GENERIC NAME: quinapril
BRAND NAME: Accupril
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Quinapril belongs in a class of drugs called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. ACE inhibitors are used for treating high blood pressure and heart failure and for preventing kidney failure due to high blood pressure and diabetes. Other drugs in this class are enalapril (Vasotec), ramipril (Altace), captopril (Capoten), fosinopril (Monopril), benazepril (Lotensin), lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil), moexipril (Univasc) and trandolapril (Mavik). ACE is important because it produces angiotensin II. Angiotensin II contracts the muscles of the arteries in the heart and the rest of the body, narrowing the arteries and thereby elevating blood pressure. In the kidney, the narrowing caused by angiotensin II decreases blood flow and increases the arterial filtration pressure in the kidney. ACE inhibitors such as quinapril lower blood pressure by inhibiting the formation of angiotensin II, thereby relaxing the arterial muscles and enlarging the arteries. This increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart so that it can pump blood more efficiently. The enlargement of the arteries elsewhere in the body also makes it easier for the heart to pump blood. This is particularly beneficial when there is heart failure. In the kidneys ACE inhibitors increase blood flow and reduce the filtration pressure in the kidneys. Quinapril was approved by the FDA in November 1991.
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