Captopril or Enalapril (ACE Inhibitors)
Why we give this medicine:
ξ ACE inhibitors are “afterload reducers”. These medicines make the
blood vessels relax and dilate which can lead to lower blood pressure.
This means the heart doesn’t have to work as hard because the heart
can now pump against more relaxed blood vessels (just as it is easier
to blow through a big straw than to blow through a tiny straw that is
ξ ACE inhibitors may also help the heart “remodel” (muscle changes in
the heart that help it adjust to new blood flow and improve its
Side effects of this medicine:
ξ Hypotension (low blood pressure)
ξ Kidney damage (rare). Your child’s kidney function can be checked
by lab tests.
ξ Increased potassium in the blood. Your child’s potassium can be
checked by lab tests.
ξ Dry cough
ξ Angioedema (swelling of tissues – allergic reaction)
When to call your doctor:
ξ Lower energy level or change in alertness
ξ Fewer wet diapers, weight gain or swelling (may be a sign of kidney
damage or worsening heart failure).
ξ Any new rash. **Call 911 with any swelling of the face, lips or
tongue or trouble breathing (allergic reaction).
ξ Check with your child’s doctor or nurse if your child becomes sick
while taking the medicine, especially with vomiting or diarrhea
ξ Child may have a dry cough when starting this medicine. This often
goes away during treatment. Call if your child coughs often, it bothers
your child or is causing faster or harder breathing.
How to use this medicine:
ξ Give this medicine to your child as directed. Measure dose carefully
using only the dropper or syringe given to you by the pharmacist
ξ The dose of this medicine may be changed as your child grows
ξ Missed dose: If you forget to give the medicine at the right time, give
it as soon as you can. If it is less than 6 hours before the next dose is
due, skip the missed dose and just give the usual amount of medicine
at the next scheduled time. Do not try to catch up and do not give
ξ Vomited dose: If your child vomits within 10 minutes of giving the
medicine repeat the dose once. If your child vomits again, do not
repeat the dose and just give the normal amount of medicine at the
next scheduled time
ξ Do not mix this medicine in food or liquids. If your child does not
finish all of it, you will not know how much medicine your child has
ξ Refill your child’s ACE inhibitor before the medicine runs out.
ξ This medicine may result in high potassium levels in the blood. Check
with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before giving potassium
chloride supplement (KCL) or Spironolactone to your child.
**Remember to keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of
children and never share medicines with others
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call
if you have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with
your doctor. This is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical
condition. Because each person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on
your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©
12/2014 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the
Department of Nursing. HF#7721