The World Health Organization estimates that 600 million people worldwide suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure. Left untreated, hypertension causes a number of complications, including damage to the heart and cardiovascular system, loss of memory and aneurysms. Enalapril maleate(C24H32N2O9) is a drug prescribed to control these diseases. The drug also is available under the brand name Renitec and Vasotec.
It works by blocking the function of angiotensin, a compound that contracts blood vessels, and is classified among the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Patients on enalapril maleate will experience a reduction in blood pressure as their blood vessels will stay open and relaxed. Therapy with this drug requires periodic followup appointments to make sure it is still effective.
The medication can also be found in the form of enalapril maleate felodipine, a combination drug that includes a calcium channel blocker. Like other drugs used to treat high blood pressure, it can cause side effects like dizziness, nausea, and headaches, especially as the patient adjusts. If side effects persist or are severe, it may be necessary to switch to a different medication or to change the dosage.
There are some medications which produce unwanted side effects when used in conjunction with Renitec. For example, use of Indomethacin with Renitec has the potential to cause low blood pressure, while using the drug with digitalis glycosides sometimes leads to arrhythmia. Renitec is generally not safe to take with lithium, as the combination causes an increased risk of severe side effects from both drugs. When combined with some diuretics or medications that contain potassium, Renitec causes an increase in potassium levels in your blood stream. Over time, this may lead to a condition called hyperkalemia, which damages or interferes with your heart and cardiovascular system. In addition, the combination of Renitec and cholestyramine causes increases in blood-sugar levels.
Water and salt intake need to be watched carefully while taking enalapril maleate(CAS number is 76095-16-4). If patients become dehydrated, they can experience falling blood pressure and may develop shock. Especially in hot climates or while exercising, people should make sure they get plenty of water throughout the day. Generally, salts should not be decreased while on this drug, and a doctor may have specific recommendations about dietary adjustments while taking enalapril maleate. Patients should make sure this medication is noted in their charts so potentially harmful drug interactions can be identified.