Frequently asked questions for Captopril
Q. What is Captopril? What is it used for?Captopril belongs to a group of medicines known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It relaxes and widens the blood vessels, making it easier for the blood to pass through the vessels. As a result of this, the heart does not have to work more to push the blood. Since the workload on the heart is reduced, it helps to lower the blood pressure and thus reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. It is also used for the treatment of congestive heart failure and diabetic nephropathy.
Q. What time of the day should I take Captopril?Captopril should be taken at the same time each day to reduce the chances of a missed dose. Take it in the dose and duration advised by the doctor. Your dose will depend on the condition you are being treated for and therefore, it will vary from person to person. If you experience any side effects while taking Captopril, please consult your doctor.
Q. I feel better after taking Captopril, can I stop taking it?No, continue taking Captopril even if you feel better and your blood pressure is under control. Stopping Captopril suddenly may cause your blood pressure to increase and your chances of stroke or heart attack may rise. Usually once you start taking any medicine for controlling blood pressure, you have to continue taking it life long unless you cannot tolerate it.
Q. Will Captopril make me feel dizzy? What should I do about it?Yes, Captopril may make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. If Captopril makes you feel dizzy when you stand up, try getting up very slowly or stay seated until you feel better. If you begin to feel dizzy, lie down so that you don't faint, then sit until you feel better. Don’t drive, do not use tools or machines and avoid anything requiring concentration while you're feeling dizzy or shaky.
Q. What other lifestyle changes should I make while taking Captopril?Lifestyle changes play a major role in keeping you healthy if you are taking Captopril. Avoid taking excess salt in your diet and find ways to reduce or manage stress in your life. Practise yoga or meditation or take up a hobby. Ensure that you have a sound sleep every night as this also reduces your stress and hence helps in keeping your blood pressure normal. Stop smoking and taking alcohol as this helps in lowering your blood pressure and helps to prevent heart problems. Exercise regularly and take a balanced diet that includes whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables and fat-free products. You should consult your doctor if you need any further help to get maximum benefit of Captopril and to keep healthy.
Q. Can Captopril increase potassium levels? If so, what should be done?Captopril may increase potassium levels in the blood, especially if you have uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, kidney problems and dehydration. Potassium levels may also increase in patients using potassium salts or medicines which increase potassium levels or are aged more than 70 years of age. If you have any of these conditions and are using Captopril, you need to be careful and get regular blood tests done to monitor potassium levels.
Q. After starting Captopril, I have developed dry cough which is very irritating and is not getting better with any medicine. What should I do now?Captopril may cause dry cough, as a side effect in some people. This can be persistent and may not be relieved by any medicine. Talk to your doctor if it bothers you or if you have trouble sleeping. Your doctor may suggest ways of managing the cough or may prescribe another medicine. Remember, do not stop taking Captopril without consulting your doctor as it may increase your blood pressure and put you at a risk of developing a heart attack or stroke. Even if you stop taking Captopril, the cough may take a few days to a month to resolve completely.
Q. Can Captopril affect my fertility?There is no evidence that Captopril has any effect on fertility in both men and women. However, if you are planning to get pregnant, talk to your doctor first because Captopril is not recommended in pregnancy.