How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Fosinopril belongs to the class of medications called ACE inhibitors. It is used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. It works by relaxing blood vessels and by helping the heart to pump blood that carries oxygen to the different parts of the body more efficiently.
Fosinopril may be used in addition to digoxin or a thiazide diuretic or both in the treatment of congestive heart failure.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each white to off-white, flat end, diamond shaped tablets with a partial bisect bar, debossed "F10" on one side and no marking on the other side contains 10 mg fosinopril sodium. Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, and talc.
Each white to off-white, oval shaped tablets debossed with "F20" on one side and no marking on the other side contains 20 mg fosinopril sodium. Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, and talc.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended adult dose of fosinopril ranges from 10 mg to 40 mg daily in a single daily dose, with or without meals. The dose of the medication usually begins at 10 mg daily, with dosing increases as directed by your doctor occurring approximately every 2 weeks as needed. It may take up to 2 weeks to see the full effects of the medication.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
This medication is available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms listed here. The forms available for the specific brand you have searched are listed under "What form(s) does this medication come in?"
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Fosinopril should not be taken by anyone who:
- is allergic to fosinopril or to any of the ingredients of the medication
- has a history of angioedema (a serious allergic reaction that causes the area around the throat and tongue to swell) after taking any ACE inhibitors (e.g., captopril, enalapril, lisinopril, ramipril)
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- cough (dry, persistent)
- loss of taste sensation
- unusual tiredness
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- chest pain
- joint pain
- signs of impared liver function (e.g., abdominal pain, itching of skin, yellow eyes or skin, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting)
- signs of low blood pressure (e.g., dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting)
- signs of too much potassium in the body:
- irregular heartbeat
- numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or lips
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- weakness or heaviness of legs
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- fever and chills
- itching of skin, or yellow eyes or skin
- signs of angioedema (e.g., swelling of face, mouth, hands, or feet)
- stomach pain
- trouble swallowing or breathing (sudden)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY
February 4, 2014
Health Canada has issued new restrictions concerning the use of fosinopril. To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada's web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Angioedema: Angioedema (a serious allergic reaction that causes the area around the throat and tongue to swell) may occur with use of fosinopril. If you experience swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, stop taking fosinopril at once and get immediate medical attention. Other medications in the class of medications known as ACE inhibitors should not be taken in the future. People who have had angioedema caused by other substances may be at increased risk of angioedema while receiving an ACE inhibitor.
Cough: People taking fosinopril may develop a dry, persistent cough that usually disappears only after stopping or lowering the fosinopril dose. Be sure to tell your doctor of any cough that does not seem to be related to a usual cause.
Fluid and electrolyte balance: In very few cases, people who take fosinopril experience an increase in blood levels of potassium. This rarely causes problems, but potassium levels should be monitored by your doctor.
Kidney function: Changes in kidney function have been seen for certain people who take this medication (e.g., people with narrowed blood vessels in their kidneys, or those with severe congestive heart failure). The use of diuretics (water pills) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may further increase risk of kidney problems for people already at risk for this problem.
Liver function: This medication may worsen liver function. People with liver disease or poor liver function should be closely monitored by their doctor while taking this medication. If you notice any signs of liver problems (e.g., abdominal pain, itching of skin, yellow eyes or skin, loss of appetite, vomiting), contact your doctor immediately.
Low blood pressure: Occasionally, blood pressure drops too low after taking fosinopril. This usually happens after the first or second dose or when the dose is increased. It is more likely to occur for those who take water pills, have a salt restricted diet, are on dialysis, are suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, or have been sweating excessively and not drinking enough liquids. If low blood pressure causes you to faint or feel lightheaded, contact your doctor.
Pregnancy: Fosinopril should not be taken by pregnant women. If you discover you are pregnant, stop taking fosinopril at once and contact your doctor.
Breast-feeding: Fosinopril passes into breast milk. This medication should not be taken by breast-feeding mothers.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of fosinopril for children have not been established. Its use by this age group is not recommended.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between fosinopril and any of the following:
- diuretics (water pills)
- medications that increase potassium levels (e.g., potassium supplements, salt substitutes containing potassium)
- medications that lower blood pressure (e.g., beta-blockers)
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; e.g., ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen)
- other blood pressure medications known as angiotensin II receptor blockers (e.g., candesartan, losartan)
- potassium-sparing diuretics (e.g., spironolactone, amiloride, triamterene)
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.