Captopril should be used with caution in:
- Children and adolescents aged under 18 years
- People who have kidney disease
- People who have liver disease
- People who use a haemodialysis machine (artificial kidney machine)
- People who have heart disease; in particular problems with the heart valves, heart muscle (cardiomyopathy)
- People with disease of the blood circulatory system
- People who are having or are about to have low density lipoprotein apheresis treatment (removal of cholesterol from the blood by a machine)
- People with narrowing of the main blood vessels from the heart (known as aortic stenosis)
- People who are about to have or are having desensitisation treatment to reduce the effects of an allergy to wasp or bee stings
- People with diabetes
- People with renal artery stenosis (narrowing of the blood vessels to the kidneys)
- People who have recently suffered severe diarrhoea and sickness
- People on a low sodium diet
- People with an intolerance to certain sugars
- People taking an immunosuppressant medicine
- People taking water tablets
- People taking potassiumsupplements, potassium-containing salt substitutes or heparin
- People receiving an anaesthetic before surgery.
It should not be used in:
- patients who have an allergy to captopril, another ACE inhibitor or to any other ingredients in the medicine
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- People with swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat which causes difficulty breathing (known as angioneurotic oedema)
- People with a history of angioedema (swelling) of unknown cause or related to previous treatment with an ACE inhibitor
- People with immune system disease such as scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis
- People with the heart disorder cardiogenic shock.
Also see list of precautions and interactions
Do not store above 30ºC. Store in the original packaging to protect from moisture.
What is it used for?
- Captopril is used to widen the blood vessels in the body which can lead to a reduction in the blood pressure in the body.
- It is an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, sometimes known as an ACE inhibitor.
- It is used to block the action of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) which is produced naturally in the body. ACE produces angiotensin II in the body, a compound which increases the pressure within the blood vessels by constricting and narrowing the vessels. By blocking ACE, captopril reduces the production of angiotensin II, which allows the blood vessels to relax and widen. This produces a drop in blood pressure.
- Because captopril also enables the blood to be pumped more easily around the body it is also useful for heart failure, a condition in which the heart does not pump blood around the body as efficiently as it should. Captopril can also be used to treat patients who have had a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when one of the major vessels supplying blood to the heart muscle becomes blocked. This results in damage to the heart muscle because it does not receive enough oxygen.
- In general this drug is used to treat high blood pressure and certain heart conditions.
- Benefits of being on this drug can include lowering of blood pressure and relief from symptoms of heart failure including shortness of breath and breathing problems, and increase survival rates.
Listed below are the typical uses of captopril.
On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list. Such conditions are listed below.
HOW TO USE/TAKE
How often do I take it?
- Take this medication by mouth usually two or three times a day as instructed by your doctor, with or without food.
- You may feel dizzy after taking the first one or two doses of captopril. If this happens then lie down until these symptoms disappear.
- Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
- Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told not to by your doctor.
- It may take three to four weeks before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
- Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.
- Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.
Do I need to avoid anything?
- Captopril may affect your ability to drive or operate machinery, usually when you first start taking the medicine, if your doctor changes the dose or if you drink alcohol while taking your medicine. This may make you feel dizzy or light-headed. If you have these symptoms do not drive or operate machinery. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
When can I stop?
- It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctor tells you to stop.
CAPTOPRIL SIDE EFFECTS
- Dry mouth
- Sleep problems
- Hair loss
- Dry irritating cough
- Changes in the way things taste
- Upset stomach, sickness, abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Generally feeling unwell
- Low blood pressure
- Looking pale
- Reduced blood flow to the hands and feet (Raynaud's syndrome)
- Loss of appetite
- Mouth ulcers
- Needing to go to the toilet (pass urine) more frequently
- Pins and needles, numbness or tingling
- Kidney problems
- Increased sensitivity to light (photosensitivity)
- Weight loss
If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor or pharmacist.
Tell your doctor immediately and stop taking captopril if you develop any of the following symptoms:
- Swelling of the face, tongue, lips and hands
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden unexpected rash or burning, red or peeling skin
- Sore throat or fever
- Severe dizziness or fainting
- Severe stomach pain
- Unusually fast or irregular heart beat
- Yellowing of the skin and/or eyes (jaundice)
Further information about other side effects can be found in the patient information leaflet.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.
Before taking captopril, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other ACE inhibitors; or if you have any other allergies.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist in case you:
- have allergies to captopril, another ACE inhibitor or to any other ingredients in the medicine,
- are pregnant
- are breastfeeding
- have a swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat which causes difficulty breathing (known as angioneurotic oedema)
- have a history of angioedema (swelling) of unknown cause or related to previous treatment with an ACE inhibitor
- have an immune system disease such as scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis
- have the heart disorder cardiogenic shock.
Before using this medication tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- if you use a haemodialysis machine (artificial kidney)
- if you have heart disease, in particular problems with the heart valves, heart muscle (cardiomyopathy) or heart failure
- disease of the blood circulatory system
- if you are having or are about to have low density lipoprotein apheresis treatment (removal of cholesterol from the blood by a machine)
- if you have narrowing of the main blood vessels from the heart (known as aortic stenosis)
- if you are about to have or are having desensitisation treatment to reduce the effects of an allergy to wasp or bee stings
- if you have diabetes, renal artery stenosis (narrowing of the blood vessels to the kidneys)
- if you have had recent severe diarrhoea and sickness
- if you are on a low sodium diet
- if you have an intolerance to certain sugars
- if you are taking an immunosuppressant medicine
- if you are taking water tablets
- if you are taking potassium supplements, potassium-containing salt substitutes or heparin
- are due to receive an anaesthetic before surgery.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.
Does alcohol intake affect this drug?
- Moderate amounts of alcohol are unlikely to affect captopril but check with your doctor first if drinking is advisable for you.
The elderly: captopril can be used in the elderly although your doctor may consider giving you a lower starting dose than is used in younger patients if you have kidney problems or other health problems.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below
Captopril is not safe to take if you are, or are planning to become, pregnant.
It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.
If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.
Captopril is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding.
It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.
If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.
Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.
If you are taking more than one medicine, these may interact with each other. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines which interact with each other if the benefit outweighs the risks. In these cases, the dose of your medicines may need to be adjusted or you may be monitored more closely.
The following medicines may interact with captopril:
- Other medicines for high blood pressure
- Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists
- Antacids for indigestion and heartburn
- Calcium channel blockers
- Medicines for cancer
- Medicines to suppress the immune system (immunosuppressants such as azathioprine, ciclosporin and cyclophosphamide)
- Medicines for anxiety
- Medicines for diabetes including insulin
- Medicines that may be used during or after a heart attack
- Medicines for mental illness (antipsychotics)
- Mono amine oxidase inhibitors
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkilling drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen
- Potassium supplements
- Salt substitutes containing potassium
- Sleeping tablets
- Sympathomimetic drugs (found in some cough, cold and asthma medicines)
- Tricyclic antidepressants including amitriptyline
- Water tablets (diuretics)
This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, tell your prescriber of all the products you are using before taking this medicine.
If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.
Taking too much captopril may cause the following: very low blood pressure (hypotension), dizziness, shock, slow heart rate, problems with salt balance in the body, kidney problems, loss of consciousness.
People who have taken too much captopril should tell their doctor or go to the nearest hospital casualty department immediately. Take the packet and any remaining tablets you have with you.
If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of captopril or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.
If you miss a dose, take 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.