What is this medication and its most common uses?Zestril is a medicine known as an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. Zestril is also used to lower the risk of death in people who have just had a heart attack.
What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?How does this medication work?
Zestril works by blocking a chemical in your body that causes blood vessels to narrow. By blocking this chemical, Zestril relaxes and widens your blood vessels, allowing your blood to flow through with less resistance. This helps to lower your blood pressure.
What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?
High Blood Pressure: By lowering your blood pressure, Zestril may lower your risk of a stroke or a heart attack.
Heart Failure: When used in combination with other medicines, Zestril may relieve some of the symptoms associated with heart failure, including shortness of breath and swelling.
Heart Attack: Zestril may reduce the chance of death after a heart attack.
When: Zestril may start lowering your blood pressure within a few weeks. Though you may not feel an improvement or change in the way you feel, it is very important to keep taking your medicine as prescribed to keep your condition under control.
How do I know it is working?
Check your blood pressure regularly. Your healthcare provider may also check your blood pressure at every visit. Following an appropriate diet and exercise plan will also affect your blood pressure results.
What are the possible side effects of this medication?The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.
Zestril can harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about other ways to lower your blood pressure if you plan to become pregnant. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while taking Zestril.
High Blood Pressure
More common side effects may include: headache, dizziness, cough.
More common side effects may include: dizziness, headache, low blood pressure.
More common side effects may include: low blood pressure.
Less common side effects of Zestril may include:
Serious allergic reaction with symptoms such as extreme swelling of your face, lips, tongue, throat, or gut (causing severe abdominal [stomach area] pain). You may have an increased risk of experiencing these symptoms if you have a history of angioedema (a condition involving swelling of the face, extremities, eyes, lips, and tongue) or if you are African American.
Low blood pressure with symptoms such as lightheadedness, especially during the first few days of taking Zestril. Dehydration, excessive sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting can lead to an excessive fall in your blood pressure, which can cause lightheadedness and possible fainting.
Low blood neutrophil (type of blood cells that fight infections) levels with symptoms of an infection (such as sore throat or fever).
Who should not take this medication?Do not take Zestril if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or if you have a history of angioedema related to previous treatment with similar medicines.
If you are diabetic, do not take Zestril in combination with aliskiren.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Zestril. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have diabetes; kidney, liver, or heart problems; a disease that affects your immune system (such as lupus or scleroderma); plan to undergo surgery or receive anesthesia; or if you have a history of angioedema.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.
High Blood Pressure
Adults: The recommended starting dose is 10 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your healthcare provider will adjust your dose based on your previous blood pressure medication and will increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.
Children ≥6 years: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on his/her weight.
Adults: The recommended starting dose is 5 mg once a day. Your healthcare provider may give you a higher dose depending on your needs.
Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your condition.
If you have kidney impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.
How should I take this medication?Take Zestril exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Zestril without first talking to your healthcare provider.
What should I avoid while taking this medication?Do not become pregnant while taking this medication.
Do not become dehydrated. Drink adequate amount of fluids while you are taking Zestril.
Do not take potassium supplements or salt substitutes that contain potassium without first talking to your healthcare provider.
What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?If Zestril is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Zestril with the following: aliskiren, blood pressure/heart medications called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) (such as losartan or valsartan), dextran, diabetes medicines (such as insulin), injectable gold (sodium aurothiomalate), lithium, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as ibuprofen or naproxen), potassium supplements, salt substitutes containing potassium, or water pills (such as amiloride, spironolactone, or triamterene).
May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Do not take Zestril if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Zestril can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?If you miss a dose of Zestril, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store this medication?Store at room temperature. Protect from moisture, freezing, and excessive heat.
- Why Doctors Prescribe Cholesterol DrugsGet the facts about high cholesterol and drugs that can lower it.
- The Risks of Not Taking Your Cholesterol MedicationFind out what happens if you miss a dose and when is the best time to take cholesterol-lowering drugs
- How Drugs Can Lower CholesterolDiscover how cholesterol-lowering medications work in your body to bring your cholesterol numbers down to ideal levels.