- High Blood Pressure Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Salt Quiz!
- Lowering Blood Pressure Exercise Tips Pictures
- What is enalapril, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for enalapril?
- Is enalapril available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for enalapril?
- What are the side effects of enalapril?
- What is the dosage for enalapril?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with enalapril?
- Is enalapril safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about enalapril?
What is enalapril, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What are the side effects of enalapril?
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.
In rare instances, liver dysfunction and skin yellowing (jaundice) have been reported with ACE inhibitors. In susceptible individuals ACE inhibitors may reduce kidney function. Enalapril may cause hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions and angioedema (swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat).
Quick GuideHow to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips
What is the dosage for enalapril?
The usual oral dose for treating high blood pressure is 2.5-40 mg once daily. It may also be administered twice daily in two divided doses. The dose for treating heart failure is 2.5-20 mg given twice daily. The usual starting intravenous dose is 1.25 mg administered over a 5 minute period every 6 hours. If a patient is receiving diuretic therapy the initial intravenous dose is 0.625 mg every 6 hours.
Which drugs or supplements interact with enalapril?
Patients receiving diuretics may experience excessive reduction in blood pressure when enalapril is started. Stopping the diuretic or increasing salt intake prior to taking enalapril may prevent excessive blood pressure reduction. Close supervision for at least 2 hours after the start of enalapril and until blood pressure is stable is recommended if the diuretic cannot be stopped.
Enalapril may increase potassium levels (hyperkalemia) in blood. Therefore, there is an increased risk of hyperkalemia when enalapril is given with potassium supplements or drugs that increase potassium levels (for example, spironolactone [Aldactone]).
There have been reports of increased lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) levels when lithium is used in combination with ACE inhibitors. The reason for this interaction is not known, but the increased levels may lead to toxicity from lithium. There have been reports that aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, etc.), indomethacin (Indocin, Indocin-SR), and naproxen (Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve) may reduce the effects of ACE inhibitors.
Nitritoid reactions (symptoms include facial flushing, nausea, vomiting and low blood pressure) may occur when injectable gold (sodium aurothiomalate [Myochrysine]), used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, is combined with ACE inhibitors, including enalapril.
Is enalapril safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
ACE inhibitors, including enalapril, can be harmful to the fetus and should not be taken by pregnant women.
ACE inhibitors, including enalapril, should be avoided in nursing mothers.
What else should I know about enalapril?
What preparations of enalapril are available?
- Tablets: 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 mg.
- Injection: 1.25 mg/mL
- STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at room temperature between 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F). The injectable formulation should be stored at 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Quick GuideHow to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips
Enalapril (Vasotec, Epaned) is a drug that belongs to the drug class of Ace inhibitors. Enalapril is prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and use during pregnancy should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
High Blood Pressure Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
What causes high blood pressure (hypertension)? Know the warning signs and symptoms of high blood pressure. Read about high blood...
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Quiz: Symptoms, Signs & Causes
Take this quiz and test your IQ of high blood pressure (hypertension), the cardiovascular disease that causes most strokes and...
Picture of Hypertension
High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg -- a systolic pressure above 140...
Related Disease Conditions
Kidney Failure (Symptoms, Signs, Stages, Causes, and Treatment)
Kidney failure can occur from an acute event or a chronic condition or disease. Prerenal kidney failure is caused by blood loss,...
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Symptoms, Stages, and Prognosis
Congestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease,...
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are...
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure is defined as a pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher in the arteries. Genetic factors, high salt intake, and...
Pulmonary edema (swelling or fluid in the lungs) can either be caused by cardiogenic causes (congestive heart failure, heart...
Diabetes Treatment (Type 1 and Type 2 Medications and Diet)
The major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar....
Cough (Chronic Cough)
Chronic cough is a cough that does not go away and is generally a symptom of another disorder such...
Heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart attack...
High Blood Pressure Treatment
High blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include...
Febrile seizures, or convulsions caused by fever, can be frightening in small children or infants. However, in general, febrile...
Hypertensive Kidney Disease
High blood pressure can damage the kidneys and is one of the leading causes of kidney failure (end-stage renal kidney disease)....
Heart Attack Treatment
A heart attack involves damage or death of part of the heart muscle due to a blood clot. The aim of heart attack treatment is to...
Pregnancy and Drugs (Prescription and OTC)
Taking prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs or supplements should be discussed with your doctor. There are some...
Heart Attack Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management....
