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High Blood Pressure

Enalapril

Enalapril is a prescription medication that belongs to a group of medicines known as Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) and is used in the treatment of high blood pressure. High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when blood is pumped around the body with too much force against the blood vessels. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

This medicine is used to lower blood pressure and prevent the complications of high blood pressure. It’s common to treat hypertension with medicine, however, this should be combined with exercising and eating healthy foods. Enalapril helps ease the strain on the heart by helping the blood to pump around the body more easily.

Last PIL Review Date: 23/01/2020

See Enalapril Patient Information Leaflet

This medicine is not available to request via our online service. If you are still having trouble with your symptoms please visit the NHS website for services in your area.


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Dr. Diana Gall GMC No. 7685129

Dr Diana Gall graduated from medical school in 2005 and has since undertaken further intensive training in many different areas of medicine. Dr Diana has reached consultant level and has practiced medicine all over Europe.

Shamir Patel GPHC No. 2049338

Shamir is a well-respected pharmacist with extensive experience running online pharmacies in the UK.

How does Enalapril work?

Enalapril is an ACE inhibitor which works by blocking a substance in the body which narrows and tightens the blood vessels, this substance is called angiotensin II. Narrowing of the blood vessels causes high blood pressure and forces the heart to work harder to pump the blood, so by stopping angiotensin II being produced the blood vessels can relax and widen to let the blood flow easily which increases the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart.

This medicine not only treats high blood pressure, it may also treat heart failure and prevent the signs of heart failure such as shortness of breath, tiredness after minor physical activity, and swelling of the ankles and feet.

Who is Enalapril suitable for?

Enalapril is suitable for adults who have been diagnosed with hypertension which needs to be managed with medication. This medicine may also be suitable for those who are showing signs of heart failure. Children who have high blood pressure may be suitable if they’re at an age when they can swallow tablets and their dose will depend on the child’s weight and high blood pressure.

Who is not suitable to take Enalapril?

Not everyone with high blood pressure will be suitable to take Enalapril. There are many factors which make this medicine unsuitable, this is usually because of interaction between different medicines that you may be taking, or if you have other health problems which could be made worse by taking Enalapril. You may also be unsuitable if you’re pregnant. You should always consult your doctor if you’re taking any other medication, if you have any other health condition, or are pregnant to ensure that it is safe for you to take.

Enalapril and pregnancy

It’s advised that you stop taking Enalapril before you become pregnant so if you’re planning on becoming pregnant in the near future you should stop taking this medicine in advance. If you’re unaware that you’re pregnant you should stop taking Enalapril as soon as find out, this is because this medicine has not been deemed suitable to take in early pregnancy and especially after 3 months. Always follow your doctor’s advice when it comes to taking medicine during pregnancy to ensure that there will be no harm to your baby.

The same applies to breastfeeding as there is a risk that small amounts may be absorbed in the breast milk which may cause low blood pressure in your baby, seek advice from your doctor when it comes to taking Enalapril while breastfeeding.

Enalapril and health conditions

If you have any other health condition check with your doctor that there are no risks to your condition by taking Enalapril. There are certain medical conditions which may make you unsuitable to take this medicine for your high blood pressure, if you have any of the following health problems speak to your doctor, you may need to find alternative treatment.

Speak to your doctor if:

  • You’ve ever had swelling that caused you difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • You have diabetes or impaired kidney function
  • You have a liver problem and develop jaundice
  • You have a heart problem
  • You’ve recently had severe vomiting or diarrhoea
  • You have a condition which affects the blood vessels in the brain
  • You’re allergic to Enalapril maleate, or if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to any other ACE inhibitor

You should be particularly aware of an allergic reaction as they can be severe and dangerous, if know you have an allergy to any of the ingredients in Enalapril you should avoid taking this medicine.

Enalapril and other medication

Always check when starting a new medicine that it is safe to take alongside any other medication that you may be taking to avoid side effects and interaction between the drugs. Discuss with your doctor any medication you’re currently taking, prescription or non-prescription. You should be particularly aware of the following medicines as there is a possibility that these may interact with Enalapril. These include:

  • Angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) or aliskiren
  • Other blood pressure lowering medicines such as beta blockers, vasodilators, diuretics
  • Potassium supplements, or drugs which increase potassium in the body
  • Lithium used to treat depression
  • Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline
  • Antipsychotics
  • Some cough and cold medicines
  • Barbiturates
  • NSAIDS
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antacids

This may not be an exhaustive list of medicines that can interact with Enalapril so ensure that you inform your doctor of all medicines that you’re currently taking.

How to take Enalapril

Enalapril tablets should preferably be taken at the same time each day, preferably in the morning and evening for as long as it is prescribed to you. The usual dose for treating high blood pressure is between 5mg and 20mg for adults and this dose may be gradually increased over time. The dose may be lower for children, or if you have kidney problems, and to treat other conditions such as heart failure.

What are the side effects of Enalapril?

Like all medicines there are some side effects of Enalapril, however not everyone will experience them. Some side effects are more common than others, while the rare side effects occur in as little as 1 in 1,000 people. If you experience any of the following side effects you should see a doctor immediately to reduce side effects and discuss alternative treatment for your high blood pressure.

Common side effects

Side effects which may occur more frequently, in up to 1 in 10 people include:

  • Dizziness, weakness, sickness - dizziness may occur just with the first dose
  • Blurred vision
  • Cough
  • Diarrhoea, abdominal pain, rash
  • Headache, fainting
  • Low blood pressure, changes in heart rhythm, fast heartbeat, angina
  • Fatigue, depression
  • Increased potassium level, increased levels of creatinine in your blood
  • Change in taste, shortness of breath
  • Allergic reaction - swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat and difficulty breathing or swallowing

Uncommon/rare side effects

There are more rare side effects which can possibly occur when taking this medicine which may be serious but fortunately only affect as little as 1 in 1,000 people. These side effects include:

  • Indigestion, vomiting, loss of appetite
  • Palpitations
  • Anemia
  • Vertigo
  • Loss of hair
  • Muscle cramps
  • Irritated stomach
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Strange dreams/sleep problems
  • Liver or gallbladder problems
  • Steven Johnson’s syndrome
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects and if you experience any negative changes to your health you should stop taking this medicine and seek medical help as soon as possible. If you experience a severe reaction while taking Enalapril seek emergency medical help immediately.

How long should you take Enalapril and is it effective at treating high blood pressure?

For noticeable improvements on your blood pressure the full effect can be seen after several weeks of taking Enalapril, however, this medicine begins to work after an hour with the effect lasting for 24 hours. Even if you don’t feel any different while taking Enalapril it’s important to continue the prescribed course to get the full effect and benefits of this medicine. As high blood pressure can be a long term condition you may need to take this medicine for a long period of time to keep your blood pressure under control and prevent the serious complications of this condition.

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The following delivery methods are currently available within the UK: All orders are sent in discreet, plain packaging.

UK Standard Delivery, £1.99

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Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered the following Saturday

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Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered by 12:00am Saturday

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