1 What is Accupril?

Brand: Accupril

Generic: Quinapril

Accupril is a drug which is used to lower blood pressure, either alone or when used with other drugs. Hypertension (high blood pressure) increases the pressure on heart and arteries which may lead to damage to heart, brain or kidneys. Proper control of the blood pressure may help in avoiding such calamities.

Accupril belongs to a group of drugs called ACE (Angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor and relaxes the blood vessels by doing so. It is also used to treat cardiac failure and other similar conditions.

It is a prescription drug available in the form of tablet.

2 What to Know Before Using

Patient is the authoritative figure when it comes to any medical procedure or any drug therapy. It is important for the patient to know all the details about Accupril before using it.

Doctor also has a duty to bring out answers from the patient which play an important role in treatment like history, any allergy or any medical condition the patient has. For this purpose, it is important to have a detailed session between patient and the physician before starting this drug to sort out all the details:

  • Detailed history of a patient is extremely important prior to any medical therapy and in this case, it is more likely that a drug be started after it. Allergies or any history of allergy to any drug, food, preservatives, dyes or animal products; history of drug usage, past medical or surgical procedure should also be kept in record to predict any drug interaction.
  • Physical examination should be done before starting this drug so that any physiological or pathological condition with which this drug may interfere may be ruled out.
  • Age specific analysis is vital to have information about side effects of different age groups. There is lack of enough studies done on children while the studies done on geriatric patients are inconclusive of any special side effect in this age group. However, old patients have more chances of age related kidney, heart and liver failure and drug dosage should be made keeping this fact in mind. Studies in pregnant women have revealed its harmful effects in fetus and should only be used when there is no alternative. Breastfeeding women have no special harm according to the studies conducted.
  • Drug interactions are the effects on the therapy or the condition for which the drug is used by other drugs used concomitantly. It is necessary that no drug be started without consulting a physician as other drug may cause alteration in the effect of this drug or its removal from the body. The use of this drug with Aliskiren and Sacubitril is contraindicated and doctor may change either of the drug used. The use of Quinapril with anti-platelet agents, angiotensin receptor blockers, anti-metabolites, diuretics, NSAIDs, opioids and monoclonal antibodies is also not recommended; however the doctor may only change the dose instead of changing the drug. Interactions with certain types of food, tobacco and alcohol may also occur and patient should be aware of these.
  • Medical conditions, other than the condition for which this drug is used, may also affect working of the drug and cause harm. It is important for the patient to give detailed history, and important for the doctor to derive such details from the patient to avoid such circumstances. The conditions which may interact with this drug include angioedema, collagen vascular disease, kidney or liver disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, high potassium in the blood and electrolyte or fluid imbalances.

3 Proper Usage

To use Accupril properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Treatment of high blood pressure is multi-dimensional and majorly involves lifestyle modification. Weight control, exercise, avoidance of stress, relaxation, less salt usage and change in dietary habits play a significant role in blood pressure management.

Remember that this drug alone cannot solve the problem if there is no change in lifestyle. Any missed dose should be taken as soon as one remembers. This drug does not control acutely high blood pressure but plays a role in relieving the pressure in the vessels.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Accupril, there are some precautions you must take. Precautions are the part and parcel of any treatment and patient must adhere to these to improve the outcome. It is the duty of the doctor or any medical care provider to make the patient aware about these tips as an aid to the therapy.

  • Regular visits to the doctor are important to keep an eye on the progress.
  • Blood tests can be done to check the harmful effects of the drug.
  • Avoid its use in pregnancy as it causes fetal harm.
  • Anaphylaxis reaction may occur as a form of allergy. Get medical help on emergency basis as this is a life threatening problem.
  • Abdominal pain may indicate intestinal angioedema and patient should consult the doctor in such case.
  • Avoid driving or any work involving use of heavy machinery as the drug may cause dizziness and fainting.
  • White blood cells may decrease and patient should get medical help if suspicious of any infection.
  • Potassium level may become high in the body and it is important to have a keen eye on blood electrolytes while being on this drug.
  • Black patients do not experience similar efficacy of this drug and it also causes swelling in hands, feet and face in such population. It is better to use some other medication in black population.
  • Do not start any new drug without consulting your doctor as it may cause interactions.
  • Store the drug in a dry place at room temperature. Keep it away from the reach of children.

5 Potential Side Effects

There is no drug in the world which is without its unwanted effects. Some drugs are relatively safe for use while for some drugs, the patient should be cautious as these drugs may cause more harm than good. Patient should always get medical help in case of any adverse effect, no matter how trivial it is.

Some side effects associated with Accupril include: