The reference site for Captopril

Captopril, sold under the trade name Capoten, is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor used for the treatment of hypertension and some types of congestive heart failure.

WHAT IS Captopril?

Captopril is an Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitor. ACE is an enzyme in the body which is important for the formation of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II causes constriction of arteries in the body, thereby elevating blood pressure. ACE inhibitors such as captopril lower blood pressure by inhibiting the formation of angiotensin II, thus relaxing the arteries.

Relaxing the arteries not only lowers blood pressure, but also improves the pumping efficiency of a failing heart and improves cardiac output in patients with heart failure.

This medication is used to lower blood pressure, to relieve symptoms of congestive heart failure (shortness of breath, swelling of the legs), to improve survival after a heart attack, and to prevent kidney disease in some diabetic patients.


Brand Name(s): Capoten
CAS nº: 62571-86-2
(kap’ toe pril)


Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to captopril and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

Captopril was developed in 1975 by three researchers at the U.S. drug company Squibb (now Bristol-Myers Squibb): Miguel Ondetti, Bernard Rubin and David Cushman. Squibb filed for U.S. patent protection on the drug in February 1976 and U.S. Patent 4,046,889 was subsequently granted in September 1977.

The development of captopril was amongst the earliest successes of the revolutionary concept of structure-based drug design. The renin-angiontensin-aldosterone system had been extensively studied in the mid-20th century and it had been decided that this system presented several opportune targets in the development of novel treatments for hypertension. The first two targets that were attempted were renin and ACE. Captopril was the culmination of efforts by Squibb’s laboratories to develop an ACE inhibitor.

Ondetti, Cushman and colleagues built on work that had been done in the 1960s by the British pharmacologist John Vane when he was a researcher at the Royal College of Surgeons. Working with a Brazilian colleague, Sérgio Ferreira, Vane discovered a peptide in pit viper (Bothrops jararaca) venom which was a ‘collected-product inhibitor’ of angiotensin II. Captopril was developed from this peptide after it was found via QSAR-based modification that the terminal sulfhydryl moiety of the peptide provided a high potency of ACE inhibition.

Capoten® gained FDA approval in June 1981. Following this, the drug went generic in the U.S. in February 1996 as a result of the end of market exclusivity for Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Please visit the official site of the FDA for further information.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Captopril can be used alone in treating high blood pressure. Its blood pressure lowering effect can be further enhanced by the addition of a diuretic (water pill) medication.

Also, bBy reducing resistance in the arteries, captopril can be useful in the treatment of congestive heart failure (shortness of breath, swelling of the legs).

Additionally, in treating heart failure, captopril usually supplements conventional treatment, including a diuretic and digoxin (Lanoxin®). After a heart attack, captopril has been found to be effective in improving functioning of the damaged heart. It is also used to treat kidney disease associated with diabetes.

Mechanism of action:

Captopril is an ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor. ACE is an enzyme in the body which is important for the formation of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II causes constriction of arteries in the body, thereby elevating blood pressure. ACE inhibitors such as captopril lower blood pressure by inhibiting the formation of angiotensin II, thus relaxing the arteries. Relaxing the arteries not only lowers blood pressure, but also improves the pumping efficiency of a failing heart and improves cardiac output in patients with heart failure.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication has not been approved for any alternative uses other than those mentioned in the product information section.

Dosage and using this medicine

Captopril comes as a tablet to be taken orally, and is usually taken two or three times a day.

Take captopril exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Each captopril dose should be taken with a full glass of water, on an empty stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals unless your doctor directs otherwise.

It is important to take captopril regularly to get the most benefit from it, therefore it is advised that you do not stop taking captopril without first talking to your doctor. If you stop taking this medication suddenly, your condition could become worse.

Moreover, your doctor may want you to have blood pressure monitoring or other medical evaluations during treatment with captopril to monitor progress and any possible side effects.

What special precautions should I follow?


Tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction that involved swelling of the lips, face, tongue, throat or difficulty breathing. Captopril may increase the risk of dangerous allergic reactions, so please seek emergency medical attention if you develop any of these symptoms while taking captopril.

Moreover, please inform your doctor if you suffer from any of the following symptoms: kidney disease; liver disease; are on a salt-restricted diet or have high levels of potassium in your blood; are taking a salt substitute, potassium supplement (e.g., K-Dur®, Klor-Con®), or potassium-sparing diuretic such as amiloride (Midamor®), triamterene (Dyrenium®, Dyazide®, Maxzide®), or spironolactone (Aldactone®); have diabetes; have scleroderma or lupus; or have any type of heart disease or have had a stroke. You may not be able to take captopril, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Captopril is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that captopril is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. When used during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, captopril can cause injury to, and even death of, the developing baby. Do not take captopril if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

Furthermore, this medication passes into breast milk, despite that its effects on a nursing baby are not known. Do not take captopril without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Use cautiously when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Captopril may cause dizziness or drowsiness, therefore try to avoid these activities and notify your doctor. Also use caution when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Additionally, alcohol may further lower blood pressure and increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking captopril.

Do not use salt substitutes or potassium supplements while taking captopril except under the supervision of your doctor.

Heavy sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, or other causes of fluid loss may lead to very low blood pressure, dizziness, and fainting during therapy with captopril. Maintain proper fluid intake to prevent dehydration and related side effects.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed captopril dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule.

Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Possible side effects from captopril may include:

A dry, persistent cough

Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

mild dizziness or lightheadedness
dry, tickling cough
anxiety or depression
numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, arms or legs
upset stomach
taste disturbances
a rash

Moreover, if you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing, closing of the throat, swelling of the lips, tongue, or face, or hives)
difficulty breathing
little or no urine
an irregular heartbeat or changes in your heartbeat
chest pain
severe dizziness or fainting
signs of an infection including a sore throat or a fever

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Always keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

Please remember to throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In the case of a suspected overdose, call your local poison control center on 1-800-222-1222. However, if the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, please call the local emergency services immediately on 911.

Symptoms of an overdose may include:

extreme dizziness

Product Images


Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of captopril that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes and manufacturers.

The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.

Strength(s): 12.5 MG
Imprint: M C1
Manufacturer: MYLAN

Strength(s): 12.5 MG
Imprint: N 132 | 12.5
Manufacturer: TEVA USA

Strength(s): 12.5 MG
Imprint: W-7
Manufacturer: WEST-WARD INC.

Strength(s): 25 MG
Imprint: 7045 | AP
Manufacturer: APOTHECON

Strength(s): 25 MG
Imprint: CAPOTEN 25

Strength(s): 25 MG
Imprint: AP 7046
Manufacturer: APOTHECON

Strength(s): 25 MG
Imprint: N 133
Manufacturer: TEVA USA

Strength(s): 25 MG
Imprint: M C2
Manufacturer: MYLAN

Strength(s): 25 MG
Imprint: WW 172
Manufacturer: WEST-WARD INC.

Strength(s): 50 MG
Imprint: CAPOTEN 50

Strength(s): 100 MG
Imprint: M C4
Manufacturer: MYLAN

Strength(s): 100 MG
Imprint: 93 98
Manufacturer: TEVA USA

Strength(s): 100 MG
Imprint:  WW 174
Manufacturer: WEST-WARD INC.


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