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What should I know about Accupril before taking it?

Accupril (quinapril) is a blood pressure medication that belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which help blood flow more smoothly by preventing the production of chemicals that constrict blood vessels. Accupril is also sometimes given to people who have heart failure.

You shouldn't take this drug if you're pregnant, as it could harm a developing fetus; if you've ever had an allergic reaction to Accupril or another ACE inhibitor; or if you have a history of angioedema, a condition characterized by swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, legs and feet, as well as hoarseness or trouble swallowing or breathing. Angioedema is a hallmark of anaphylaxis, a deadly allergic reaction. If you experience angioedema, get medical help immediately.

ACE inhibitors such as Accupril have been linked to kidney failure in people who are susceptible, such as those with severe heart failure or renal artery stenosis (constriction of the artery leading to a kidney). If you have kidney or liver disease, your doctor will monitor you closely while you're on Accupril.

Sometimes Accupril can cause blood pressure to dip too low (hypotension). Symptoms include dizziness and fainting. This side effect is most likely to occur in people who also take a diuretic, follow a low-salt diet, are undergoing dialysis or have diarrhea or vomiting. Often it can be corrected with a change in dose.

Accupril has a number of common side effects, including dry cough, headache, weakness, dizziness, diarrhea, upset stomach and abdominal pain. Let your doctor know if any of these are extreme or long-lasting. Also call your doctor or get medical help immediately if you experience any of these serious symptoms:
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles or lower legs
  • hoarseness
  • trouble swallowing or breathing
  • fever, sore throat or chills
  • irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin
Accupril can interact with other medications, both prescription and non-prescription, so make sure your doctor knows about everything you're taking. If you're using any of the following medications, he or she will monitor you carefully:
  • water pills (diuretics)
  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and selective COX-2 inhibitors such as celecoxib (Celebrex)
  • potassium supplements or any drug that could increase your potassium level
  • injectable gold
  • lithium

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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.