The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.
RAMIPRIL - ORAL CAPSULE
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Altace
WARNING: This drug can cause serious fetal harm (possibly death) if used during the last six months of pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor immediately.
This drug belongs to a group of medications called ACE inhibitors. It is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It works by relaxing blood vessels, causing them to widen. High blood pressure reduction helps prevent strokes, heart attacks and kidney problems. This medication is also used with other drugs (e.g., "water pills"/diuretics, digoxin) to treat congestive heart failure, and in certain high-risk patients, to prevent heart problems (such as heart attacks) and/or strokes.
This medication may also be used to help protect the kidneys from damage due to diabetes.
How To Use
Take this medication by mouth, usually once or twice a day; or as directed by your doctor. You may take this drug with or without food. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day. Swallow the capsules whole. If you cannot swallow capsules, the capsule may be opened and the contents sprinkled on a small amount (4 oz.) of applesauce or mixed in (4 oz.) apple juice or water. Swallow or drink the entire mixture. Do not take potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium without talking to your doctor or pharmacist first. This medicine can raise your potassium levels, which rarely can cause serious side effects such as muscle weakness or very slow heartbeats. Tell your doctor immediately if these effects occur. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take several weeks before the full benefit of this drug occurs. It may take several weeks or months to see the full benefit when this drug is used for congestive heart failure. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.
You may experience dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dry cough or blurred vision as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fainting, decreased sexual ability, chest pain. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: change in the amount of urine, signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, persistent sore throat). This drug may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver problems. If you notice any of the following highly unlikely but very serious side effects, seek immediate medical attention: yellowing of the eyes or skin, dark urine, stomach/abdominal pain, persistent fatigue, persistent nausea. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling (especially of the face, lips, tongue, or throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: allergies to other ACE inhibitors (e.g., benazepril, captopril), history of an allergic reaction which included swelling of the face/lips/tongue/throat (angioedema). Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, high blood levels of potassium, heart problems, severe dehydration (and loss of electrolytes such as sodium), diabetes (poorly controlled), strokes, blood vessel disease (e.g., collagen vascular diseases such as lupus, scleroderma), any allergies in addition to those listed above (including allergies to bee or wasp stings, or exposure to certain membranes used for blood filtering). This drug may make you dizzy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness due to lowering of your blood pressure, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position. Serious loss of body fluids can also lower your blood pressure and worsen dizziness. Drink adequate fluids to prevent from becoming dehydrated. If you are on restricted fluid intake, consult your doctor for further instructions. Be careful not to become too overheated during exercise which can lead to excessive sweating. Consult your doctor if you experience severe vomiting or diarrhea. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the dizziness effect. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during the first three months of pregnancy. It is not recommended for use during the last six months of the pregnancy due to the risk for fetal harm. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. See also the Warning section. It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Breast-feeding is not recommended due to the potential harm to the nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription products you may use, especially of: potassium-sparing "water pills" (diuretics such as amiloride, spironolactone, triamterene), "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide), potassium supplements (e.g., potassium chloride) or salt substitutes, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., celecoxib, ibuprofen, indomethacin), lithium, drugs that suppress the immune system (e.g., azathioprine), other high blood pressure medications, other heart drugs (e.g., digoxin). Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products, diet aids) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your heart rate or blood pressure. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include: unusually fast or slow heartbeat, severe dizziness, or fainting.
Do not share this medication with others. Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction programs, exercise and dietary changes may increase the effectiveness of this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., kidney function, potassium blood level) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details. Have your blood pressure checked regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to monitor your own blood pressure at home. Discuss this with your doctor.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store the capsules at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 to 30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. The medication mixture of food or liquid can be kept at room temperature for 24 hours or refrigerated for 48 hours. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854- 1166 (USA) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).