Precautions and Warnings With Vasotec
Some Vasotec warnings and precautions to be aware of include the following:
- There are a number of medicines that Vasotec can interact with (see Drug Interactions With Vasotec).
- ACE inhibitors are more likely than other drugs to cause allergic reactions. For example, there have been reports of severe allergic reactions occurring in people on Vasotec during dialysis. There have also been reports of severe reactions in people getting bee or wasp venom to protect against stings. Make sure to discuss these risks with your healthcare provider. Also, seek emergency medical attention immediately if you notice things such as hives, an unexplained rash, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face or throat.
- ACE inhibitors may cause swelling (angioedema) of the head and neck, including the tongue, lips, eyes, or throat. This occurs more frequently in African Americans. Seek emergency medical care immediately if you notice swelling in the head or neck area, or if you experience wheezing or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
- In addition to head and neck angioedema, ACE inhibitors have been known to cause swelling in the intestines. This is known as intestinal angioedema. Symptoms may include (but are not limited to) stomach pain with or without vomiting. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop any of these symptoms.
- Vasotec may cause extreme low blood pressure in some people. Extreme low blood pressure is more likely to happen in people who are taking a diuretic, who are on dialysis, who have diarrhea or vomiting, or who sweat a lot. This is why it is important to drink fluids regularly while taking Vasotec. If you have any possible symptoms of low blood pressure -- such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting -- contact your healthcare provider and stop taking the medicine.
- Do not drive, operate any heavy machinery, or perform any other tasks that require alertness before you know how Vasotec affects you.
- People on Vasotec can be at increased risk of infections. Talk to your healthcare provider if you develop any infections, such as a sore throat or fever.
- Vasotec is a pregnancy Category D medicine, meaning that it has health risks for an unborn child. Let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking Vasotec, contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Enalapril and Pregnancy for more information).
- ACE inhibitors, including Vasotec, are known to cause a cough. If a cough becomes bothersome, talk to your healthcare provider about alternate options for your condition (see Enalapril Cough).
- While taking Vasotec, do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes with potassium unless you have discussed this with your doctor. In some people taking Vasotec, potassium in the blood can increase to dangerous levels.
- This medication may cause a decrease in kidney function, especially in people who are elderly, have kidney disease, have severe congestive heart failure (CHF), or are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or diuretics ("water pills"). Your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your kidney function with a blood test while you are taking it. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice a decrease in urination or swelling in your hands, legs, ankles, or feet, which can be signs of kidney problems.
- If you have kidney disease or kidney failure, your body may metabolize the Vasotec differently than intended. Therefore, your healthcare provider will monitor your situation more closely.
- In clinical studies, ACE inhibitors, including Vasotec, have rarely been known to cause liver failure. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice things such as nausea, tiredness, lethargy, itchy or yellowing skin, abdominal pain, or flu-like symptoms.
- It is not known whether or not Vasotec passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are nursing, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should stop Vasotec or stop breastfeeding.