What should I know about Vasotec before taking it?

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Before you take Vasotec (enalapril), you should know that it is a drug used to control high blood pressure or heart failure. It decreases the level of certain chemicals that tighten blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more smoothly so the heart can pump blood more efficiently. However, it is not a cure: If you stop taking Vasotec, your heart or blood pressure problems will return.

Vasotec is one of a number of drugs called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. You should not take it—or any ACE inhibitor—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. If the swelling affects the throat, it can be life-threatening.

Before you start taking Vasotec, give your doctor a complete medical history. Tell him or her about all your other medications, whether they're prescription or over-the-counter, as well as dietary and herbal supplements. Once you're on Vasotec, do not start another drug or supplement without talking with your doctor first.