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Can I take Vasotec if I have a history of kidney disease?

If you have a history of kidney disease, you may not be able to take Vasotec (enalapril), a drug to treat high blood pressure. Kidney problems increase the chances that Vasotec will raise blood levels of potassium. This condition, called hyperkalemia, can cause serious health issues, such as further kidney damage and heart rhythm problems.

Even if you don't have hyperkalemia, Vasotec may make your kidneys stop working (kidney failure). This doesn't happen often, but it's very dangerous if it does. If your doctor prescribes Vasotec for you, he or she is likely to monitor your kidney function while you're on it.

Kidney disease also makes it more likely that Vasotec will lower the number of infection-fighting white blood cells in your body. That's important because white blood cells fight infection—so your body may be less able to fight infection if you have kidney disease and take Vasotec. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any symptoms of infection, such as a fever. Try to avoid people who have colds, flu or other infections.