What is enalapril?


Generic Name: Enalapril Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is enalapril used for?

Enalapril belongs to a class of drugs known as ACE inhibitors. It works by relaxing blood vessels so blood can flow more easily.

Enalapril is used to treat high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. It is also used to treat heart failure and to help prevent people with a certain heart problem (left ventricular dysfunction) from developing heart failure.

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of enalapril that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by yourhealth care professional. Use enalapril for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

Enalapril may also be used to help protect the kidneys from harm due to diabetes.

How should I take enalapril?

Take enalapril by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice daily.

Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. For children, the dosage is also based on weight.

Use enalapril regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take enalapril at the same time(s) each day. It is important to continue taking enalapril 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 several weeks before you get the full benefit of enalapril. For the treatment of heart failure, it may take weeks to months before you get the full benefit of using enalapril.

Tell your doctor if your condition worsens (for example, your blood pressure readings increase).

How do I store enalapril?

Enalapril is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store enalapril in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of enalapril 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 enalapril 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 enalapril?

Before taking enalapril,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to enalapril, benazepril, captopril, fosinopril, lisinopril, moexipril, perindopril, quinapril, ramipril, trandolapril, or any other medications.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (nsaids); diuretics; lithium; and potassium supplements. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart or kidney disease; lupus; scleroderma; diabetes; or angioedema, a condition that causes difficulty swallowing or breathing and painful swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs.
  • Tell your doctor if you plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.
  • If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking enalapril.
  • You should know that diarrhea, vomiting, not drinking enough fluids, and sweating a lot can cause a drop in blood pressure, which may cause lightheadedness and fainting.

Is it safe to take enalapril during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking enalapril during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

During pregnancy:

Enalapril is pregnancy risk category D 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,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

During breastfeeding :

Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of enalapril?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; severe stomach pain; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • Feeling like you might pass out;
  • Urinating more or less than usual, or not at all;
  • Swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • Weakness, confusion, increased thirst, loss of appetite, vomiting, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • Fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • Pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding;
  • Fast or uneven heartbeats;
  • High potassium (slow heart rate, weak pulse, muscle weakness, tingly feeling);
  • Chest pain;
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include: cough; loss of taste sensation, loss of appetite; dizziness, drowsiness, headache; sleep problems (insomnia); dry mouth; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; 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 enalapril?

Enalapril 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.

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with enalapril, especially: lithium; a diuretic or “water pill”; gold injections to treat arthritis; a potassium supplement such as Cytra, Epiklor, K-Lyte, K-Phos, Kaon, Klor-Con, or Polycitra; or aspirin or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs): ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with enalapril, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Does food or alcohol interact with enalapril?

Enalapril 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 enalapril?

Enalapril 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, especially:

  • Angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, or legs), history of—May increase risk of this condition occurring again;
  • Collagen vascular disease (an autoimmune disease) together with kidney disease—Increased risk of blood problems;
  • Diabetes or;
  • Kidney problems—Increased risk of potassium levels in the body becoming too high;
  • Diabetic patients who are also taking aliskiren (Tekturna®) or;
  • Hereditary or idiopathic angioedema—Should not be used in patients with these conditions;
  • Electrolyte imbalance (eg, low sodium in the blood) or;
  • Fluid imbalances (caused by dehydration, vomiting, or diarrhea) or;
  • Heart or blood vessel problems (eg, aortic stenosis, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) or;
  • Kidney disease or;
  • Liver disease—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse;

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Enalapril for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

  • Initial dose (oral tablets or solution): 5 mg orally once a day;
  • Maintenance dose (oral tablets or solution): 10 to 40 mg orally per day as a single dose or in 2 divided doses;
  • Maximum dose: 40 mg orally daily as a single dose or in 2 divided doses;
  • In combination with diuretics:
  • initial dose: 2.5 mg orally once a day;
  • if feasible, the diuretic should be discontinued 2 to 3 days prior to initiation of therapy with enalapril. if required, diuretic therapy may be gradually resumed;
  • parenteral: 1.25 to 5 mg iv over a 5 minute period every 6 hours;

Usual Adult Dose for Congestive Heart Failure: Initial dose: 2.5 mg orally once a day

  • Maintenance dose: 2.5 to 20 mg daily in 2 divided doses;
  • Maximum dose: 40 mg orally per day in 2 divided doses;

Usual Adult Dose for Left Ventricular Dysfunction:

  • Initial dose: 2.5 mg orally twice a day;
  • Maintenance dose: 20 mg orally per day in 2 divided doses;

What is the dose of Enalapril for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Hypertension:

  • Oral tablets or solution: for children from 1 month to 17 years:
  • initial dose: 0.08 mg/kg/day (up to 5 mg) in 1 to 2 divided doses. adjust dosage based on patient response;
  • maximum dose: doses greater than 0.58 mg/kg (40 mg) have not been evaluated in pediatric patients;

How is enalapril available?

Solution Reconstituted, Oral, as maleate: 1 mg/mL (150 mL)
Tablet, Oral, as maleate: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg

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 enalapril, 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.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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