Angiotensin II is a very potent chemical that causes the muscles surrounding blood vessels to contract, thereby narrowing the vessels. The narrowing of the vessels increases the pressure within the vessels causing high blood pressure (hypertension). Angiotensin II is formed from angiotensin I in the blood by the enzyme angiotensin converting enzyme or ACE. ACE inhibitors are medications that slow (inhibit) the activity of the enzyme ACE and decrease the production of angiotensin II. As a result, blood vessels enlarge or dilate, and blood pressure is reduced. The lower blood pressure makes it easier for the heart to pump blood and can improve the function of a failing heart. In addition, progression of the disease in the blood vessels within the kidney caused by high blood pressure or diabetes is slowed. The FDA approved captopril in April 1981.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 12.5, 25, 50, and 100 mg
STORAGE: Captopril should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F) and away from moisture.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Captopril is used alone or in combination with other drugs for the treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure. Captopril also is used for improving survival and preventing heart failure and hospitalizations for heart failure after a heart attack. Like other ACE inhibitors, captopril may slow the progression of kidney failure in patients with diabetes or high blood pressure. It is used for preventing nephropathy (kidney disease) caused by diabetes and high blood pressure.
- The recommended dose of captopril for treating hypertension in adults is 25-150 mg two or three times daily.
- The maximum dose is 450 mg daily. The dose for treating heart failure is 6.25 to 12.5 mg every 8 hours.
- The target dose is 50 mg every 8 hours and the maximum dose is 450 mg daily.
- The dose for diabetic nephropathy is 25 mg every 8 hours.
- It should be taken on an empty stomach one hour before or two hours after meals since absorption of captopril is reduced when it is taken with food.
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