How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Quinapril belongs to the class of medications called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It is used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. It works by relaxing blood vessels and by making the heart pump more efficiently.
Quinapril may be used in addition to diuretics (water pills) known as thiazide diuretics (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide) when one medication has not been found to control blood pressure satisfactorily.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. 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 brown, film-coated, elliptical tablet, marked "PD 527" on one side and "5" on the other, contains quinapril 5 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: candelilla wax, crospovidone, gelatin, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose, magnesium carbonate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, synthetic red iron oxide, and titanium dioxide.
Each brown, film-coated, triangular tablet, marked "PD 530" on one side and "10" on the other, contains quinapril 10 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: candelilla wax, crospovidone, gelatin, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose, magnesium carbonate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, synthetic red iron oxide, and titanium dioxide.
Each brown, film-coated, round tablet, marked "PD 532" on one side and "20" on the other, contains quinapril 20 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: candelilla wax, crospovidone, gelatin, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose, magnesium carbonate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, synthetic red iron oxide, and titanium dioxide.
Each brown, film-coated, elliptical tablet, marked "PD 535" on one side and "40" on the other, contains quinapril 40 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: candelilla wax, crospovidone, gelatin, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose, magnesium carbonate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, synthetic red iron oxide, and titanium dioxide.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended dose of quinapril ranges from 5 mg to 40 mg daily in one dose or 2 divided doses, taken with or without meals. The starting dose to treat congestive heart failure is 5 mg taken once a day. The starting dose to treat high blood pressure is 5 mg taken once a day if you are also taking a water pill (diuretic). If you are not taking a diuretic, the starting dose is generally 10 mg taken once a day.
Many things can affect the dose of 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.
Quinapril should be taken at approximately the same time every day.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a 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.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
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?
Do not take quinapril if you:
- are allergic to quinapril or any ingredients of this medication
- are pregnant or intend to become pregnant
- have had angioedema (a serious allergic reaction which causes the area around the throat and tongue to swell) after taking any ACE inhibitors (e.g., captopril, ramipril)
- have been diagnosed with hereditary angioedema
- are breastfeeding
- have high blood pressure in the blood vessels leading to the kidneys
- are taking aliskiren, and
- have diabetes
- kidney disease
- high levels of potassium
- congestive heart failure with low blood pressure
- are taking a medication in the class of angiotensin receptor blockers (e.g., irbesartan, losartan, valsartan)
- are taking another angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (e.g., captopril, lisinopril, ramipril)
- have galactose intolerance (a rare hereditary condition)
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.
- abdominal pain
- back pain
- cough (dry, persistent)
- difficulty sleeping
- increased sensitivity to sunlight
- runny nose
- stuffy nose
Although most of the 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:
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- low blood pressure (e.g., fainting, dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when rising from a lying or sitting position)
- signs of bleeding (e.g., unusual nosebleeds, bruising, blood in urine, coughing blood, bleeding gums, cuts that don't stop bleeding)
- signs of electrolyte imbalance (e.g., muscle pain or cramps, weakness, irregular heart beat)
- signs of infection (symptoms may include fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness)
- signs of kidney failure (e.g., decreased urine production, swelling, fatigue, abdominal pain)
- signs of liver damage (e.g., abdominal pain, abdominal distention, fever, nausea or vomiting, yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- swelling of the hands, ankles or feet
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of an allergic reaction, including angioedema (shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; hives; swelling of the eyes, mouth, lips, or throat)
- signs of a heart attack (e.g., chest pain or pressure, pain extending through shoulder and arm, nausea and vomiting, sweating)
- signs of too much nitrogen in the blood (e.g., rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, fatigue, confusion, dizziness, decreased urine production)
- swelling of face, mouth, hands, or feet
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?
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: As with other medications in this family, quinapril has been reported to cause angioedema (swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, eye, or throat causing difficulty swallowing or breathing) in a small number of people.
If any of these symptoms occur, stop taking quinapril immediately and seek immediate medical attention. Also, consult your doctor immediately about any unexplained rash, fever, or itching. If you experience angioedema with quinapril, do not take any other ACE inhibitors (e.g., enalapril, lisinopril, or ramipril).
Blood disorders: In rare cases, a low white blood cell count has been reported with people taking this medication. Your doctor may occasionally monitor your level of white blood cells by performing blood tests. Low white blood cell levels may increase your risk for infection.
If you notice any signs of infection (e.g., fever, sore throat), contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Cough: People taking quinapril may develop a dry, persistent cough that usually disappears only after stopping or lowering the dose of quinapril.
Diabetes: ACE inhibitors such as quinapril may lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) in people with diabetes. If you have diabetes, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Kidney function: Changes in kidney function have occurred in certain people who take this medication. The use of diuretics (water pills) or aliskiren may further increase the risk of kidney problems for those already at risk for this problem. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. If you have kidney function impairment you may require lower doses of this medication.
Liver function: This medication may cause liver problems. If you experience any signs of liver problems such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, fever, generally feeling unwell, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, itching, muscle pain, rash, or swollen glands, contact your doctor immediately. If you have liver problems you will need to be closely monitored by your doctor while taking this medication.
Low blood pressure: Occasionally, blood pressure drops too low after taking quinapril. 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 the medication aliskiren, diuretics, have a salt-restricted diet, are on dialysis, have diarrhea, or are vomiting.
To reduce the risk of dizziness, get up slowly from a lying or sitting position. If low blood pressure causes you to faint or feel lightheaded, contact your doctor.
Potassium levels: Increases in blood levels of potassium occur for approximately 2% of people who take quinapril. This rarely causes problems, but your doctor will likely want to monitor your potassium levels through blood tests.
Reduced alertness: This medication may reduce alertness, especially at the beginning of treatment. Do not drive or perform tasks that require alertness until you know how this medication affects you.
Pregnancy: ACE inhibitors such as quinapril may cause severe harm or death to the developing baby if taken by the mother during pregnancy. This medication should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, stop taking quinapril immediately and contact your doctor.
Breast-feeding: It is not known whether quinapril passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of quinapril have not been established for use by children. Quinapril is not recommended for this age group.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between quinapril and any of the following:
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.