomiting. If you have this reaction, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Low blood pressure with symptoms

Fosinopril can cause low blood pressure. Symptoms of low blood pressure include dizziness, tiredness, and nausea. You are at higher risk of low blood pressure if you take water pills, are on a low-salt diet, are on dialysis, have loose stools, or are vomiting.

Cough

Fosinopril can cause a persistent (long-lasting) cough. Talk to your doctor if you have a cough that won’t go away.

What is fosinopril?

Fosinopril is a prescription drug that comes in the form of a tablet you take by mouth. It may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Fosinopril is only available as a generic drug. It’s not available in a brand-name version.

Why it's used

Fosinopril is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.

How it works

Fosinopril belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

More Details

How it works

Fosinopril belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Fosinopril works by relaxing the blood vessels in your body, which lowers your blood pressure. This action also helps reduce stress on your heart. This can help improve symptoms of heart failure.

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fosinopril Side Effects

Oral tablet

More Common Side Effects

The more common side effects that can occur with use of fosinopril include:

  • headaches

  • tiredness

  • cough

  • diarrhea

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • chest pain and discomfort

  • low blood pressure

  • elevated liver enzymes

  • chest pain

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Allergic reaction (angioedema). Symptoms can include:

    • swollen face, lips, tongue, or throat
    • trouble breathing
    • itching of the skin
    • pain in the stomach area
    • nausea or vomiting
  • Low white blood cell counts. This raises your risk of infection. Symptoms can include signs of infection, such as:

    • fever
    • chills
  • Dizziness

  • Slow or fast heartbeat

  • Numbness of your hands or feet

  • Abnormal breathing. Symptoms can include:

    • wheezing
    • shortness of breath
  • Liver damage. Symptoms can include:

    • yellowing of the skin or nails
    • yellowing of the whites of the eyes
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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fosinopril May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Fosinopril can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

Having drinks that contain alcohol while taking fosinopril raises your risk of very low blood pressure.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Blood pressure drugs

Certain blood pressure drugs increase your risk of low blood pressure, high blood potassium, or kidney problems when taken with fosinopril. These drugs include:

  • aliskiren
  • losartan
  • valsartan
  • olmesartan
  • candesartan
  • benazepril
  • captopril
  • enalapril
  • lisinopril

Gastrointestinal (GI) upset drugs

When taken with fosinopril, certain drugs used to treat GI issues, such as stomach acid problems, can decrease levels of fosinopril in your body. This can make fosinopril less effective. To help avoid this problem, take fosinopril two hours before or after you take these GI drugs. These drugs include:

  • aluminum hydroxide
  • magnesium hydroxide
  • simethicone

Mood stabilizers (lithium)

Lithium is used to treat certain mood disorders. Taking lithium with fosinopril can increase the level of lithium in your body. This raises your risk of side effects from lithium.

Potassium supplements

These supplements can increase the amount of potassium in your blood. (Potassium is a mineral that helps your nerves, muscles, and organs work normally.) When taken with fosinopril, potassium levels can get too high. Very high levels of potassium can cause heart rhythm problems that can be life-threatening. These drugs include:

  • potassium chloride
  • potassium gluconate
  • potassium bicarbonate

Water pills (diuretics)

Certain diuretics increase your risk of low blood pressure when taken with fosinopril. These drugs include:

  • furosemide
  • bumetanide
  • chlorthalidone
  • toresemide
  • indapamide
  • hydrochlorothiazide

Other types of diuretics, called potassium-sparing diuretics, can cause other problems. They may increase the amount of potassium in your blood. (Potassium is a mineral that helps your nerves, muscles, and organs work normally.) Very high levels of potassium can cause heart rhythm problems that can be life-threatening. These drugs include:

  • spironolactone
  • amiloride
  • triamterene

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Fosinopril warnings
allergies
People with allergies

Don’t take fosinopril if you are allergic to it. Also, don’t take it if you have had an allergic reaction to any other angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

systemic lupus erythematosus
People with systemic lupus erythematosus

Fosinopril can cause low white blood cell counts. This raises your risk of infection. This is more likely to occur if you have lupus. If you have lupus and take this drug, tell your doctor any time you have a fever or sore throat.

scleroderma
People with scleroderma

Fosinopril can cause low white blood cell counts. This raises your risk of infection. This is more likely to occur if you have scleroderma. If you have lupus and take this drug, tell your doctor any time you have a fever or sore throat.

kidney problems
People with kidney problems

Fosinopril can worsen your kidney function or even cause new kidney problems. Your doctor may need to reduce your dose, or you may need to stop using this drug. Your doctor may do blood tests to see how the drug is affecting your kidneys. If you have a history of kidney problems, your body may have a greater response to fosinopril. This means you would have a higher risk of side effects, such as low blood pressure.

