How can I minimize the side effects of Vasotec?

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You can minimize the side effects of the blood pressure drug Vasotec (enalapril), such as cough, dizziness, rash or weakness, by closely following the directions that come with the medicine. Take the dose that your doctor prescribes—do not take more or less than directed or take it more or less often. So that you don't forget a dose, take Vasotec around the same time(s) every day.

When you start on Vasotec, your doctor may prescribe a relatively low dose of Vasotec and gradually increase it. That will reduce the risk of your blood pressure falling too low at first.

Before you take Vasotec, give your doctor a complete medical history. Be especially sure to tell him or her if you have ever had a condition called angioedema, in which tissues of the face, limbs and other parts of the body start to swell. Your doctor is likely to rule out Vasotec in that case because angioedema can be life-threatening, and the risk goes up if someone with a history of the condition takes this drug.

Problems can occur if you take potassium supplements while on Vasotec or use a salt substitute that contains potassium. In combination with Vasotec, these can make your potassium level climb dangerously high. Your doctor may prescribe a low-salt or low-sodium diet while you're on Vasotec. Carefully follow these directions.

Avoid getting dehydrated because doing so while on Vasotec can make your blood pressure fall too low.