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What is Capoten®?

By Ashley N. Ward
Updated May 17, 2024
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Capoten®, the brand name version of the generic drug captopril, is a medication that belongs to a group of drugs known as angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It is used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, diabetes-related problems and heart attacks. While Capoten® has proved successful in treating these conditions, it does not cure them or reverse any damage already done by them.

Capoten® works by decreasing specific chemicals in the body, allowing blood vessels to relax so blood can flow more easily through a patient's system. It is prescribed in tablet form and taken by mouth, usually two or three times a day. Doctors typically recommend taking Capoten® about an hour before a meal with a full glass of water. Vomiting, diarrhea and excessive sweating have been reported as common side effects of Capoten®, so it's important to drink plenty of water when taking the drug. If a patient fails to stay hydrated, the result could be an electrolyte imbalance, dehydration or liver damage.

Other possible side effects include dizziness, cough, sore throat, tiredness, unusual bruising, mouth sores and an affected sense of taste. While these symptoms are relatively common, if they become severe or don't go away on their own, the patient's doctor should be made aware. Other side effects are more serious and may point to a severe reaction to the medication. A patient experiencing chest pain, swelling, difficulty breathing, fainting spells, or a rash should immediately contact his doctor or a hospital.

Capoten® users should always follow their doctor's instructions when taking the medication and be forthcoming about other prescription and non-prescription drugs they may be taking; this can cut the risk of drug interactions. It is especially important to report the use of diuretics, potassium, vitamins, lithium and other medicines used to treat high blood pressure. The patient should also tell his doctor about any history of heart disease, kidney disease, pregnancy, and any recent or upcoming surgery or dental procedures. Patients may have to stop taking the drug before or after an operation, to avoid complications.

Patients will need to remain in regular contact with their healthcare provider while taking Capoten®. Regularly scheduled tests to measure blood pressure, kidney function and liver function are often a requirement. These tests will help to measure the effectiveness of the medication and help the doctor detect any developing complications and adjust the treatment plan accordingly.

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