Enalapril Precautions and Warnings

Some Enalapril Precautions and Warnings

Some enalapril warnings and precautions to be aware of include the following:
 
  • There are a number of medicines with which enalapril can interact (see Enalapril Drug Interactions).
     
  • ACE inhibitors, including enalapril, are more likely than other drugs to cause allergic reactions. For example, there have been reports of severe allergic reactions occurring in people on enalapril during dialysis. There have also been reports of severe reactions in people getting bee or wasp venom to protect against stings. Make sure to discuss these risks with your healthcare provider. Also, seek emergency medical attention immediately if you notice things such as hives, an unexplained rash, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face or throat.
 
  • ACE inhibitors may cause swelling (angioedema) of the head and neck, including the tongue, lips, eyes, or throat. This occurs more frequently in African Americans. Seek emergency medical care immediately if you notice swelling in the head or neck area, or if you experience wheezing or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
     
  • In addition to head and neck angioedema, ACE inhibitors have been known to cause swelling in the intestines. This is known as intestinal angioedema. Symptoms may include (but are not limited to) stomach pain with or without vomiting. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop any of these symptoms.
     
  • Enalapril may cause extreme low blood pressure in some people. Extreme low blood pressure is more likely to occur in people who are taking a diuretic, who are on dialysis, who have diarrhea or vomiting, or who sweat a lot. This is why it is important to drink fluids regularly while taking enalapril. If you have any possible symptoms of low blood pressure -- such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting -- contact your healthcare provider and stop taking the medicine. Also, make sure not to drive, operate any heavy machinery, or perform any other tasks that require alertness before you know how enalapril affects you.
 
  • People on enalapril can be at increased risk of infections. Talk to your healthcare provider if you develop any infections, such as a sore throat or fever.
     
  • Enalapril is a pregnancy Category D medicine, meaning that it has clear health risks to your unborn child. Let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking enalapril, contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Enalapril and Pregnancy for more information).
     
  • ACE inhibitors, including enalapril, are known to cause a cough. If a cough becomes bothersome, talk to your healthcare provider about alternate options for your condition (see Enalapril Cough).
     
  • While taking enalapril, do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes with potassium unless you have discussed this with your doctor. In some people taking enalapril, potassium in the blood can increase to dangerous levels.
     
  • This medication may cause a decrease in kidney function, especially in people who are elderly, have kidney disease, have severe congestive heart failure (CHF), or are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or diuretics ("water pills"). Your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your kidney function with a blood test while you are taking it. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice a decrease in urination or swelling in your hands, legs, ankles, or feet, which can be signs of kidney problems.

 

  • If you have kidney disease or kidney failure, your body may metabolize the enalapril differently than intended. Therefore, your healthcare provider will monitor your situation more closely.
     
  • In clinical studies, ACE inhibitors, including enalapril, have rarely been known to cause liver failure. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience things such as nausea, tiredness, lethargy, itchy or yellowing skin, abdominal pain, or flu-like symptoms.
     
  • It is not known whether or not enalapril passes through the milk of nursing mothers. Therefore, if you are nursing, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should stop enalapril or stop breastfeeding.
 
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