Enalapril is used to treat high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. It is also used to treat heart failure and to help prevent people with a certain heart problem (left ventricular dysfunction) from developing heart failure. Enalapril belongs to a class of drugs known as ACE inhibitors. It works by relaxing blood vessels so blood can flow more easily.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice daily. If you are using the suspension form of this medication, shake the bottle well before each dose. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. For children, the dosage is also based on weight. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take several weeks before you get the full benefit of this medication. For the treatment of heart failure, it may take weeks to months before you get the full benefit of this medication. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (such as your blood pressure readings remain high or increase).
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. Dry cough may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. 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. Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fainting, symptoms of a high potassium blood level (such as muscle weakness, slow/irregular heartbeat). Although enalapril may be used to prevent kidney problems or treat people who have kidney problems, it may also rarely cause serious kidney problems or make them worse. Your doctor will check your kidney function while you are taking enalapril. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of kidney problems such as a change in the amount of urine. This drug may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver problems. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any of the following rare but serious side effects: yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, severe stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe 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. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Store tablets at room temperature away from light and moisture. Store the suspension in the refrigerator. Discard any unused suspension after 30 days. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
See also Precautions section. Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: aliskiren, certain drugs that weaken the immune system/increase the risk of infection (such as everolimus, sirolimus), lithium, drugs that may increase the level of potassium in the blood (such as ARBs including losartan/valsartan, birth control pills containing drospirenone), sacubitril. Some products have ingredients that could raise your blood pressure or worsen your heart failure. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen). A very serious reaction may occur if you are getting injections for bee/wasp sting allergy (desensitization) and are also taking enalapril. Make sure all your doctors know which medicines you are using.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe dizziness, fainting.