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Captopril (Capoten)


Physicians and cardiologists insist on regular blood pressure checks, especially for the middle-aged and elderly. After all, this figure could tell a lot about a person's health. Of course, during the day the blood pressure can vary depending on physical exertion, emotional stress, weather conditions and even the time of day. This is considered normal and does not require treatment. But if the pressure remains high for a long period, it should sound the alarm. It is possible that such a state can be a harbinger of atherosclerosis, hypertension, coronary heart disease, which can cause vascular spasm and cause a stroke or heart attack. For blood pressure lowering a good number of different spectrum of action drugs are produced, including the agents that block certain enzymes. And Captopril is on the list.

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Pharmacological action

To understand the principle of the drug, you need to have an idea of what is an ACE enzyme. This is an organic material of protein origin which is present in serum, lungs and human epithelial kidney tissue. Angiotensin-converting enzyme is capable of converting biologically inactive form of the pressure regulator and vascular tension angiotenzinaI a powerful vasoconstrictor octapeptide hormone angiotenzin II. It is angiotenzin II directly involved in the increase in blood pressure. A condition in which the level of this hormone goes beyond the norm, causing serious health problems and is a real threat for hypertensive patients. Captopril slows the rate of transformation of angiotenzinaI into angiotenzinII, inhibiting the activity of ACE. This mechanism of action reduces peripheral vascular resistance, slows the progression of hypertrophy of the left ventricle of the heart, increases tolerance to physical and emotional stress and finally prevents the development of heart failure. However, the main therapeutic effect after administration of the drug is lowering blood pressure.

Indications for use

The antihypertensive drugs like Captopril are prescribed for primary (arterial) and secondary (renal) hypertension, cardiomyopathy, chronic persistent high pressure of unknown origin (essential hypertension) and for the relief of hypertensive crises. In addition, this drug is used to treat patients with myocardial infarction (left ventricular dysfunction of the heart), and those suffering from Type 1 diabetes (diabetic nephropathy).

Terms of admission

Captopril is a strong medicine that lowers blood pressure rather quickly. The therapeutic effect starts 15 - 20 minutes after administration, reaching its maximum after 1 hour, and maintained within 6 - 12 hours. To enhance the hypotensive action in case of hypertensive crisis a tablet (25 mg) of captopril is needed to be put under the tongue. And in the treatment of resistant hypertension it is recommended to take medicine for a long time (from months to years), sometimes for life. Maintenance dose of 25 mg is needed to be taken twice a day

Contraindications and side effects

The contraindications include hypotension (low blood pressure), liver and kidney, aortic stenosis, azotemia, high production of the hormone aldosterone (hyperaldosteronism), cardiogenic shock and hypersensitivity to ACE inhibitors. The medication is not designed for women during pregnancy and lactation, as well as individuals under 18 years of age.

You should also take into account the negative reaction from the body, which can cause captopril: dry cough, change in taste, electrolyte imbalance, skin rashes, agranulocytosis, and tachycardia.

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