captopril and hydrochlorothiazide, Capozide

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is captopril and hydrochlorothiazide, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Capozide is a combination of captopril (Capoten) and hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and a diuretic (water pill), respectively, and is used in the treatment of high blood pressure. ACE is an enzyme in the body that causes the formation of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II causes the arteries in the body to narrow, thereby elevating blood pressure. ACE inhibitors, such as captopril, lower blood pressure by preventing the formation of angiotensin II thereby relaxing the arteries. HCTZ is a diuretic (water pill) used for treating high blood pressure (hypertension) and accumulation of fluid. It works by blocking salt and fluid reabsorption in the kidneys, causing increased urine output (diuresis). The mechanism of its action in lowering high blood pressure is not well understood. The combination of captopril and HCTZ reduces blood pressure better than either drug alone. Captopril increases potassium levels while HCTZ reduces potassium levels; the combination of both drugs has less effect on potassium levels. The FDA approved captopril/HCTZ in October 1984.

What brand names are available for captopril and hydrochlorothiazide?

Capozide

Is captopril and hydrochlorothiazide available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for captopril and hydrochlorothiazide?

Yes

What are the side effects of captopril and hydrochlorothiazide?

A dry, persistent cough has been reported commonly with the use of ACE inhibitors. Coughing resolves after discontinuing the drug.

Other common side effects include:

Increased blood glucose and potassium levels also may occur.

Serious but, fortunately, very rare side effects are liver failure angioedema (swelling of lips and throat that can obstruct breathing).

Capozide may reduce kidney function in some patients and should not be used by patients who have bilateral renal artery stenosis (narrowing of both arteries going to the kidneys).

Rare cases of rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown), reduced number of platelets, and pancreatitis have been reported.

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