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Vasotec

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Vasotec is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults and children.


Drug Name

Vasotec (Enalapril maleate)

Drug Uses

This drug belongs to a group of medications called ACE inhibitors. It is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults and children. It works by relaxing blood vessels, causing them to widen. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks and kidney problems. This medication is also used with other drugs (e.g., "water pills"/diuretics, digoxin) to treat congestive heart failure.

How Taken

Take this medication by mouth, usually once or twice a day; or as directed by your doctor. You may take this drug with or without food. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time(s) each day. If you are taking this drug in the liquid suspension form, shake the bottle well before each use. Measure the dose out carefully. Do not take potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium without talking to your doctor or pharmacist first. This medicine can raise your potassium levels, which rarely can cause serious side effects such as muscle weakness or very slow heartbeats. Tell your doctor immediately if these effects occur. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take several weeks before the full benefit of this drug occurs or several weeks to months when used for congestive heart failure. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feelwell. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.

Drug Class and Mechanism

Vasotec 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.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store tablets at room temperature below 86 degrees F (30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Refrigerate the liquid suspension between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C). Discard any unused suspension after 30 days. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.