Treatment & Diagnosis
- High Blood Pressure FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Medication Disposal - What to Do with Old or Unusable Medication
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
Medications & Supplements
- ACE Inhibitors (Side Effects, List of Names, Uses, and Dosage)
- High Blood Pressure Drugs (Hypertension)
- lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil, Qbrelis) ACE Inhibitor
- Drugs: What You Should Know About Your Drugs
- Drug Interactions
- Congestive Heart Failure Medications
- Vasodilators (Drug Class Side Effects, List of Names)
- ramipril, Altace
- captopril, Capoten
- benazepril (Lotensin HTC)
- trandolapril, Mavik
- quinapril, Accupril
- lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide, Zestoretic, Prinzide
- fosinopril sodium, Monopril
- benazepril and hydrochlorothiazide, Lotensin HCT
- captopril and hydrochlorothiazide, Capozide
- enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide, Vaseretic
Prevention & Wellness
- Girls Given Risky Meds Don't Get Contraceptive Advice
- New Drug May Help Fight Heart Failure
- Entresto Approved for Heart Failure
- Folic Acid May Help Ward Off Stroke in People With High Blood Pressure
- Common Blood Pressure Meds May Cut Risk of Early Death in Kidney Patients: Study
- Certain Allergies Plus Blood Pressure Meds Could Be Bad Mix
- Heart Failure Drugs Put to the Test
- Role of Screening, Monitoring in Early Kidney Disease Unclear
Daily Health News
Heart Health Resources
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Heart Health Newsletter
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Top enalapril Related ArticlesComplete List
Chronic cough is a cough that does not go away and is generally a symptom of another disorder such as
- allergic rhinitis,
- sinus infection,
- cigarette smoking,
- postnasal drip,
- medications, and
- less frequently tumors or other lung disease. Treatment of chronic cough is dependent upon the cause.
Chronic cough treatment is based on the cause, but may be soothed natural and home remedies.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) OverviewCongestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, myocarditis, and cardiomyopathies are just a few potential causes of congestive heart failure. Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure may include fatigue, breathlessness, palpitations, angina, and edema. Physical examination, patient history, blood tests, and imaging tests are used to diagnose congestive heart failure. Treatment of heart failure consists of lifestyle modification and taking medications to decrease fluid in the body and ease the strain on the heart. The prognosis of a patient with congestive heart failure depends on the stage of the heart failure and the overall condition of the individual.
Diabetes MellitusDiabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin dependent). Symptoms of diabetes include increased urine output, thirst, hunger, and fatigue. Treatment of diabetes depends on the type.
Diabetes TreatmentThe major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is treated with:
- and a diabetic diet.
- weight reduction,
- a diabetic diet,
- and exercise.
Heart AttackHeart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart attack can cause chest pain, heart failure, and electrical instability of the heart.
High Blood Pressure HypertensionHigh blood pressure is defined as a pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher in the arteries. Genetic factors, high salt intake, and increased arterial stiffness cause high blood pressure. Dizziness, headache, nausea, and shortness of breath are just a few symptoms of high blood pressure. Untreated high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, atherosclerosis, eye damage, stroke, and increased risk of aneurysms. High blood pressure can be managed with weight loss, lifestyle changes, and medication.
High Blood PressureWhat causes high blood pressure (hypertension)? Know the warning signs and symptoms of high blood pressure. Read about high blood pressure medications, diet, and long term treatments.
Take the HBP QuizTake this quiz and test your IQ of high blood pressure (hypertension), the cardiovascular disease that causes most strokes and heart attacks. How are dizziness, snoring, and gout related to HBP? Find the answer and learn how medical treatments and lifestyle adjustments fight this common problem.
High Blood Pressure TreatmentHigh blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include lifestyle modifications (alcohol, smoking, coffee, salt, diet, exercise), drugs and medications such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), alpha blockers, clonidine, minoxidil, and Exforge.
Hypertension PictureHigh blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg -- a systolic pressure above 140 with a diastolic pressure above 90. See a picture of Hypertension and learn more about the health topic.
Kidney failure can occur from an acute event or a chronic condition or disease. Prerenal kidney failure is caused by blood loss, dehydration, or medication. Some of the renal causes of kidney failure include sepsis, medications, rhabdomyolysis, multiple myeloma, and acute glomerulonephritis.
Post renal causes of kidney failure include bladder obstruction, prostate problems, tumors, or kidney stones.Treatment options included diet, medications, or dialysis.
ParathyroidectomyParathyroidectomy is the removal of one or more of the parathyroid glands to treat hyperparathyroidism. Risks of parathyroidectomy include:
- paralysis of the vocal cords,
- difficulty swallowing thin liquids,
- difficulty breathing,
- and drug reactions.
- damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve,
- bleeding or hematoma,
- problems maintaining calcium levels in the blood,
- need for further and more aggressive surgery,
- need for a limited or total thyroidectomy,
- prolonged pain,
- impaired healing,
- and recurrence of the tumor.
Pulmonary EdemaPulmonary edema (swelling or fluid in the lungs) can either be caused by cardiogenic causes (congestive heart failure, heart attacks, abnormal heart valves) or noncardiogenic causes such as:
- kidney failure,
- high altitude,
- pleural effusion,
- aspirin overdose,
- pulmonary embolism, and