Enalapril is an oral ACE inhibitor prescribed by most doctors for the treatment of:
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Symptomatic heart failure
- Prevention of symptomatic heart failure among patients with left ventricular dysfunction with no symptoms
It’s a first-choice blood pressure-lowering medication for many people. It lowers the risk of stroke and heart attack while protecting the kidney function. Enalapril is widely used in chronic kidney failure. It is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease. Anyone with heart failure can take Enalapril since it lowers the risk of death and further damage to the heart. Enalapril Maleate is approved by the FDA for medical use since 1984. It’s one of the safest and most effective anti-hypertensive drugs needed in the health system.
Enalapril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. It works by blocking the action of a compound in the body known as an angiotensin-converting enzyme. ACE is further metabolized to produce another compound called angiotensin II. This new compound causes the blood vessels to constrict and to become narrow which in increases the blood pressure.
Blocking the action of angiotensin-converting enzyme reduces the production of angiotensin II which causes the blood vessels to relax and widens. As a result, the blood pressure becomes low while the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart increases. Lowering blood pressure also reduces the workload of the heart. This helps improve the symptoms of heart failure because the heart doesn’t have to pump blood as hard as it could.
How to Use It
The dose of Enalapril depends on the following:
- Your condition,
- The strength of the medicine, and
- How well you respond to the treatment
- High blood pressure: The dose in treating high blood pressure in an adult is 5mg once a day. The dose may increase as needed but should not exceed more than 40mg per day. The dose for children is based on the weight with an initial dose of 0.08mg/kg. The dose should not exceed 0.58mg /kg.
- Heart failure: Adult should take 2.5mg two times a day. The maximum dose is 40mg/day. For heart failure, it is generally used in combination with diuretics such as Furosemide.
- Abnormal heart ventricle: The initial dose is 2.5mg two times a day and may be increased as needed. The maximum dose is 20mg a day.
The onset of effect can be observed 1 to 2 hours after intake while the duration of the effect lasts for an average of 24 hours. Your doctor may require you to check your kidney function regularly. You may also require a yearly blood test to see how the medicine affects your body.
Possible Side Effects of Enalapril Maleate
Common side effects of Enalapril may include:
If the following symptoms persist, consult your doctor:
- Dry cough
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of taste sensation
- Dry mouth
- Sleep problems
- Skin itching
- Chest pain
- Changes in the amount of urine
- Fast and uneven heartbeats
- Signs of infections like fever, chills, body aches, persistent sore throat
- Rapid weight gain
- Pale skin
- Easy bruising
- Yellowing of the skin
What should I know before taking Enalapril Maleate?
- People with the following conditions should not use Enalapril:
- Allergic to ACE inhibitors
- Hereditary angioedema
- History of swelling of the face, lips, or tongue with no known cause or are caused by previous use of ACE inhibitors
- People with the following conditions should use Enalapril with care:
- Decreased kidney and liver functions
- Severe heart failure
- Narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys
- Narrowing of the main artery of the body
- Hardening of the arteries in the heart, brain or legs
- Narrowing of one of the valves in the heart
- Decreased volume of fluid in the body due to diuretic therapy, kidney dialysis, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and low salt diet
- A blockage inside the heart and thickening of the internal muscle in the heart
- People who receive therapy to remove certain fat from the blood using a machine
- Kidney problems which require high-flux membrane dialysis
- Diseases affecting the connective tissue such as systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma
- Do not use this medication at any stage of pregnancy as it may cause birth defects or even death to a fetus. If you happen to become pregnant while using Enalapril, discontinue your medication and call your doctor right away.
- This medicine is not suitable for use by breastfeeding women unless deemed necessary. Discuss with your doctor the risk and benefits of taking this medicine.
- Enalapril can cause dizziness especially during the first few days of treatment. For this reason, take your first dose at bedtime. Alcoholic beverages may also enhance the blood pressure-lowering effect of this medicine, which can increase dizziness and may increase your risk of fainting.
Getting the Best Result from Enalapril Maleate
In addition to taking Enalapril, treatment for high blood pressure, heart failure, and other heart diseases may include:
- Changes in the type of foods you eat
- Weight control
- Drinking alcohol in moderation
- Avoiding cigarettes
Many patients with high blood pressure do not experience any signs of the problem. It is vital therefore that you should take your medication exactly as prescribed. If high blood pressure is not treated, it can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, kidney problems, and loss of vision.
Enalapril can help control your high blood pressure but it will not cure it. Therefore, continue taking your medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking your medication as this can cause your blood pressure to spike. If you are using this to treat high blood pressure, you will have to take it for the rest of your life.