If you have kidney problems, you are also at increased risk of high blood potassium. (Potassium is a mineral that helps your nerves, muscles, and organs work normally.) Very high levels of potassium can cause heart rhythm problems that can be life-threatening.

high blood potassium
People with high blood potassium

Fosinopril can increase the level of potassium in your blood. (Potassium is a mineral that helps your nerves, muscles, and organs work normally.) Very high levels of potassium can cause heart rhythm problems that can be life-threatening.

diabetes
People with diabetes

Fosinopril can increase the level of potassium in your blood. (Potassium is a mineral that helps your nerves, muscles, and organs work normally.) Very high levels of potassium can cause heart rhythm problems that can be life-threatening. You are at an increased risk of high potassium levels if you have diabetes. Your doctor may monitor your blood potassium levels.

liver problems
People with liver problems

Your body may not clear fosinopril out of your system as well as it should. This could cause higher levels of fosinopril in your body, leading to increased side effects.

hemodialysis
People with hemodialysis

You are at higher risk of an allergic reaction to fosinopril called angioedema. Symptoms can include swelling around the eyes or lips, or on the hands, feet, or throat. To help avoid this, your doctor may switch you to a different type of dialysis or may change you to a different class of blood pressure medication.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

Fosinopril is a category D pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in humans has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. This drug should only be used during pregnancy in serious cases where it's needed to treat a dangerous condition in the mother.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Ask your doctor to tell you about the specific harm that may be done to the fetus. This drug should be only used if the potential risk to the fetus is acceptable given the drug’s potential benefit.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

Fosinopril passes into breast milk and can cause serious side effects in a child who is breast-fed. Tell your doctor if you breast-feed your child. You will need to decide either to stop breast-feeding or stop taking fosinopril.

call doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

allergies
Allergies

Fosinopril can cause a severe allergic reaction (angioedema). It can cause symptoms such as:

  • trouble breathing or swallowing
  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • hives

If you have these symptoms, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Don’t take this drug again if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it before. Taking it again could be fatal.

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How to Take fosinopril (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dose, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Hypertension

Generic: fosinopril

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • Initial dose: 10 mg once per day
  • Usual dose: 20–40 mg, either taken once per day, or divided and taken twice daily
  • Maximum dose: 80 mg once per day
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years, weight greater than 50 kg or 110 lbs)
  • Initial dose: 5–10 mg once per day
  • Maximum dose: 40 mg once per day
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different medication schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Kidney problems: Your doctor may start you on a lower dose (initial dose of 5 mg/day). This is because your body may be more sensitive to this drug and may not need as much to get the same effect.

Heart failure: Your doctor may start you on a lower dose (initial dose of 5 mg/day). This is because your body may be more sensitive to this drug and may not need as much to get the same effect.

Heart Failure

Generic: fosinopril

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • Initial dose: 10 mg once per day
  • Usual dose: 20–40 mg once per day
  • Maximum dose: 40 mg once per day
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This drug has not been studied in children to treat heart failure. It should not be used for this purpose in people younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different medication schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Kidney problems: Your doctor may start you on a lower dose (initial dose of 5 mg/day). This is because your body may be more sensitive to this drug and may not need as much to get the same effect.

Heart failure: Your doctor may start you on a lower dose (initial dose of 5 mg/day). This is because your body may be more sensitive to this drug and may not need as much to get the same effect.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Fosinopril comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

Your high blood pressure or heart failure may get worse. You may be at a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. Don’t stop taking fosinopril without talking to your doctor.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body.  Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • dizziness
  • fainting 

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away. 

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your blood pressure should go down, or your symptoms of heart failure should improve. These include shortness of breath, tiredness, and swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet.

Fosinopril is used for long-term treatment.

Store this drug carefully

  • Store fosinopril at room temperature from 68°F (20°C) to 77°F (25°C).
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.

Self-management

Your doctor may suggest that you monitor your blood pressure. You can do this using a home blood pressure monitor. Your doctor can tell you where to buy this device and how to use it.

Clinical monitoring

You doctor will monitor the following:

  • Blood pressure: Your doctor will check your blood pressure to make sure this drug is keeping your blood pressure under control.
  • Blood potassium levels: Fosinopril can cause increased potassium levels. Your doctor will check your levels to make sure they’re in a healthy range.
  • Kidney function: Fosinopril can make kidney problems worse, or even cause new ones. Your doctor will monitor how well your kidneys are working.
  • Liver function: Fosinopril can increase the level of liver enzymes in your body. A raised level of these enzymes is a sign of liver problems. Your doctor will monitor your enzyme level.

Your diet

Fosinopril can cause low blood pressure. A low-salt diet puts you at even higher risk of low blood pressure. If you are on a low-salt diet, talk to your doctor about whether this drug is right for you.

Fosinopril can also cause increased levels of blood potassium. (Potassium is a mineral that helps your nerves, muscles, and organs work normally.) Very high levels of potassium can cause heart rhythm problems that can be life-threatening. Using salt substitutes that contain potassium increases your risk of high potassium levels. Don’t use these salt substitutes without first talking to your doctor.

Hidden costs

You may need to buy a blood pressure monitor to check your blood pressure at home. Your doctor can tell you more.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

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How Much Does fosinopril Cost?

Oral tablet

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for fosinopril on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on September 22, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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