How Does It Work?Quinapril is part of a class of drugs called ACE inhibitors. ACE stands for angiotensin-converting enzyme. Quinapril helps to block the angiotensin-converting enzyme, which is normally part of a reaction in the body that causes the blood vessels to narrow (constrict). By blocking this enzyme, the medication causes blood vessels to relax, which can lower blood pressure.
By helping blood vessels relax, quinapril also increases the efficiency of the heart. This means that the heart does not have to work as hard and more blood can be pumped out to the rest of the body. Both of these are helpful for a person with congestive heart failure.
Effectiveness of QuinaprilA blood pressure reading consists of two numbers -- for example, 120/80. The top number is known as the systolic blood pressure and the bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure. During clinical studies, in people taking quinapril, systolic blood pressure (the top number) decreased on average by 5 to 11 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) decreased by 3 to 7 mmHg on average. The higher the dose of quinapril, the greater the drop in blood pressure tended to be. By lowering blood pressure, the medication can decrease the risks that accompany long-term high blood pressure (see Effects of High Blood Pressure).
For people with congestive heart failure, the effects of quinapril on the heart and blood vessels cause a decrease in the symptoms of congestive heart failure, including shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling. These effects can also improve a person's exercise tolerance.
- The medication comes in tablet form. It is usually taken once or twice a day.
- It should be taken on an empty stomach -- at least one hour before or two hours after a meal.
- It should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level of quinapril in your blood.
- For the medication to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.