Generic name: Enalapril maleate.

Vasotec is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. It blocks the production of chemicals responsible for constricting blood vessels.

Quick Facts About Vasotec


Used to treat high blood pressure.

Vasotec Dosage

Take exactly as prescribed, and on a regular basis for it to be effective. May take several weeks to observe effects. Once symptoms disappear, continue to take. May take with or without food. Do not use salt substitutes with potassium unless directed by your doctor.

  • Usual adult dose: for hypertension (in people not taking a diuretic) — 5 milligrams taken once per day to start. Ongoing dose — 10 to 40 milligrams per day as a single dose or divided into smaller doses. For hypertension (in people who are taking a diuretic) — 2.5 milligrams to start. Doctor may suggest stopping diuretic 2 to 3 days before taking Vasotec. Regular dose is carefully prescribed. For kidney disorder — doctor will adjust dose according to severity of kidney disease. For heart failure — 2.5 milligrams taken 1 or 2 times per day to start. Doctor may prescribe using with digitalis and diuretics if you have heart disease. Regular dose is 5 to 20 milligrams per day taken as a single dose or 2 doses. Maximum dose per day is 40 milligrams taken as a single dose or in 2 doses.
  • Usual child dose: not generally prescribed for children.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible, unless almost time for next dose. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Vasotec Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

sudden drop in blood pressure. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: abdominal pain; abnormal skin sensations such as numbness or prickling; anaphylactic shock (severe allergic reactions); angina (crushing chest pain); angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, and legs, and difficulty swallowing); asthma; blood abnormalities; blood clot in lung and tissue loss; blurred vision; breast enlargement in males; bronchitis; confusion; conjunctivitis (pinkeye); constipation; cough; dark or tarry stools containing blood; decreased urination; depression; diarrhea; difficulty breathing; difficulty sleeping; digestive difficulty and stomach discomfort; dizziness; dry eyes; dry mouth; excessive perspiration; fainting; fatigue; flank pain; fluid in lungs; flushing; hair loss; headache; heart palpitations; heart rhythm disturbances; hepatitis; herpes zoster; hives; impotence; inflammation of mouth and tongue; itching; lack of muscle coordination; loss of appetite; loss of sense of smell; low blood pressure; muscle cramps; nausea; nervousness; pneumonia; pounding heartbeat; rapid or slow heartbeat; rash; red skin (like sunburn); ringing in ears; runny nose; sensitivity to light; sleepiness; sore throat and hoarseness; stroke; taste alteration; tearing; tingling, pins and needles, or burning sensation; upper respiratory infection; upset stomach; urinary tract infection; vertigo; vomiting; weakness; wheezing.

No known less common or rare Vasotec side effects.


Inform your doctor before combining Vasotec with:

diuretics such as Lasix or HydroDIURIL, potassium-sparing diuretics such as aldactazide, potassium supplements such as K-Lyte or K-Tab, potassium-containing salt substitutes, lithium. Serious blood disorders have occurred when using Captopril, another ACE inhibitor, with Vasotec.

No known food/other substance interactions. 

Special Cautions

May cause birth defects, premature birth, or death to newborns. If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Not generally prescribed for children.

  • Should not take if you have history of angioedema (swelling of face, extremities, and throat) or inability to urinate. If swelling of these areas or of the eyes, lips, or tongue occurs, immediately seek medical help; may be an emergency situation.
  • May cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • Avoid if sensitive to or allergic to this or similar medications.
  • Very low blood pressure may develop if taking high doses of diuretics with Vasotec. At increased risk if you have heart disease, kidney disease, potassium imbalance, or salt imbalance.
  • Inform your doctor immediately if you experience chest pain, sore throat, or fever.
  • Excessive fluid loss may cause low blood pressure. Excessive sweating, dehydration, severe diarrhea, or vomiting may cause fluid loss.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Vasotec side effects, please contact your healthcare provider