Enalapril is a generic drug that also goes by the brand name Vasotec. It is part of a class of medications called angiotensin converting inhibitors, or ACE-inhibitors. It is prescribed in tablets for the treatment of several different cardiac conditions, including high blood pressure, or hypertension, some kinds of chronic heart failure, and for disorders of the left ventricle of the heart. It is also given to restore the damage caused by heart attacks. Enalapril is most often given in conjunction with diuretics and digitalis. Enalapril is given in either a tablet or a suspension liquid.
Enalapril has been shown to be fairly well tolerated, and does not seem to cause many severe adverse side effects. In many studies, fewer than ten percent of patients experienced any side effects at all. The most common side effects include chest pain, low blood pressure, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, and fatigue. Other more rare side effects include impotence, rash, cough, vomiting, vertigo, decreased libido, upper respiratory infection, abdominal pain, and weakness. Some side effects, however, though rare, can be quite serious. These include swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, rash or hives and difficulty breathing, which are sometimes indicative of an allergic reaction. Other serious reactions can include extremely low blood pressure, kidney failure, and very low white blood count. Your doctor should test you to make sure that these functions are working properly.
There are some classes of medications that should be used cautiously if you are also taking Enalapril. If you are on diuretic therapy for hypotension, you may find that adding Enalapril to your treatment plan may result in a severe drop in blood pressure. You can minimize these effects by either discontinuing your diuretic or by increasing your salt intake. If you are on antidiabetic medications, such as insulins or hypoglycemic agents, you may experience a severe drop in blood sugar that may lead to hypoglycemia. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, or NSAIDs, can compromise your kidney function when taken at the same time as Enalapril and may actually lower Enalapril’s ability to lower your blood pressure. Drugs that increase your serum potassium levels may increase those levels dangerously when added to Enalapril. If you are taking any drug that causes you to lose sodium, including Enalapril, you may find that taking lithium causes harm because its toxicity increases.
You should not use Enalapril if you are pregnant, particularly in the second or third trimesters; it has been shown to possibly affect the growth of the fetus or its development. If you discover that you are pregnant, you should discontinue using Enalapril immediately. Enalapril is also known to pass into breast milk and can be dangerous to a nursing infant, so you should decide with your doctor whether to discontinue your Enelapril or to find alternative methods of feeding your child. Enalapril has been tested in children as young as one month old, up to sixteen years. It has proven to be a safe and effective treatment for pediatric use.
Enalapril has the following structural formula:
• Molecular formula of enalapril is C20H28N2O5
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 1-[2-(1-ethoxycarbonyl-3-phenyl-propyl)aminopropanoyl]pyrrolidine-2-carboxylic acid
• Molecular weight is 376.447 g/mol
• Enalapril available : 2.5mg tablets, 5mg tablets, 10mg tablets, 20mg tablets
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