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Pronounced: AK-you-prill
Generic name: Quinapril hydrochloride

Why is this drug prescribed: Accupril is used in the treatment of high blood pressure. It can be taken alone or in combination with a thiazide type of water pill such as HydroDIURIL. Accupril is in a family of drugs known as "ACE inhibitors." It works by preventing a chemical in your blood called angiotensin I from converting into a more potent form that increases salt and water retention in your body. Accupril also enhances blood flow throughout your blood vessels. Along with other drugs, Accupril is also prescribed in the treatment of congestive heart failure.

Most important fact about this drug: You must take Accupril regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of Accupril; and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Accupril does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.

How should you take this medication: You can take Accupril with or without meals. Alcohol may increase the effect of Accupril, and could cause dizziness or fainting. Avoid alcoholic beverages until you have checked with your doctor. Take Accupril exactly as prescribed, and see your doctor regularly to make sure the drug is working properly without unwanted side effects. Do not stop taking this drug without first consulting your doctor. --If you miss a dose... Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never try to "catch up" by doubling the dose. --Storage instructions... Accupril can be stored at room temperature. Protect from light.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Accupril. More common side effects may include: Dizziness, headache Less common side effects may include: Abdominal pain, coughing, fatigue, nausea, vomiting Rare side effects may include: Angina (severe chest pain), back pain, bleeding in the stomach or intestines, bronchitis, changes in heart rhythm, constipation, depression, diarrhea, dimmed vision, dizziness when first standing up, dry mouth or throat, extremely high blood pressure, fainting, fluid accumulation and swelling, gas, hair loss, heart attack, heart failure, hepatitis, high potassium, impotence, increased blood pressure, increased sweating, indigestion, inflammation of the pancreas, inflammation of the sinuses, insomnia, itching, kidney failure, joint pain, low blood pressure, muscle pain, nervousness, numbness/tingling, palpitations, rapid heartbeat, rash, sensitivity to light, severe allergic reactions, skin peeling, sleepiness, sore throat, stroke, swelling of the mouth and throat, urinary tract infection, vague feeling of illness, vertigo

Why should this drug not be prescribed: If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Accupril or similar drugs, such as Capoten and Vasotec, you should not take this medication. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Special warnings about this medication: If you develop swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, or of your arms and legs, or have difficulty swallowing or breathing, you should contact your doctor immediately. You may need emergency treatment. You may feel light-headed, especially during the first few days of Accupril therapy. If this occurs, notify your doctor. If you actually faint, stop taking the medication until you have consulted with your doctor. Vomiting, diarrhea, and heavy perspiration can all deplete your body fluid; and dehydration can cause your blood pressure to drop. If this leads to light-headedness or fainting, you should check with your doctor. Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Accupril before undergoing surgery or anesthesia. Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium without consulting your doctor. If you develop a sore throat, fever, or any other sign of infection, contact your doctor immediately. It could indicate a more serious illness. If you are taking Accupril, your doctor will do a complete assessment of your kidney function and will watch it closely as long as you are taking this drug. If you notice a yellow tinge to your skin and the whites of your eyes, stop taking the drug and notify your doctor immediately. This could be a sign of liver damage. The safety and effectiveness of Accupril in children have not been established.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Accupril is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Accupril with the following: Diuretics such as Lasix Lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) Magnesium Potassium-sparing diuretics such as Aldactone, Dyazide, and Moduretic Potassium supplements such as Slow-K and K-Dur Salt substitutes containing potassium Tetracycline (Sumycin)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: ACE inhibitors such as Accupril have been shown to cause injury and even death to the unborn child when used in pregnancy during the second and third trimesters. If you are pregnant, your doctor should discontinue Accupril as soon as possible. If you plan to become pregnant, make sure your doctor knows you are taking this medication. Accupril appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage: HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE The usual starting dose is 10 or 20 milligrams taken once a day. If you have any problems with your kidneys or if you are also taking a diuretic, your starting dose may be lower. For adults over age 65, the usual starting dose is 10 milligrams. Depending on how your blood pressure responds, your doctor may increase your dose up to a total of 80 milligrams a day taken once a day or divided into two doses. CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE The usual starting dose is 5 milligrams taken twice a day. Your doctor may increase the dose from week to week, up to as much as 20 to 40 milligrams daily, divided into 2 equal doses. If you have kidney problems, the dosage will be lower.

Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. A severe drop in blood pressure is the primary sign of an Accupril overdose.

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