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  • Generic Name: (enalapril maleate)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 09/2015
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Vasotec is a medicine known as an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and a heart condition called left ventricular dysfunction.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Vasotec works by blocking a chemical in your body that causes blood vessels to narrow. By blocking this chemical, Vasotec relaxes and widens your blood vessels, allowing your blood to flow through with less resistance.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?


      High Blood Pressure: By lowering your blood pressure, Vasotec lowers your risk of a stroke or a heart attack.

      Heart Failure: Vasotec may improve some of the symptoms associated with heart failure, including shortness of breath and fatigue.

      Left Ventricular Dysfunction: Vasotec may increase survival and lower the need for hospitalization from heart failure in people with left ventricular dysfunction.

      When: Vasotec may start lowering your blood pressure within a few weeks. Though you may not feel an improvement or change in the way you feel, it is very important to keep taking your medicine as prescribed to keep your condition under control.

      How do I know it is working?

      High Blood Pressure: Check your blood pressure regularly. Your healthcare provider may also check your blood pressure at every visit. Following an appropriate diet and exercise plan will also affect your blood pressure results.

      Heart Failure: You may start to experience less symptoms. If you notice less shortness of breath, fatigue, or any other symptoms that you normally experience with this condition, then your medication is likely working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Vasotec can harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about other ways to lower your blood pressure if you plan to become pregnant. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while taking Vasotec.

      High Blood Pressure

      More common side effects may include: headache, dizziness, fatigue.

      Heart Failure

      More common side effects may include: dizziness, cough.

      Less common side effects of Vasotec may include:

      Serious allergic reaction with symptoms such as extreme swelling of your face, lips, tongue, throat, or gut (causing severe abdominal [stomach area] pain). You may have an increased risk of experiencing these symptoms if you have a history of angioedema (a condition involving swelling of the face, extremities, eyes, lips, and tongue) or if you are African American.

      Low blood pressure with symptoms such as lightheadedness, especially during the first few days of taking Vasotec. Dehydration, excessive sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting can lead to an excessive fall in your blood pressure, which can cause lightheadedness and possible fainting.

      Low blood neutrophil (type of blood cells that fight infections) levels with symptoms of an infection (such as sore throat or fever).

      Liver problems with symptoms such as yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

      Vasotec may also cause kidney problems or increase your potassium levels.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Vasotec if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, if you have a history of angioedema related to previous treatment with similar medicines, or if you have hereditary angioedema (a very rare genetic condition that causes swelling of various parts of the body, including hands, feet, face, and airways, as well as abdominal cramping).

      If you are diabetic, do not take Vasotec in combination with aliskiren.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Vasotec. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have diabetes; kidney, liver, or heart problems; plan to undergo surgery or receive anesthesia; or if you have a history of angioedema.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      High Blood Pressure

      Adults: The recommended starting dose is 5 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose based on your previous blood pressure medication and may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

      Children 1 month-16 years: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on his/her weight.

      Heart Failure

      Adults: The recommended dose range is 2.5 to 20 mg twice a day. Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your condition.

      Left Ventricular Dysfunction

      Adults: The recommended starting dose is 2.5 mg twice a day. Your healthcare provider may give you a higher dose depending on your needs.

      If you have kidney impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Vasotec exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Vasotec without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not become pregnant while taking this medication.

      Do not become dehydrated. Drink adequate amount of fluids while you are taking Vasotec.

      Do not take potassium supplements or salt substitutes that contain potassium without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Vasotec is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Vasotec with the following: aliskiren, blood pressure/heart medications called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) (such as losartan or valsartan), dextran, everolimus, injectable gold (sodium aurothiomalate), lithium, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as ibuprofen or naproxen), potassium supplements, salt substitutes containing potassium, sirolimus, temsirolimus, or water pills (such as amiloride, spironolactone, or triamterene).

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      Do not take Vasotec if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Vasotec can harm your unborn baby. Vasotec can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Vasotec, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature. Protect from moisture.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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