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Capoten tablets contain the active ingredient captopril, which is a type of drug called an ACE inhibitor. Captopril is available without a brand name, ie as the generic drug.
ACE inhibitors work by blocking the action of a compound in the body called angiotensin converting enzyme. Normally ACE produces another compound called angiotensin II, as part of the body's natural control of blood pressure. Angiotensin II causes blood vessels to constrict and narrow, which increases the pressure within the blood vessels.
As Capoten blocks the action of ACE, it reduces the production of angiotensin II. This means that the blood vessels are allowed to relax and widen. The overall effect of this is a drop in blood pressure, hence captopril can be prescribed to lower high blood pressure.
The reduced pressure within the blood vessels means that the heart doesn't have to work as hard to pump the blood around the body. This means that ACE inhibitors such as captopril can be prescribed to improve the symptoms of heart failure, where the heart is not pumping as efficiently as it should be. Captopril has been shown to improve survival following a heart attack and to help prevent heart failure in people with a weak heart after suffering a heart attack.
Capoten is prescribed for the treatment of:
- Diabetic kidney disease in people with type 1 diabetes;
- Heart failure;
- High blood pressure;
- Improving survival following a heart attack;
- Preventing symptomatic heart failure in people with a poorly functioning heart after suffering a heart attack;
Capoten is prescribed in the treatment of high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. When prescribed for high blood pressure, it is effective prescribed alone or combined with diuretics. If it is prescribed for congestive heart failure, it is prescribed in combination with digitalis and diuretics. Capoten is in a family of drugs known as "ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors." It works by preventing a chemical in your blood called angiotensin I from converting into a more potent form that increases salt and water retention in your body. Capoten enhances blood flow throughout your blood vessels.
In addition, Capoten is prescribed to improve survival in certain people who have suffered heart attacks and to treat kidney disease in diabetics.
Some doctors prescribe Capoten for angina pectoris (crushing chest pain), Raynaud's phenomenon (a disorder of the blood vessels that causes the fingers to turn white when exposed to cold), and rheumatoid arthritis.
Capoten side effects that you should report to your health care professional or doctor as soon as possible:
- Alteration in taste;
- Chest pain;
- Disorders of the kidney, liver or blood;
- Disturbances of the gut such as diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain;
- Dry cough;
- Dry mouth;
- Faster than normal heart beat;
- Hair loss;
- Increased level of potassium in the blood;
- Loss of taste;
- Low blood pressure;
- Low blood pressure;
- Pins and needles sensations;
- Rash or itching;
- Severe swelling of lips, face, tongue or throat;
- Shortness of breath;
The safety and effectiveness of Capoten in children have not been established.
A daily dosage of 450 mg should not be exceeded.
For most people, the usual dose is 25 mg taken 3 times a day.
High Blood Pressure
The usual starting dose is 25 mg taken 2 or 3 times a day.
Depending on how your blood pressure responds, your doctor may increase your dose later, up to a total of 150 mg 2 or 3 times a day.
If you have any problems with your kidneys or suffer from other major health problems, your starting dose may be lower.
The maximum recommended daily dose is 450 mg.
Kidney Disease in Diabetes
The usual dose is 25 mg taken 3 times a day.
After a Heart Attack
The usual starting dose is 6.25 mg, taken once, followed by 12.5 mg 3 times a day.
Your doctor will increase the dose over the next several days to 25 mg taken 3 times a day and then, over the next several weeks, to 50 mg 3 times a day.