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Pronounced: MON-oh-prill
Generic ingredients: Fosinopril sodium, Hydrochlorothiazide

Why is this drug prescribed: Monopril-HCT is used to treat high blood pressure. It usually is prescribed after other blood pressure medications have failed to do the job. Monopril-HCT combines two types of blood pressure medicine. The first, fosinopril sodium, is an ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitor. It works by preventing a chemical in your blood called angiotensin I from converting into a more potent form (angiotensin II) that increases salt and water retention in your body and causes blood vessels to constrict--two actions that tend to increase blood pressure. To aid in clearing water from the body, Monopril-HCT also contains hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic that promotes the production of urine.

Most important fact about this drug: You must take Monopril-HCT regularly for it to be effective, and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Like other blood pressure medications, Monopril-HCT does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.

How should you take this medication: Take this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not take it within 2 hours of taking an antacid. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once. --Storage instructions... Store Monopril-HCT at room temperature in a tightly closed container and protect from moisture.

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. More common side effects may include: Dizziness, dry cough, fatigue, headache Less common or rare side effects may include: Abdominal pain, breast mass, burning or prickling skin, changes in sexual performance, chest pain, confusion, decreased sex drive, depression, diarrhea, dizziness upon standing up, fainting, fever, fluid retention and swelling, flushing, heartburn, hives, hoarseness, increased urination, inflammation in the digestive tract, indigestion, irregular heartbeat, itching, low blood pressure, muscle and bone pain, muscle cramps, nausea, nose inflammation, numbness, painful urination, rash, ringing in ears, sinus problems, sleepiness, sore throat, upper respiratory infection, urinary infection, viral infection, vomiting, weakness

Why should this drug not be prescribed: You should not take Monopril-HCT if you have difficulty urinating. You'll also need to avoid this medication if you are allergic to fosinopril, to any other ACE inhibitor, to hydrochlorothiazide, or to sulfa drugs.

Special warnings about this medication: If you develop swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, or have difficulty breathing, stop taking Monopril-HCT and contact your doctor immediately. You may need emergency treatment. Excessive sweating, inadequate fluid intake, severe diarrhea, or vomiting could cause you to lose too much water, resulting in a dangerous drop in blood pressure. Be careful in hot weather and whenever exercising. If you develop a sore throat or fever, you should contact your doctor immediately. It could be a sign of a serious side effect--a decline in the number of infection-fighting white blood cells in your system. Contact your doctor if you develop dry mouth, thirst, weakness, drowsiness, muscle pain or tiredness, rapid heartbeat, reduced urination, or nausea and vomiting. These side effects could be symptoms of a serious chemical imbalance. You may experience light-headedness while taking Monopril-HCT, especially during the first few days of therapy. If this occurs, notify your doctor. If you actually faint, stop taking this medication and contact your doctor immediately. If you have kidney disease or severe congestive heart failure, Monopril-HCT may interfere with your kidney function. The doctor will monitor your kidneys under these conditions. If you have congestive heart failure, you'll also be watched for excessively low blood pressure, especially during the first 2 weeks of treatment and when the dosage is increased. Monopril-HCT should be used with caution if you have a history of liver disorders. If you notice your skin or the whites of your eyes turning yellow, contact your doctor immediately. Monopril-HCT occasionally may trigger diabetes, lupus, or gout. Use it with caution if you have any of these conditions. If you are taking bee or wasp venom to desensitize yourself to stings, you may have a severe allergic reaction to Monopril-HCT. This medication is more likely to cause an allergic reaction if you have a history of allergy or bronchial asthma. ACE inhibitors such as Monopril-HCT have also been known to cause extreme allergic reactions during kidney dialysis. The safety and effectiveness of Monopril-HCT in children have not been established.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Monopril-HCT 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 Monopril-HCT with the following: Antacids such as Mylanta and Maalox Cholestyramine (Questran) Colestipol (Colestid) Insulin Lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) Methenamine (Urised) Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Naprosyn, Advil, and Motrin Other blood pressure medications Potassium supplements such as K-Lyte and K-Tab Salt substitutes containing potassium Tubocurarine

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: ACE inhibitors such as Monopril-HCT have been shown to cause injury and even death in the developing baby when used during the second or third trimesters of pregnancy. If you become pregnant, Monopril-HCT should be discontinued as soon as possible. If you plan to become pregnant, discuss the situation with your doctor. Monopril-HCT appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. You'll need to make a choice between breastfeeding your baby or continuing your therapy with Monopril-HCT.

Recommended dosage: Monopril-HCT tablets are available in two strengths. Based on your previous response to blood pressure medication, your doctor will prescribe the dosage that brings your blood pressure into the desired range.

Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical help immediately. Symptoms of Monopril-HCT overdose may include: Dehydration, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure

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