Captopril is a prescription drug commonly used to treat high blood pressure. It can also increase a patient's chances of surviving a heart attack. Captopril is classed as an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. It normally works by lowering blood levels of angiotensin enzyme, to help relax the blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and improve heart function. Like many other prescription drugs, captopril can have some side effects, and some precautions may be necessary for those who use it.
The prescription hypertension drug captopril is usually taken orally, in the form of a tablet. It's often taken more than once daily, sometimes up to three times per day. Patients are usually advised to take this drug without food. Patients should generally take captopril at least one hour before eating, and wait at least two hours after eating before taking it again.
Drugs interactions can sometimes occur if other drugs are used in conjunction with captopril. Drugs that can interact with captopril may include potassium supplements, lithium, and diuretic drugs. Patients are normally strongly advised to discuss their use of prescription and non-prescription drugs with their doctors prior to taking captopril.
Captopril can have some risks and side effects. Patients taking captopril may be at risk of serious complications if they experience dehydration due to diarrhea, sweating, or vomiting. Kidney failure and dangerously low blood pressure are some of the complications that can occur in patients who become dehydrated while taking captopril.
Pregnant and nursing women are generally advised not to take captopril. Patients who use alcohol while taking captopril may put themselves at risk for dangerously low blood pressure. Alcohol can also sometimes intensify the side effects of this hypertension drug.
Some people are usually advised to avoid taking captopril, due to pre-existing conditions that could make using this drug dangerous for them. Patients are usually advised to discuss their history of kidney and liver disease, heart disease, and diabetes with their physicians before taking captopril. Those who suffer from conditions such as Sjogen's syndrome, lupus, Marfan syndrome, scleroderma, or rheumatoid arthritis may also be well advised to discuss their medical histories with their doctors before taking captopril.
The side effects of this drug can include dizziness, feelings of faintness, and a strange taste in the mouth. Captopril may impair a patient's ability to taste foods. Fever, cough, sore throat and increased heart rate can be side effects of this drug. Unusual fatigue, ulcers inside the mouth, and easy bruising can also occur.