Drugs A - Z

Captopril Oral tablet

This medicine is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure

Generic Name: captopril  |  Brand Name: Capoten

Brand Names: Capoten

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

  • May cause fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality if used during pregnancy. (See Fetal/Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality under Cautions.)
  • If pregnancy is detected, discontinue captopril as soon as possible.

What is this medicine?

CAPTOPRIL (KAP toe pril) is an ACE inhibitor. This medicine is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. It is used to treat heart damage after a heart attack. It can also slow the progression of kidney disease in diabetic patients.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • bone marrow disease
  • heart or blood vessel disease
  • if you are on a special diet, such as a low salt diet
  • immune system disease like lupus or scleroderma
  • kidney disease
  • low blood pressure
  • previous swelling of the tongue, face, or lips with difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, or tightening of the throat
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to captopril, other ACE inhibitors, insect venom, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Take this medicine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before meals. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take more medicine than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • antacids
  • diuretics
  • lithium
  • medicines for chest pain like nitroglycerin
  • medicines for high blood pressure
  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • over-the-counter herbal supplements like hawthorn
  • potassium salts or potassium supplements

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Check your blood pressure as directed. Ask your doctor or health care professional what your blood pressure should be and when you should contact him or her. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice an irregular or fast heart beat.

Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information.

Check with your doctor or health care professional if you get an attack of severe diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, or if you sweat a lot. The loss of too much body fluid can make it dangerous for you to take this medicine.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Avoid salt substitutes unless you are told otherwise by your doctor or health care professional.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or pain while you are taking this medicine without asking your doctor or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients may increase your blood pressure.


Last Updated: March 24, 2009
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