1. Captopril oral tablet is available as a generic drug. It doesn’t have a brand-name version.
  2. Captopril only comes as a tablet you take by mouth.
  3. Captopril is used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, heart problems after a heart attack, and diabetic kidney disease.

FDA warning: Use during pregnancy

  • This drug has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.
  • You shouldn’t take this drug during pregnancy. Captopril can harm or end your pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your blood pressure if you plan to get pregnant. If you get pregnant while taking this drug, tell your doctor right away.

Other warnings

  • Swelling warning: Captopril can cause severe, sudden swelling of your face, arms, legs, lips, tongue, throat, and intestines. This swelling can even be fatal. Tell your doctor right away if you have swelling or have stomach pain. You may need to stop taking this drug, and you may need a medication to treat the swelling.
  • Low blood pressure warning: Captopril can cause low blood pressure, especially during the first few days of treatment. Tell your doctor if you feel lightheaded or faint. Your risk may be higher if you:
    • aren’t drinking enough fluids
    • sweat heavily
    • have diarrhea or vomiting
  • Infections warning: Captopril can cause low white blood cell counts. This can increase your risk of infections. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection, such as a fever or sore throat.

Captopril is a prescription drug. It comes as an oral tablet.

Captopril is only available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less than brand-name versions.

Captopril may be taken as part of a combination therapy with other drugs.

Why it's used

Captopril is used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and heart problems after a heart attack. It is also used to treat kidney disease in people with diabetes.

How it works

Captopril belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Captopril works by opening your blood vessels. This allows blood to flow more easily and decreases how hard your heart has to pump. These effects lower your blood pressure levels, improve your heart’s ability to pump blood, and improve blood flow in your kidneys.

Captopril oral tablet doesn't usually cause drowsiness. It may cause low blood pressure. This can make you feel faint or dizzy.

Captopril can also cause other side effects.

More common side effects

The more common side effects that can occur with captopril include:

  • dry cough (should go away after you stop taking captopril)
  • dizziness
  • skin rash
  • a change in the way that foods taste

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Sudden swelling. Symptoms can include:
    • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
    • trouble breathing
    • trouble swallowing
    • stomach pain with or without nausea or vomiting
  • Kidney problems. Symptoms can include:
    • tiredness
    • swelling, especially in your hands, feet, or ankles
    • shortness of breath
    • weight gain

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we can not guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.

Captopril oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with captopril are listed below.

Sacubitril

Taking captopril with sacubitril, which is used with valsartan to treat high blood pressure and heart failure, raises your risk of angioedema (serious swelling). You should not use captopril within 36 hours of using sacubitril.

High blood pressure drugs

When taken with captopril, these drugs may increase your risk of low blood pressure, high blood potassium, and kidney problems. Examples of these drugs include:

  • angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), such as:
    • candesartan
    • eprosartan
    • irbesartan
    • losartan
    • olmesartan
    • telmisartan
    • valsartan
    • azilsartan
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, such as:
    • benazepril
    • enalapril
    • fosinopril
    • lisinopril
    • moexipril
    • perindopril
    • quinapril
    • ramipril
    • trandolapril

Aliskiren is a high blood pressure drug that may increase your risk of low blood pressure levels, high potassium levels, and kidney problems if you take it with captopril. You shouldn’t take it with captopril if you have diabetes or kidney problems.

Diuretics (water pills)

Taking diuretics with captopril can make your blood pressure too low.

When taken with captopril, potassium-sparing diuretics can cause high blood potassium in your body. Examples of these drugs include:

  • spironolactone
  • amiloride
  • triamterene

Potassium supplements and potassium-based salts

When taken with captopril, potassium supplements and potassium-based salts can cause high blood potassium in your body.

Mood stabilizers

Taking captopril with certain mood stabilizers can increase the effect of the mood stabilizers. This means that you may have more side effects. Examples of these drugs include:

  • lithium

Pain drugs

Taking captopril with certain pain medications can decrease your kidney function. Examples of these drugs include:

  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as:
    • ibuprofen
    • naproxen

Drugs to prevent organ transplant rejection

Taking these drugs with captopril raises your risk of angioedema (swelling), a severe allergic reaction. Examples of these drugs include:

  • temsirolimus
  • sirolimus
  • everolimus

Gold

Using injectable gold (sodium aurothiomalate) with captopril may increase your risk of a nitritoid reaction. Symptoms of this condition can include flushing (warming and reddening of your face and cheeks), nausea, vomiting, and low blood pressure.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

This drug comes with several warnings.

