Ramipril is a medication commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. It is also prescribed after a heart attack.
What is Ramipril?
- Ramipril is used to lower high blood pressure and treat heart failure
- It can help to reduce the risk of a stroke
- It is prescribed after a heart attack
- Ramipril is part of a drug group called ACE inhibitors
- A common side effect is a dry, irritating cough
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does Ramipril Work?
Ramipril is part of the ACE inhibitor family of drugs. These medications make it easier for the heart to pump blood around the body. The heart no longer has to work as hard, and this reduces the strain on it.
Ramipril works by relaxing and widening the blood vessels. This reduces pressures within the vessels so that blood can flow more easily. Ramipril can also help to reduce the risk of future kidney problems.
How is Ramipril Taken?
Ramipril is often prescribed as a tablet or capsule, but a liquid version is also available. The tablets and capsules should be taken whole with a drink of water. They can be taken with or without food.
It is best to try to take ramipril at the same time every day. As ramipril can make you feel a bit dizzy, it is advisable to take your first dose at bedtime. After this, you can take it at a time to suit you.
Ramipril 1.25mg / 2.5mg / 5mg / 10mg
What is the proper dosage of Ramipril?
Your dose of ramipril will depend on why you need to take it. You will probably start on a lower dose before increasing it to reach the right dose for you. You may need a blood test to check your kidney function and to check potassium levels after starting ramipril. The results of these may help to decide on the right dose for you.
For high blood pressure, the usual dose is between 2.5mg and 5mg once a day.
For heart failure, or following a heart attack, the usual dose is 5mg twice a day, or 10mg once a day.
Are there any side effects to Ramipril?
Like most medications, some people will experience side effects when taking ramipril. The most common side effects are:
- A dry, tickly cough that persists
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Diarrhoea and vomiting (being sick)
- Blurred vision
- Skin rash.
If these side effects persist or bother you, speak to a healthcare professional.
Some side effects can occur that are more serious. You should speak to a doctor straight away if you experience:
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes – this could be a sign of a liver problem
- Bleeding, infections, fever, feeling tired or faint, and looking pale – these could be a sign of a blood disorder
- Severe stomach pain – this could be a sign of pancreatitis
- Swollen ankles, blood in your urine (pee) or difficulty passing urine (peeing) – these could be a sign of kidney problems.
You should call 999 if any of the following occur:
- Breathlessness, wheezing or a tight chest – these could be a sign of lung problems
- Fast heartbeat, chest pain or a tight chest – these could be a sign of heart problems
- Weakness in your arms or legs, or difficulty talking – these can be signs of a stroke.
If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
Does Ramipril come with any warnings?
Ramipril may not be suitable for everyone.
- Have ever had an allergic reaction to a medication
- Are diabetic
- Are due to have a general anaesthetic soon
- Are having dialysis
- Have heart, liver or kidney problems
- Are pregnant, trying to conceive or breastfeeding
- Have a low white blood cell count.
Patients with diabetes who are prescribed ramipril should check their blood sugar levels more frequently at first, as ramipril can lower blood sugar levels.