What is Zestril?Zestril is a type of blood pressure-lowering medication known as an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor used alone or in combination with other medications to lower your blood pressure, manage heart failure, or improve survival after a heart attack.
What is the most important information I should know about Zestril?Zestril can cause injury or death to an unborn baby if taken after the third month of pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant while taking Zestril, stop taking Zestril immediately and tell your doctor right away.
If you have high blood pressure, you must take Zestril regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of Zestril; you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Zestril does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.
Zestril can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction leading to extreme swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, or gut (causing severe abdominal pain). You may have an increased risk of experiencing these symptoms if you have ever had an allergy to ACE inhibitor-type medicines or if you are African American. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical attention right away.
Zestril may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting, especially upon standing from a lying or sitting position during the first few days of therapy. Avoid standing or sitting up too quickly. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines, and are exacerbated by dehydration, excessive sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea. Contact your doctor at once if any of these occur.
Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to Zestril.
Zestril may decrease your blood levels of infection-fighting white blood cells, especially if you have lupus (disease that affects the immune system) or kidney disease. If you have these diseases your doctor will most likely monitor you closely by taking regular blood samples. If you get any type of infection (such as sore throat or fever) while taking Zestril, report it to your doctor right away. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections.
Zestril may rarely cause a yellowing of the skin or eyes, which can be a sign of liver injury. If this occurs, tell your doctor immediately.
Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Zestril before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
Who should not take Zestril?Do not take Zestril if you have had a previous allergic reaction or are sensitive to Zestril or any other ACE inhibitor, or if you have a history of angioedema (swelling of the hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing; or hoarseness).
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Zestril?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Zestril. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have diabetes; liver, kidney, or heart disease; blood vessel problems; bone marrow problems; history of stroke, recent heart attack, or kidney transplant; autoimmune disease (such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma [disease that affects the immune system]); or if you have ever had an allergy or sensitivity to an ACE inhibitor such as Zestril. In addition, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The usual starting dosage is 10 milligrams (mg) taken once a day. Your individual dose may be increased to 20-40 mg taken as a once daily dose or in divided doses, based on your response to the medication.
If you are taking a diuretic (water pill), your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you.
Children ≥6 years: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child.
Heart Attack Survivor
Adults: The first dose following a heart attack is 5 mg given within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, then 5 mg given at 24 hours, 10 mg given at 48 hours, then 10 mg taken once per day thereafter for 6 weeks.
Adults: The usual starting dose is 5 mg. Your doctor may increase your dose to 5-40 mg taken once a day depending on your individual response.
How should I take Zestril?Zestril can be taken with or without food and should be taken at the same time every day.
Take this medication as prescribed by your doctor. Do not change the dose or suddenly stop taking this medication for any reason without first contacting your doctor.
What should I avoid while taking Zestril?Do not operate automobiles or heavy machinery until you know how Zestril will affect you.
Avoid being exposed to excessive heat; excessive sweating, dehydration, severe diarrhea, or vomiting could prompt you to lose too much water, causing your blood pressure to drop dangerously; drink adequate fluids while taking Zestril.
You should not take salt substitutes or supplements containing potassium unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Avoid standing or sitting up too quickly when taking this medication, especially in the morning; lightheadedness or dizziness may occur.
Avoid taking any stimulants, such as diet pills or cold medications, without speaking to your doctor because they may alter the effectiveness of Zestril.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Zestril?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 doctor before combining Zestril with the following: aldosterone blockers, amiloride, aspirin, auranofin; hydrochlorothiazide, lithium; NSAIDs; oral antidiabetic medicines and insulin; potassium supplements; salt substitutes containing potassium; spironolactone, triamterene.
What are the possible side effects of Zestril?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: dry cough, low blood pressure, dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chest pain, rash
If you experience symptoms suggesting angioedema (swelling of the face, extremities, eyes, lips, tongue, difficulty in swallowing or breathing), contact your doctor immediately.
If you get any type of infection (such as a sore throat or fever) while taking Zestril, you should report it to your doctor right away.
Can I receive Zestril if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Zestril should not be taken during pregnancy. Taking Zestril during the second or third trimesters of your pregnancy could cause serious harm or even death to your unborn baby. It is not known if Zestril is excreted in breast milk, so you should not take Zestril if you are breastfeeding unless you are told to by your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Zestril?If you miss a dose of Zestril take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Zestril?Store at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and light.
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