Allergy warning

Captopril can cause a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

If you develop these symptoms, stop taking this drug and call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

Warnings for people with kidney disease

This drug is processed by your kidneys. If your kidneys don’t work as well as they should, this drug may build up in your body. This means that you may have more side effects. Your doctor may adjust your dosage of captopril.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women: Captopril is a category D pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in humans has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. This drug should only be used during pregnancy in serious cases where it's needed to treat a dangerous condition in the mother.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Ask your doctor to tell you about the specific harm that may be done to your pregnancy. This drug should be only used if the potential risk is acceptable given the drug’s potential benefit.

If you become pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.

For women who are breastfeeding: Captopril may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors: Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A typical adult dosage may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dosage or a different dosing schedule.

For children: This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • the severity of your condition
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

Drug forms and strengths

Generic: Captopril

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 12.5 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg

Dosage for high blood pressure

Adult dosage (ages 18 to 64 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 25 mg taken 2 to 3 times per day.
  • Dosage increases: If needed, after 7 to 14 days, your doctor may increase your dosage to 50 mg taken 2 to 3 times per day.

Child dosage (ages 0 to 17 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

There are no specific recommendations for senior dosing. Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A typical adult dosage may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dosage or a different dosing schedule.

Dosage for heart failure

Adult dosage (ages 18 to 64 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 25 mg taken 3 times per day.
  • Dosage increases: After a dose of 50 mg given 3 times per day is reached, further increases in your dosage should be delayed for at least 2 weeks, if possible. This allows your doctor to determine if your body is responding well to the drug. Most patients improve at 50 or 100 mg, 3 times per day.
  • Maximum dosage: 450 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0 to 17 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

There are no specific recommendations for senior dosing. Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A typical adult dosage may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dosage or a different dosing schedule.

Dosage for left ventricular dysfunction after a heart attack

Adult dosage (ages 18 to 64 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: After a single dose of 6.25 mg, the dosage is 12.5 mg taken 3 times per day.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your dosage to 25 mg 3 times per day over the next several days. The target dosage is 50 mg taken 3 times per day.

Child dosage (ages 0 to 17 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

There are no specific recommendations for senior dosing. Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A typical adult dosage may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dosage or a different dosing schedule.

Dosage for diabetic nephropathy

Adult dosage (ages 18 to 64 years)

Typical dosage: 25 mg taken 3 times per day.

Child dosage (ages 0 to 17 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

There are no specific recommendations for senior dosing. Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A typical adult dosage may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dosage or a different dosing schedule.

Special dosage considerations

For people with kidney problems: Captopril is cleared from your body by your kidneys. If you have kidney problems, your doctor should start you on a lower dose or a different schedule.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we can not guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.

Captopril oral tablet is used for long-term treatment. It comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you don’t take it at all: Your high blood pressure and heart problems will get worse. This will increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

If you stop taking it suddenly: You shouldn’t stop taking captopril without talking to your doctor. Stopping the drug suddenly can cause your blood pressure to get higher. This may increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

If you don’t take it on schedule: Your blood pressure and other heart problems may not improve and may get worse. You may have a higher risk of a heart attack or stroke.

What to do if you miss a dose: If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s just a few hours until the time for your next dose, then wait and only take one dose at that time.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could cause serious side effects.

If you take too much: If you take too much captopril, you’ll have a significant drop in blood pressure.

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

How to tell this drug is working: You will know that captopril is working when you check your blood pressure at home. If your blood pressure is at or below the goal your doctor set for you, the drug is working.

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes captopril for you.

General

  • Captopril should be taken one hour before meals.
  • You can crush or cut the tablet.

Storage

  • Store captopril at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Don’t freeze captopril.
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Refills

A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t harm your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Self-management

You may need to check your blood pressure at home. You should keep a log with the date, time of day, and your blood pressure readings. Bring this diary with you to your doctor appointments.

Also, you may need to buy your own blood pressure monitoring machine.

Clinical monitoring

Before starting and during treatment with captopril, your doctor may check the following to make sure the drug is safe for you:

  • blood pressure
  • liver function
  • kidney function
  • blood potassium

Hidden costs

You may need to buy your own blood pressure monitoring machine.

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained here in is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.