Generic Name(s): Enalapril
Drug Class: ACE Inhibitors
Treats: Hypertension, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction
Vasotec is used to treat high blood pressure and heart attacks. It is used to lower high blood pressure, which in turn prevents strokes, heart attacks and kidney problems in patients. High blood pressure occurs when the force on the blood against the arteries is too high. Vasotec is used to relax blood vessels, by blocking a substance in the body that causes the vessels to tighten. Vasotec is also used in patient suffering from left ventricular dysfunction to prevent heart failure.
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Vasotec is used to treat conditions invariably linked to blood pressure and the heart. This is due to its mechanism of action which involves reducing the circulating of an enzyme called angiotensin II inside the body. By inhibiting this enzyme, blood pressure goes down as a consequence of many factors, one of the chief factors being the widespread dilation of blood vessels around the body. As a result, Vasotec is used in the treatment of hypertension, heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction. The drug also finds use in related conditions, where blood pressure should be reduced, such as in patients with chronic kidney failure. Vasotec may also be used in other conditions at the discretion of the prescriber.
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Failure
- Left Ventricular Dysfunction
It's worth noting that the following doses are not fixed and, instead, depend on the nature of the complaint, its severity, and whether the patient has any complicating factors such as disease or co-administration of other interacting drugs. However, the following values are considered the typical dose for Vasotec all else being equal.
- Hypertension Adult Dose: 5 mg to be taken once daily, rising to a maximum maintenance dose of 40mg.
- Congestive Heart Failure Adult Dose: Initial 2.5mg dose to be taken once daily, rising to a maintenance dose between 2.5mg and 20mg per day.
- Left Ventricular Dysfunction Adult Dose: 2.5mg to be taken orally twice daily, rising to a maintenance dose of 20mg per day.
Vasotec Side Effects
Vasotec should not be taken by pregnant women, or sexually active women who may become pregnant, as it harbours the risk of foetal abnormalities. Most patients do not experience any severe side-effects with Vasotec though some of the more commonly presented side-effects are listed below. Should you experience any severe effects while taking Vasotec, you are advised to discontinue the medicine and seek further professional advice. Common side-effects include:
- Dry Cough
Consult your healthcare provider should you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Little urination
- Pounding heartbeats
- Muscle weakness
Patients are advised to avoid potassium-rich foods while taking Vasotec as this may result in elevated levels of blood potassium levels. There are numerous important drug interactions with Vasotec, some of the more important ones being listed below, though the list is not intended to be exhaustive in that respect. You should always inform your healthcare provider of any medication you are currently taking, as these drugs may interact negatively with Vasotec. Drugs that interact with Vasotec include: