Frequently asked questions for Enalapril
Q. What is Enalapril? What is it used for?Enalapril 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 and prevention of congestive heart failure.
Q. Does Enalapril cause excessive urination? Can it cause kidney damage?No, Enalapril does not cause excessive urination (loss of water through urine). The use of Enalapril may not affect normally functioning kidneys. However, damage to the kidneys may occur when Enalapril is given with a diuretic (water pill, a medicine that increases the urine output). In such a case, either the diuretic should be discontinued or its dose should be reduced. If you have severe heart failure or your kidneys are already affected then there is a risk of kidney failure. However, timely and appropriate treatment can reverse the damage caused to kidneys.
Q. Can use of Enalapril affect my liver?In rare cases, Enalapril may cause yellowing of skin and eyes, loss of appetite and an increase in liver enzymes. It can also cause considerable damage to the liver and even death. Therefore, if you experience any such symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
Q. Is it safe to use Enalapril along with hydrochlorthiazide?You have to be careful when taking Enalapril with hydrochlorothiazide, as it can further decrease your blood pressure. You may also develop symptoms of kidney failure, such as a reduced amount of urine, swelling of your legs, ankles, and feet from retention of water. While some may experience unexplained shortness of breath, excessive drowsiness or fatigue, persistent nausea, confusion, pain or pressure in your chest and seizures (fits). These symptoms usually occur if there is substantial water or salt loss prior to starting Enalapril. Therefore, if you face any such issues contact your doctor who will either advise you to discontinue hydrochlorothiazide or give a lower dose. The doctor may also advise you Enalapril in very low doses when used in combination with hydrochlorothiazide.
Q. I am taking ibuprofen for arthritis, is it safe to take Enalapril along with it?You should avoid taking ibuprofen and Enalapril together as there could be a risk of kidney damage. Moreover, this combined usage may also reduce the effectiveness of Enalapril. Consult your doctor for an alternative medication for arthritis.
Q. How long does it take for Enalapril to start working?Enalapril starts reducing blood pressure within a few hours of taking it. However, the medicine may take a few weeks to show full benefits. You may not notice any difference in blood pressure after taking Enalapril. This is because changes in blood pressure can only be noticed when you get your blood pressure checked. So, it is advised to keep taking the medicine as advised by the doctor. However, if you are taking Enalapril for heart failure, it may take a few weeks to months before you start feeling better.
Q. How long do I need to take Enalapril?You may have to take Enalapril for a long time or even lifelong. However, if you experience any serious side effect which persists for long and bothers you, inform your doctor. Do not stop taking it without consulting your doctor.
Q. What can happen if I suddenly stop taking Enalapril?You should not stop taking Enalapril without consulting your doctor. Doing this can suddenly increase your blood pressure which may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will suggest ways to manage or prevent them.
Q. Is it safe to take Enalapril for a long time?Yes, Enalapril is generally well tolerated by most people and can be taken for a long term. However, its long-term use can sometimes affect the way your kidneys work. Your doctor may advise you to get regular blood tests done to check whether your kidneys are functioning properly or not.
Q. Can I take Enalapril before surgery?Inform your doctor that you are taking Enalapril, before surgery, especially when the use of general anesthetic (to put you to sleep) is recommended. This is done because Enalapril can reduce your blood pressure when it is used with an anesthetic. Hence, your doctor may advise you to stop taking Enalapril 24 hours before surgery.