Accupril

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Accupro (quinapril) is an ACE inhibitor primarily used to lower high blood pressure. It is also used to help manage heart failure, and be used in other conditions.

ACE inhibitors should not be taken while pregnant. If pregnant or trying to become pregnant, speak with a doctor about alternative options. Though less serious consequences are involved, it is also inadvisable to take Accupro if breastfeeding.

How Accupro Works

While its mechanism of action is relatively complex, ultimately Accupro relaxes and widens blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure and reduces the heart's workload.

Accupro may be enough on its own to manage hypertension (high blood pressure), but it's also not uncommon for other antihypertensive medications, such as diuretics, to be given along with Accupro. In most cases when treatment with Accupro begins any other hypertension treatments will stop for some amount of time; after Accupro's effects have been evaluated, other medications may or may not be added back in.

Accupro is rarely the only, or the primary, medication given to help manage heart failure, especially if hypertension is not also present. Low blood pressure complications are often a limiting factor in the dosage quantity of Accupro for heart failure.

Treating Hypertension

In patients taking a hypertension treatment for the first time, or those who have stopped other antihypertensive medications to try Accupro, treatment is usually:

  • Start with 10 to 20 mg per day. The total daily dose may be divided into two smaller doses taken twice per day; some individuals find twice-per-day dosing works better.
  • After at least two weeks on the starter dose results should be evaluated and, if needed, dosage may be increased.
  • Most patients find 20, 40, or 80 mg per day to be sufficient.
  • If doses of 40 mg or higher are needed, adding another antihypertensive treatment may be more beneficial than further increasing dosage.

Ultimately treatment with Accupro should be individualized according to patient response and other medications being taken. A doctor can help tremendously in doing this, and involving a doctor is strongly recommended.

It is important to monitor blood pressure at the start of treatment or following any dosage adjustments, whether taking Accupro on its own or with other medications. If blood pressure becomes alarming low or high a doctor should be consulted right away.

Treating Heart Failure

Heart failure, and its treatment, is a complex issue. As other medications are nearly always involved, it is important that patients involve a doctor in Accupro treatment.

Unlike with hypertension, heart failure patients typically are not advised to stop taking other medications before starting treatment. For this reason dosage typically starts lower, and is typically capped lower as well, though there may be exceptions for individuals who also have hypertension.

Very general treatment guidelines are:

  • Start with 5 or 10 mg per day, taken in two 2.5 or 5 mg doses.
  • Provided no adverse effects develop, dosage may be increased in small quantities, with at least one week in between, until 20 to 40 mg per day is reached. These doses are also divided into two smaller doses, taken twice per day.
  • If adverse effects develop, such as hypotension or orthostatis, treatment will likely be capped for some time, possibly forever.

Patients starting Accupro for heart failure are often given the initial dosage in a medical setting and are monitored for side effects for several hours. Patients for whom this is an option are advised to take advantage of it.

Adverse Reactions

Used as directed, most patients who take Accupro will experience only mild side effects, many of which have to do with lowered blood pressure, which can occur when blood pressure is lowered at all and don't necessarily mean blood pressure is too low:

  • Coughing
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach upset
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Blurred vision
  • Angioedema
  • Fainting

If the above become more than mild blood pressure should be checked. If blood pressure is low, or if the above are moderate to severe, a doctor should be consulted. In most cases the above side effects will stop occurring within a week or two of starting treatment.

Unfortunately not all patients are good candidates for Accupro; namely those who:

  • Are pregnant
  • Have liver or kidney impairment
  • Have a history of complications from other ACE inhibitors

In the latter two cases, Accupro may or may not be appropriate; patients will need to discuss the issue with a doctor, and be extra-alert for developing complications.

In all cases, don't be afraid to ask a doctor about any concerning symptom or side effect. Complications are considerably easier to address if caught early.

Additional Information

Accupril/Accupro

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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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Accupro / quinapril
5mg - 28 Tablets $39.60 USD

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