Generic name: Captopril
Brand names: Capoten
Dosage form: oral tablet (100 mg; 12.5 mg; 25 mg; 50 mg)
Drug class: Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors

Usage of Captopril

Captopril is used in adults alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and congestive heart failure.

Captopril is also used to improve survival and reduce the risk of heart failure after a heart attack in patients with a heart condition called left ventricular hypertrophy (enlargement of the walls of the left side of the heart). Captopril is also used to treat kidney disease (nephropathy) caused by diabetes in patients with type 1 diabetes and retinopathy (eye disease).

Captopril belongs to a class of medications called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It decreases certain chemicals that tighten the blood vessels, so blood flows more smoothly and the heart can pump blood more efficiently.

Captopril side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to captopril: severe stomach pain, hives, difficult breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Captopril may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • chest pain, fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • heart problems - swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;
  • kidney problems - swelling, urinating less, feeling tired or short of breath;
  • signs of infection - fever, chills, sore throat, body aches, unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, bruising or bleeding;
  • high blood potassium - nausea, weakness, tingly feeling, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, loss of movement;
  • low blood sodium - headache, confusion, problems with thinking or memory, weakness, feeling unsteady; or
  • low white blood cell counts - fever, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat, cough.
  • Common captopril side effects may include:

  • cough;
  • low blood pressure;
  • flushing (sudden warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • low blood cell counts;
  • decreased sense of taste; or
  • mild skin itching or rash.
  • This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

    Before taking Captopril

    You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to captopril or to any other ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor such as Benazepril, fosinopril, Enalapril, lisinopril, moexipril, perindopril, quinapril, ramipril, or trandolapril.

    If you have diabetes, do not take captopril with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

    Do not take captopril within 36 hours before or after taking medicine that contains sacubitril (such as Entresto).

    To make sure captopril is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • heart failure, heart problems;
  • severe allergic reaction such as angioedema;
  • stomach pain;
  • low blood pressure;
  • low white blood cell counts;
  • a connective tissue disease such as Marfan syndrome, Sjogren's syndrome, lupus, scleroderma, or rheumatoid arthritis;
  • if you are on a low-salt diet;
  • to take medicines that weaken the immune system such as cancer medicine, steroids, and medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection;
  • diabetes;
  • liver disease; or
  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis).
  • You may also need to avoid taking captopril with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.

    Stop using this medicine and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Captopril can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you use the medicine during your second or third trimester.

    Do not breastfeed.

    Relate drugs

    How to use Captopril

    Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

    Initial dose: 25 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day one hour before meals Maintenance dose: May increase every 1 to 2 weeks up to 50 mg orally three times a day. If blood pressure remains uncontrolled after 1 to 2 weeks at this dose, add a thiazide diuretic (loop diuretic if severe renal impairment exists) and titrate to its highest usual antihypertensive dose before further increases of captopril. Maximum dose: 450 mg/day

    Usual Adult Dose for Congestive Heart Failure:

    Initial dose: 25 mg orally three times a day (6.25 to 12.5 mg orally three times a day if hypotensive, hyponatremic, or hypovolemic) Target maintenance dose: 50 mg orally three times a day for at least two weeks to ensure a satisfactory response Maximum dose: 450 mg/day Comments: -Most patients experience satisfactory clinical improvement at 50 or 100 mg orally three times a day. -Should generally be used in conjunction with a diuretic and digitalis.

    Usual Adult Dose for Left Ventricular Dysfunction:

    Initial dose: 6.25 mg orally once as early as three days post-myocardial infarction, followed by 12.5 mg orally three times a day; increase to 25 mg orally three times a day over the next several days, and then increase to target dose over the next several weeks as tolerated. Target maintenance dose: 50 mg orally three times a day Use: To improve survival following myocardial infarction in clinically stable patients with left ventricular dysfunction manifested as an ejection fraction of 40% or less and to reduce the incidence of overt heart failure and subsequent hospitalizations for congestive heart failure in these patients.

    Usual Adult Dose for Diabetic Nephropathy:

    25 mg orally three times a day Comments: Other antihypertensives may be used in conjunction with this drug if additional blood pressure reduction is required. Use: Treatment of diabetic nephropathy (proteinuria greater than 500 mg/day) in patients with type I insulin-Dependent diabetes mellitus and retinopathy.

    Usual Adult Dose for Hypertensive Emergency:

    25 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day; continue diuretic therapy and stop other antihypertensives upon initiation of this drug; may increase dose every 24 hours or less until satisfactory blood pressure or maximum dose is reached.


    Do not use captopril if you are pregnant. Stop using captopril and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

    If you have diabetes, do not use captopril together with any medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo).

    Tell your doctor about all your other medicines. Some drugs should not be used with captopril.

    What other drugs will affect Captopril

    Captopril can harm your kidneys, especially if you also use certain medicines for infections, cancer, or osteoporosis.

    Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

  • a diuretic or "water pill" that may increase blood potassium such as spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride;
  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) - aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), Celecoxib, Diclofenac, Indomethacin, Meloxicam, and others;
  • medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection such as Temsirolimus, sirolimus, or everolimus; or
  • heart or blood pressure medication.
  • This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with captopril, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.


    Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise.'s drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy.'s drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners.

    The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

    Popular Keywords