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Capoten can be used alone in treating high blood pressure. Its blood pressure lowering effect can be further enhanced by the addition of a diuretic (water pill) medication. Capozide is an example of a medication that combines the effect of capoten with a diuretic (water pill). By reducing resistance in the arteries, capoten can be useful in the treatment of congestive heart failure. In treating heart failure, capoten usually supplements conventional treatment, including a diuretic and digoxin (Lanoxin). After a heart attack, capoten has been found to be effective in improving functioning of the damaged heart. It is also used to treat kidney disease associated with diabetes.
Capoten should be taken on an empty stomach one hour before meals. Do not take antacids containing aluminium or magnesium within 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking this medicine.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Capoten is an ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor. ACE is an enzyme in the body which is important for the formation of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II causes constriction of arteries in the body, thereby elevating blood pressure. ACE inhibitors such as captopril lower blood pressure by inhibiting the formation of angiotensin II, thus relaxing the arteries. Relaxing the arteries not only lowers blood pressure, but also improves the pumping efficiency of a failing heart and improves cardiac output in patients with heart failure.
Continue to take this medicine even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses. If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Store this medicine at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and light.
Possible Side Effects
Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include cough, dizziness or lightheadedness, drowsiness, and taste changes. If they continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor. Check with your doctor as soon as possible if you experience severe lightheadedness or fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; prolonged nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; a change in the amount of your urine; unusual joint pain; or unusual muscle pain, cramps, or weakness. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience swelling of hands, legs, face, lips, eyes, throat, tongue, or trunk; difficulty swallowing or breathing; hoarseness; chest pain; unusual stomach pain; yellowing of the skin or eyes; darkening of your urine; sore throat; or fever. An allergic reaction to this medicine is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
Do not share this medicine with others for whom it was not prescribed. Do not use this medicine for other health conditions.
If you will be taking this medicine for an extended period of time, be sure to obtain necessary refills before your supply runs out.