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Captopril is a type of drug that can be used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) condition. Lowering blood pressure can help prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. In addition, captopril can also be used to treat heart failure, protect your kidneys from the risks of diabetes, and improve survival in patients with heart attack.

Captopril is an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor that works by relaxing blood vessels for a smoother blood flow.

Production of Captopril

Captopril is available under different brands: Capoten and Captopril

Captopril Dose Considerations

Make sure to consume captopril based on your doctor’s recommended dosage:

Condition: Acute hypertension.

  • 12.5 to 25 mg PO – may repeat PRN.

Condition: Hypertension (or with Thiazide).

  • Initial dose: 25 mg PO every 8 to 12 hours–increase the dose gradually based on  the patient’s response.
  • Maintenance dose: 25 to 150 mg PO every 8 to 12 hours.
  • Maximum 450 mg / day.

Condition: Congestive heart failure (with diuretics and digitalis).

  • Initial dose: 6.25 to 12.5 mg PO q8hr with cardiac glycosides and diuretic therapy
  • Dosage for target therapy: 50 mg every 8 hours.
  • Maximum 450 mg / day.

Condition: Left ventricular dysfunction after a heart attack.

  • Initial dose: 6.25 mg PO, adjust to 12.5 mg every 8 hours.
  • Increase the dose to 25 mg PO every 8 hours over the next several days.
  • Target therapeutic dose: 50 mg PO every 8 hours.

Condition: Diabetic Nephropathy.

  • 25 mg PO for every 8 hours. 

How to Take Captopril

You are advised to follow your doctor’s instructions in using Captopril:

  • Take captopril by mouth on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before meals or as directed by your doctor. Typical consumption is two to three times a day.
  • The dosage for captopril is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
  • Use captopril regularly to get optimal benefits. Consume the medicine at the same time every day and keep taking this medicine even if you feel well, as most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.
  • For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take up to 2 weeks before you get the full benefit of this medicine. As for the treatment of heart failure, it may take weeks to months before you get the full benefits of this medicine.
  • Consult your doctor if your condition does not improve or gets worse.


Pay attention to all the warnings below before you take captopril:

  • Before taking captopril, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it, or taking other ACE inhibitors (such as lisinopril), or if you have any other allergies. Captopril may contain inactive ingredients which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
  • Inform your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, especially from a history of allergic reactions which include swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat (angioedema), medical procedures such as LDL apheresis, dialysis, collagen vascular disease (such as lupus, scleroderma), and high levels of potassium in the blood.
  • Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of captopril, including dizziness and increased potassium levels.
  • Do not drive or do any activities until you can do them safely.
  • It is recommended to get up slowly when getting up from a sitting or lying down position to reduce the risk of dizziness.
  • Too much sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting can lead to losing too much fluid in the body (dehydration) and increase the risk of dizziness. Report prolonged diarrhea or vomiting to your doctor. Make sure you drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration unless your doctor recommends otherwise.
  • Before undergoing surgery, inform your doctor or dentist about all the products you are currently taking, including prescription medications, non-prescription medications, and herbal products.
  • Captopril can increase your potassium levels. Before using potassium supplements or potassium-containing salt substitutes, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Captopril is not recommended for use during pregnancy, as it can harm the fetus.
  • Captopril passes into breast milk but does not harm your baby. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Indications for Captopril

The following are disease indications for captopril:

  • Acute hypertension.
  • Diabetic nephropathy.
  • Hypertension (Alone or with Thiazide).
  • Left ventricular dysfunction after a heart attack.
  • Congestive heart failure (with diuretics and digitalis).
  • Contraindications for Captopril

Contraindications for Captopril

Captopril has specific situations in which the drug should not be used because it may be harmful to the person, such as::

  • Renal artery stenosis.
  • Hypersensitivity to ACE inhibitors.
  • Anuria, a kidney disorder that causes the body to not produce urine.
  • Angioedema (swelling due to allergy) induced by ACE inhibitors.
  • Hereditary or idiopathic angioedema.
  • Pregnancy in the second and third trimesters, namely, increases the risk of significant fetal death.
  • Do not give captopril at the same time as aliskiren in patients with diabetes mellitus or with renal impairment (GFR below 60 mL / minute / 1.73 m²).

Side Effects of Captopril

Possible side effects of captopril may include: 

  • Itching.
  • Depression.
  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Heart failure.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Feeling dizzy when standing up.
  • Hypersensitivity reactions.
  • Dizziness or headache.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Protein in urine
  • Taste disturbance
  • Red skin and peel-off.
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea.
  • Palpitations or rapid heartbeat.
  • Persistent dry cough.
  • Increased BUN and serum creatinine 
  • Acute renal failure (renal artery stenosis)

Your doctors may prescribe this drug as it is considered to have greater benefits than the risk of side effects. Most people who consume this type of medicine usually do not have serious side effects.

As your body adjusts to this medicine, you may experience dizziness or loss of taste. Dry cough can also occur. If any of these effects persist or get worse, be sure to seek medical care immediately. 

Contact your doctor or pharmacist through Smarter Health for dosage and safety levels before you take captopril. Smarter Health lets you access healthcare whenever you need it.

Serious Side Effects

You should also be aware of one of the following more serious or fatal side effects, such as: 

  • Fainting
  • Severe dizziness.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Severe abdominal pain.
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Nausea or persistent vomiting.
  • Changes in urine output–indicating serious kidney problems.
  • Eyes or skin turning yellow–indicating serious liver problems.
  • Signs of infection, such as fever, chills, and sore throat.
  • Rash, itching, or swelling, especially on the face, tongue, or throat. This may be a symptom of allergies
  • Symptoms of high blood potassium levels, such as muscle weakness, slow heart rate, or irregular heartbeat. 

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist through Smarter Health for more information on the recommended dosage of captopril. Smarter Health allows you to access healthcare services whenever you need them.

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