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Ramipril

Ramipril is a medication from the family of drugs called “ACE inhibitors”. ACE or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors can help to dilate the blood vessels in your body so that your blood pressure is reduced. This means that your heart muscle does not have to work as hard to pump blood around the body.

What is ramipril?

Ramipril is a prescription-only ACE inhibitor medication. It can be prescribed for a number of reasons, depending on what your consultant thinks about your condition. Ramipril is helpful for people who suffer from high blood pressure and issues with their heart, because it helps to dilate the blood vessels in the body. ACE inhibitors such as ramipril prevent the body from producing a certain type of hormone known as angiotensin II. By blocking ACE or angiotensin-converting enzyme, these medications work primarily by widening certain blood vessels and also reducing the amount of water that goes back into your blood from your kidneys, lowering blood pressure.

When is ramipril used?

Ramipril is most commonly used for the treatment of high blood pressure, but it can also be given to people who have suffered from heart failure to reduce their chances of premature death, and can protect the heart and blood vessels from experiencing further damage after a heart attack. Doctors and consultants can tell you why ramipril has been prescribed to you.

Heart failure happens when the heart no longer works as it is supposed to. Sometimes, this means that there is too much fluid circulating around your blood vessels. Ramipril can reduce these issues and also reduce the risk of heart, blood vessel and kidney problems. While people who have high blood pressure will not always feel unwell, this condition causes harm to the heart over time if it is left untreated. It is usually a good idea to find the right treatment for your condition as quickly as possible. Ramipril can be used alongside other medications or on its own to reduce blood pressure. Sometimes, a combination brand of ramipril and another medicine called will be recommended.

How do you use ramipril?

Ramipril is given in tablet form by prescription only. It is important to read the patient leaflet included with your medication when you are starting a new form of treatment, to get as much information about your new treatment as possible. You should take this medication by mouth, either with or without food depending on the recommendations of your doctor.

If you are using the capsule form of ramipril, then you will be able to swallow it whole. If you have problems swallowing this capsule, then you can open it and place it, for example, onto a small amount of apple sauce or mix it into a glass of water. Swallow the mixture whole.

Take this medication on a regular basis, as directed by your consultant or doctor, to ensure that you are getting the most benefit from it. To help ensure that you are taking ramipril properly, use it at the same time every day. You will need to continue using this medication even if you feel well after a couple of days. Remember that people with high blood pressure will not always feel sick.

What dosages are there?

The dosage of ramipril provided to you will depend on your condition, as well as any responses that you have had to similar treatments in the past. For the treatment of conditions such as high blood pressure, it may take a number of weeks before you start to get any benefit from this medication. If your condition does not improve or begins to get worse, tell your doctor immediately. They may also want to take blood pressure readings regularly when you are using this medication. To keep your risk of side effects as low as possible, it is likely that you will start this medication on a lower dose and gradually increase, depending on your needs.

What are the side effects of ramipril?

All medications have the potential for adverse side effects that may accompany their intended effects. Lightheadedness, dizziness, tiredness and other common conditions can often occur when you take ramipril, as your body will be getting used to the medication. A dry cough can sometimes occur when you are taking ramipril tablets. If any of your side effects worsen or persist for a long period of time, it may be a good idea to seek medical advice.

Because a side effect is listed for a medication does not automatically mean that everyone taking the substance will have the same issue. Remember that most people using this substance will not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any slightly more severe side effects when using ramipril, such as fainting or symptoms of high potassium in your blood. You may have high potassium if you get palpitations or a heartbeat that is slow or irregular, or you suddenly experience muscle weakness.

Though it is possible for ramipril tablets to be used for the prevention or treatment of kidney problems, it can also cause issues. If you are at risk of kidney problems, you may need to have your kidney function tested regularly when taking ramipril tablets. You should tell your doctor if you notice any changes in your urine that might indicate a kidney issue.

In some rare circumstances, ramipril tablets can cause serious and even fatal issues with your liver. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any serious side effects that indicate a problem with your liver, such as darker-than-usual urine or yellowing skin or eyes. You should always seek medical help if you have severe stomach pain and persistent vomiting.

Although it is rare for people to have a very serious allergic reaction when taking ramipril tablets, you should be aware that allergic reactions can happen. If you notice any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a sudden rash, itching or swelling around the face, throat or tongue, contact a medical expert as quickly as possible. You should also seek emergency medical attention if you have any trouble with your breathing after taking ramipril tablets.

When should you not use ramipril?

Some people will not be able to take ramipril tablets because their risk of severe or dangerous side effects will naturally be too high. It is important to answer all of the questions your consultant may have accurately to ensure that ramipril tablets are safe for you to use. Additionally, make sure that you are prepared to provide your consultant with your medical history.

Before you take ramipril tablets, make sure that you are not allergic to any of the active ingredients or similar ACE inhibitors. If you have other allergies, this substance may contain some inactive substances which lead to allergic reactions. Speak to your consultant about any allergic reactions that you had which included swelling of the tongue, throat or lips when taking similar medications. Additionally, make sure that you do not take ramipril tablets if you have issues with blood-filtering processes, or a higher-than-usual level of potassium in your blood.

It is possible that ramipril tablets will make you feel dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol can worsen this effect, so it is a good idea to limit your exposure to alcoholic beverages. To reduce your risk of lightheadedness, do not get up too quickly after sitting or lying down. Additionally, remember that excessive vomiting, sweating and diarrhoea can increase your risk of lightheadedness by causing dehydration. Tell your doctor or another medical professional if you are losing a lot of fluids, and make sure that you drink plenty of water. Your doctor may suggest that you take the medication at night before bedtime until you get used to it, to prevent unwanted dizziness.

This medication could increase your potassium levels, so avoid taking any potassium supplements or using salt supplements that use potassium when taking ramipril tablets. Older adults are more likely to be susceptible to the side effects of this drug, including drowsiness and dizziness. This medication is not suitable for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding as it could cause harm to the child.

Does ramipril interact with any other medications?

It is always important to make sure that your consultant is aware of any other substances that you are taking alongside ramipril tablets. This medication can negatively interact with other substances in your daily routine and increase your chances of severe side effects. Ramipril tablets can interact with prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and herbal substances, so make sure that you tell your consultant truthfully about everything that you are taking.

Ramipril interacts negatively with many medications such as aliskiren and certain drugs that reduce the performance of the immune system and increase your chances of infection. For instance, you should not take ramipril with sirolimus or lithium. Do not use ramipril with any other drugs that increase the levels of potassium in your blood.

Certain medications include ingredients that could increase your blood pressure and make the risk of further issues with heart failure worse. Make sure that you avoid diet aids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and cough and flu products. Serious allergic reactions may occur if you are receiving injections to protect you against wasp and bee allergies and you are using ramipril at the same time.

Where can you buy ramipril?

You can buy ramipril tablets at any pharmacy.

Can you get ramipril without a prescription?

No, you can only get genuine ramipril tablets with a prescription.

Sources:

BNF Nice, online, 2019 “Ramipril” [accessed 20 November 2019] available on: https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/ramipril.html

Drugs.com, online, 2019 “Ramipril” [accessed 20 November 2019] available on: https://www.drugs.com/ramipril.html

Medicine.net, online, 2019 “Ramipril” [accessed 20 November 2019] available on: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/8067/pil

Medline plus, online, 2019, “Rampirpil”, [accessed 20 November 2019] available on: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a692027.html

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