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Accupril 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.

Accupril 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.

Full prescribing information can be found at:


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Side Effects and Interactions

ACE inhibitors, including Accupril, can reduce kidney function, particularly in people who already have kidney problems. Regular monitoring is essential.

People on Accupril may experience dizziness, fatigue, a dry persistent cough, nausea or headache.

Other side effects reported include chest pain, palpitations, back pain, drowsiness, constipation, hair loss, dry mouth and impotence.

In rare cases a serious blood disorder has developed. Report any symptoms to your physician promptly.

There are a number of compounds that can interact with Accupril.

In general it is important to avoid potassium supplements, including low-sodium salt substitutes.

Diuretics such as Dyazide, Aldactazide and Moduretic which preserve potassium can also cause dangerous elevations in potassium when taken with Accupril.

Other diuretics may also interact with Accupril. So might the psychiatric drug lithium.

Accupril should not be taken at the same time as tetracycline, since it can reduce absorption of the antibiotic.

Check with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure Accupril is safe in combination with any other drugs you take.

Special Precautions

The first few doses of Accupril you take may cause dizziness or fainting, especially for older people. Be especially careful standing up until your body adjusts.

When you start taking Accupril, 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 Accupril.

If you are African-American, be sure to discuss benefits and risks with your physician.

Accupril should be avoided during pregnancy, especially second and third trimesters.

Taking the Medicine

Accupril should be taken on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after a meal.

Do not stop taking Accupril suddenly, as this could lead to complications.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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