Know the basics
What is captopril used for?
Captopril is a drug used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Captopril belongs to a cardiovascular drug class called ACE inhibitors. It works by inhibiting the angiotensin converting enzyme, which lowers the amount of angiotensin II (a hormone that causes vasoconstriction and increase the blood pressure).
Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. It is also used to treat heart failure, protect the kidneys from harm due to diabetes, and to improve survival after a heart attack.
How should I take captopril?
Take this medication by mouth on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before meals) as directed by your doctor, usually two to three times a day.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.
For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take up to 2 weeks before you get the full benefit of this medication. For the treatment of heart failure, it may take weeks to months before you get the full benefit of this medication. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (such as your blood pressure readings remain high or increase).
How do I store captopril?
Captopril is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store captopril in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of captopril that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush captopril down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Know the precautions & warnings
What should I know before using captopril?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to Captopril.
Before using Captopril, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- kidney disease;
- hearing impairment.
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use Captopril.
Is it safe to take captopril during pregnancy or breast-feeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category ___ according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk,
- B=No risk in some studies,
- C=There may be some risk,
- D=Positive evidence of risk,
Know the side effects
What are the side effects of captopril?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:
- severe stomach pain;
- difficulty breathing;
- swelling of your face,
- tongue, or
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- feeling light-headed, fainting;
- urinating more or less than usual, or not at all;
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
- pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
- easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
- fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats;
- chest pain; or
- swelling, rapid weight gain.
Less serious side effects may include:
- loss of taste sensation, loss of appetite;
- dizziness, drowsiness, headache;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- dry mouth, sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
- nausea, diarrhea, constipation; or
- mild skin itching or rash.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Know the interactions
What drugs may interact with captopril?
Captopril may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Alteplase, Recombinant
- Candesartan Cilexetil
- Dabigatran Etexilate
- Doxorubicin Hydrochloride Liposome
- Interferon Alfa-2a
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Olmesartan Medoxomil
- Vincristine Sulfate Liposome
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Amtolmetin Guacil
- Bupivacaine Liposome
- Choline Salicylate
- Ethacrynic Acid
- Flufenamic Acid
- Gold Sodium Thiomalate
- Ibuprofen Lysine
- Mefenamic Acid
- Niflumic Acid
- Salicylic Acid
- Sodium Salicylate
- Tiaprofenic Acid
- Tolfenamic Acid
Does food or alcohol interact with captopril?
Captopril may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with captopril?
Captopril may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, or legs) with other ACE inhibitors, history of—May increase risk of this condition occurring again.
- Collagen vascular disease (an autoimmune disease) together with kidney disease or
- Scleroderma (an autoimmune disease) or
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)—Increased risk of blood problems.
- Electrolyte imbalance (e.g., low sodium in the blood) or
- Fluid imbalances (caused by dehydration, vomiting, or diarrhea) or
- Heart or blood vessel problems (e.g., aortic stenosis) or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Kidney problems (including patients receiving dialysis)—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Understand the dosage
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.
What is the dose of captopril for an adult?
Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension
Initial dose: 25 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day one hour before meals.
Maintenance dose: 25 to 150 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day one hour before meals.
Usual Adult Dose for Congestive Heart Failure
Initial dose: 25 mg orally 3 times a day (6.25 to 12.5 mg orally 3 times a day if volume depleted or hypotensive).
Maintenance dose: After a dose of 50 mg three times a day is reached, further increases in dosage should be delayed, where possible, for at least 2 weeks to determine if a satisfactory response occurs. Most patients studied have had a satisfactory clinical improvement at 50 to 100 mg three times a day.
Captopril should generally be used in conjunction with a diuretic and digitalis.
Usual Adult Dose for Left Ventricular Dysfunction
Initial dose: 6.25 mg orally for one dose, then 12.5 mg orally 3 times a day.
Increasing dose: The dose is increased to 25 mg orally 3 times a day during the next several days.
Maintenance dose: The dose is increased to a target dose of 50 mg orally 3 times a day over the next several weeks as tolerated.
Therapy may be initiated as early as three days following a myocardial infarction.
Captopril may be used in patients treated with other postmyocardial infarction therapies, e.g., thrombolytics, aspirin, beta blockers.
Usual Adult Dose for Diabetic Nephropathy
The recommended dose for long-term use is 25 mg orally 3 times a day.
Usual Adult Dose for Hypertensive Emergency
When prompt titration of blood pressure is indicated, continue diuretic therapy and halt current medication therapy and initiate 25 mg two or three times daily under close supervision. Increase the dose every 24 hours or less until a satisfactory response is obtained or the maximum dose is reached.
Usual Adult Dose for Cystinuria
Initial dose: 25 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day one hour before meals. Initial doses may be titrated as tolerated approximately every 1 to 2 weeks to reduce the degree of cystinuria.
What is the dose of captopril for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is captopril available?
Captopril is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Tablet, oral: 6.25mg, 12.5mg, 25mg, 50mg, 100mg
- Liquid, oral: 1mg/ml
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of captopril, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Captopril https://www.drugs.com/captopril.html. Accessed July 11, 2016.
Captopril https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682823.html. Accessed July 11, 2016.
Captopril http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-964/captopril-oral/details. Accessed July 11, 2016.
Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017