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Pronounced: Vaz-err-ET-ik
Generic ingredients: Enalapril maleate, Hydrochlorothiazide

Why is this drug prescribed: Vaseretic is used in the treatment of high blood pressure. It combines an ACE inhibitor with a thiazide diuretic. Enalapril, the ACE inhibitor, 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. Enalapril also enhances blood flow throughout your blood vessels. Hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic, prompts your body to produce and eliminate more urine, which helps in lowering blood pressure.

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

How should you take this medication: Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. --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. Never take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage instructions... Keep container tightly closed. Store at room temperature and protect from moisture. Keep out of reach of children.

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 Vaseretic. More common side effects may include: Cough, diarrhea, dizziness, drop in blood pressure upon standing up, fatigue, headache, impotence, low potassium levels (leading to symptoms such as dry mouth, excessive thirst, weak or irregular heartbeat, muscle pain or cramps), muscle cramps, nausea, rash, tingling or pins and needles, weakness Less common or rare side effects may include: Abdominal pain, abnormal dreams, abnormal skin sensations such as numbness, prickling, or burning, allergic reactions, arthritis, back pain, black stools, blisters, blood clots in lungs, blurred vision, bronchitis, chest pain, confusion, conjunctivitis, constipation, decrease in sex drive, depression, disturbances in heart rhythm, dry eyes, dry mouth, excessive sweating, fainting, fluid in lungs, flushing, gas, gout, heart attack, hepatitis, hives, hoarseness, inability to sleep, indigestion, inflammation of mouth and tongue, inflammation of the pancreas, itching, joint pain, kidney failure, liver failure, loss of appetite, loss of coordination, loss of hair, low blood pressure, muscle cramps, nervousness, rapid heartbeat, rash, Raynaud's phenomenon (in which the fingers periodically turn pale, then blue), restlessness, ringing in ears, runny nose, sensitivity to light, shortness of breath, sleepiness, sore throat, stroke, tearing, urinary tract infection, vomiting, yellow eyes and skin

Why should this drug not be prescribed: If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to enalapril, hydrochlorothiazide, or similar drugs, or if you are sensitive to other sulfa drugs, you should not take this medication. If you have a history of angioedema (swelling of face, extremities, and throat) or inability to urinate, you should not take this medication. Tell your doctor of all allergic reactions you have experienced.

Special warnings about this medication: If you develop swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat; swelling of your arms and legs; or difficulty swallowing, you should contact your doctor immediately. You may need emergency treatment. If you are taking bee or wasp venom to prevent an allergic reaction to stings, you may have a severe allergic reaction to Vaseretic. If you develop chest pain, a sore throat, or fever you should contact your doctor immediately. It could indicate a more serious illness. If you are taking Vaseretic, a complete assessment of your kidney function should be done. Kidney function should continue to be monitored. Some people on dialysis have had a severe allergic reaction to Vaseretic. If you have liver disease or lupus erythematosus (a form of rheumatism), Vaseretic should be used with caution. If your skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow, stop taking Vaseretic and notify your doctor at once. If you have severe congestive heart failure, you should be carefully watched for low blood pressure. Excessive sweating, dehydration, severe diarrhea, or vomiting could cause you to lose too much water and cause your blood pressure to become too low. Be careful when exercising and in hot weather. Vaseretic can cause some people to become drowsy or less alert. If it has this effect on you, driving or operating dangerous machinery or participating in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness is not recommended. If you are diabetic, blood sugar levels should be monitored. Vaseretic may increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Be careful to avoid overexposure.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: Vaseretic may intensify the effects of alcohol. Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication. If Vaseretic 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 Vaseretic with the following: Alcohol Barbiturates such as phenobarbital Certain other antihypertensives Corticosteroids such as prednisone Digitalis (Lanoxin) Insulin Lithium (Eskalith, Lithonate) Narcotics (Percocet) Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Naprosyn, Advil, and Motrin Norepinephrine Oral antidiabetic drugs such as Micronase Potassium supplements (K-Lyte, K-Tab, others) Potassium-containing salt substitutes Potassium-sparing diuretics such as Midamor

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: Vaseretic can cause birth defects, prematurity, and death to the newborn baby. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant and are taking Vaseretic, contact your doctor immediately to discuss the potential hazard to your unborn child. Vaseretic 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: ADULTS: The doctor will adjust your dosage until your blood pressure is in the desired range. If you are taking the 5 milligrams enalapril/12.5 milligrams hydrochlorothiazide combination, the maximum daily dosage is 4 tablets. For the 10/25 combination, the maximum is 2 tablets. CHILDREN: The safety and effectiveness of Vaseretic in children have not been established. OLDER ADULTS: Your doctor will prescribe Vaseretic cautiously, starting with small doses.

Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can cause symptoms of overdose. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of a Vaseretic overdose may include: Dehydration, low blood pressure

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