GENERIC NAME: enalapril
BRAND NAME: Vasotec, Epaned
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Enalapril is a drug that is used for treating high blood pressure. It is in a class of drugs called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. 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 enalapril, lower blood pressure by preventing the formation of angiotensin II thereby relaxing the arteries. ACE inhibitors also improve the effectiveness of the heart in patients with heart failure by reducing the blood pressure that the heart must maintain. Enalapril was approved by the FDA in December 1985.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Enalapril is used alone or in combination with other drugs to treat high blood pressure or congestive heart failure. After a heart attack, enalapril has been found to be effective in improving function of the damaged heart and in reducing symptoms and hospitalizations related to heart failure. The intravenous formulation is used when oral administration is not possible.
SIDE EFFECTS: Enalapril is generally well tolerated, and side effects usually are mild and transient. A dry, persistent cough has been reported commonly with the use of ACE inhibitors. Coughing resolves after discontinuing the medication.
Other important side effects include:
- abdominal pain,
- loss of appetite,
- nausea and vomiting,
- chest pain,
- numbness or tingling in the hands or feet,
- rash, and a
- sore or swollen throat.
Quick GuideLowering Blood Pressure Pictures Slideshow: Exercise Tips for Getting Started
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