What should I know about quinapril before taking it?

Quinapril is a prescription medication that treats high blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels. It does not cure high blood pressure and is only effective as long as you continue treatment. Quinapril is not safe for use while pregnant, because it can cause birth defects in the second and third trimesters. It also passes into breast milk. You should not use quinapril if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without discussing the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Quinapril can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. Alcohol, excessive exercise, hot weather, some medications, and standing up suddenly can increase these side effects. You should not drive or do other dangerous tasks until you know how quinapril affects you. Quinapril increases your skin's sensitivity to the sun, and you may burn more easily. You should wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside, and avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

You should not use over-the-counter medications that contain stimulants, including many cold remedies and diet pills. These medications can interact and intensify side effects. Other medications may also interact with quinapril. These include medications in combination with low blood pressure and increased potassium levels increase your risk for a heart attack: clozapine, cyclosporine, dextran sulfate, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, mannitol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), phenothiazines, potassium preparations, potassium-sparing diuretics, thiazide diuretics, and trimethoprim. You should not use medications that contain gold because these medications increase your risk for flushed skin, low blood pressure, nausea, and vomiting. Quinapril also increases the side effects for these medications: iron salts, lithium, NSAIDs, potassium-based medications, sulfonylureas, thiazide diuretics, and thiopruines.

If you have diabetes, you should know that quinapril can affect your blood sugar levels. Before starting quinapril, tell your doctor if you have had a stroke or heart attack, kidney transplant, high potassium levels, low sodium levels, bone marrow problems, kidney or liver problems, autoimmune disease, or blood flow or blood vessel problems.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.