Altace (generic name rampiril) is one of a group of drugs that includes Vasotec and Capoten.
These medications are called ACE inhibitors because they affect an enzyme (angiotensin-converting enzyme) important in regulating blood pressure.
Altace is often used to treat high blood pressure; it may also be prescribed in combination with other drugs to treat some types of heart failure, particularly after a heart attack.
Side Effects and Interactions of Altace (rampiril)
ACE inhibitors, including Altace, can reduce kidney function, particularly in people who already have kidney problems. Regular monitoring for both kidney and liver is essential.
People on Altace have experienced headache, dizziness, fatigue, a dry persistent cough not relieved by cough medicine, or nausea. Other side effects reported include chest pain, palpitations, digestive disturbances, skin rash, anxiety, joint aches and impotence.
In rare cases a serious blood disorder has developed.
Altace, like other ACE inhibitors, is not recommended during pregnancy. If you suspect you have become pregnant, contact the doctor promptly.
In general, it is important to avoid potassium supplements, including low-sodium salt substitutes, when taking a drug like Altace.
Diuretics such as Dyazide, Aldactazide and Moduretic which preserve potassium can also cause dangerous elevations in potassium when taken with Altace. Other diuretics may also interact with Altace. So might the psychiatric drug lithium.
Check with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure Altace is safe in combination with any other drugs you take.
Special Precautions with Altace (rampiril)
The first few doses of Altace may cause dizziness or fainting, especially for older people. Be especially careful when standing up until your body adjusts.
When you start taking Altace, be alert for a rare, but serious reaction. Some people have experienced swelling of the face, lips, tongue and throat which can make breathing difficult if not impossible. This requires immediate emergency treatment.
African-Americans may be somewhat more susceptible to this unusual adverse effect. They are also less likely to get the full expected response to Altace.
If you are African-American, be sure to discuss benefits and risks with your physician.
Taking Altace (rampiril)
Altace may be taken when convenient, with or without food. The capsule is supposed to be swallowed whole, but if a patient has trouble swallowing pills, it may be opened and mixed with 4 ounces of applesauce, apple juice or water.
All of the mixture should be consumed.
Do not stop taking Altace suddenly, as this could lead to complications.