Ramipril/Hydrochlorothiazide - Oral

Pronunciation: RAM-ih-prill/HYE-droe-KLOR-oh-THYE-a-zide

Common Brand Name(s): Altace HCT

Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Warning

This medication can cause serious (possibly fatal) harm to an unborn baby if used during pregnancy. Therefore, it is important to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss reliable forms of birth control. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.

Uses

This medication is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.

This product contains 2 medications, ramipril and hydrochlorothiazide. Ramipril is called an ACE inhibitor and works by relaxing blood vessels so that blood can flow through the body more easily. Hydrochlorothiazide (or "The thiazide diuretic") increases the amount of urine you make, removing extra water and salt from your body. It also helps to relax the blood vessels so that blood can flow through the body more easily.

These medications are used together when one drug is not controlling your blood pressure. Your doctor may direct you to start taking the individual medications first, and then switch you to this combination product if it is the best dose combination for you.

Other Uses

This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This drug may also be used for heart failure.

How To Use

Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once daily or as directed by your doctor. Do not chew or crush the tablet. If you take this drug too close to bedtime, you may need to wake up to urinate. Therefore, it is best to take this medication when you first wake up for the day. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about your dosing schedule.

If you also take certain drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take this product at least 4 hours before or at least 4 to 6 hours after these medications.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. It may take up to several weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.

Do not stop taking this medication without first consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is abruptly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.

Tell your doctor if your condition worsens (e.g., your routine blood pressure readings increase).

Side Effects

Dizziness or lightheadedness may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. Headache or dry cough may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

This product may cause a loss of too much body water (dehydration) and salt/minerals. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of dehydration or mineral loss, including:

  • extreme thirst
  • very dry mouth
  • muscle cramps/weakness
  • fast/slow/irregular heartbeat
  • confusion

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:

  • fainting
  • swelling hands/feet
  • fast/irregular heartbeat
  • mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, nervousness)
  • numbness/tingling of the hands/feet
  • muscle/joint aches
  • decrease in vision
  • eye pain
  • symptoms of a high potassium blood level (such as muscle weakness, slow/irregular heartbeat)

Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur:

  • easy bruising/bleeding
  • seizures
  • signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine)

This drug may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver problems. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any of the following rare but very serious side effects:

  • yellowing eyes/skin
  • dark urine
  • severe stomach/abdominal pain
  • unusual tiredness
  • persistent nausea/vomiting

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before taking this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to either ramipril or hydrochlorothiazide; or to other ACE inhibitors (e.g., captopril, lisinopril); or to other thiazides (e.g., chlorothiazide); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:

  • a history of an allergic reaction that included swelling of the face/lips/tongue/throat (angioedema)
  • an inability to make urine

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • kidney disease (e.g., renal artery stenosis)
  • untreated mineral imbalance (e.g., high calcium, high/low potassium, low magnesium)
  • loss of too much body water (dehydration)
  • blood exchange procedures (e.g., apheresis, dialysis)
  • liver disease
  • gout
  • lupus
  • skin cancer

This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

To help prevent dizziness, drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication unless directed otherwise by your doctor. Too much sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting may cause you to feel lightheaded. Report prolonged diarrhea or vomiting to your doctor.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. It may also increase your risk for skin cancer, especially if you take it for a long time. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned, have skin blisters/redness, or notice new or changed moles/skin lesions.

This product may affect your potassium levels. Before using potassium supplements or salt substitutes that contain potassium, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

If you have diabetes, this product may change your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination, or signs of low blood sugar such as sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness and change in the amount of urine (kidney problems).

This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy due to the risk for harm to an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details. (See also Warning section.)

This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

See also Precautions section.

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug are:

  • aliskiren
  • alpha blockers (e.g., prazosin, terazosin)
  • cisapride
  • diazoxide
  • dofetilide
  • drugs that may increase the level of potassium in the blood (such as ARBs including losartan/valsartan, birth control pills containing drospirenone)
  • certain drugs that weaken the immune system/increase the risk of infection (such as everolimus, sirolimus)
  • lithium
  • probenecid
  • telmisartan
  • gold injections
  • sacubitril

Some products have ingredients that could raise your blood pressure. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen).

A very serious reaction may occur if you are getting injections for bee/wasp sting allergy (desensitization) and are also taking ramipril with hydrochlorothiazide. Make sure all your doctors know which medicines you are using.

This product can affect the results of certain lab tests (e.g., parathyroid, protein-bound iodide, tyramine, and phentolamine tests). Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe dizziness, fainting, irregular heartbeat, seizures.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction programs, exercise, and dietary changes may increase the effectiveness of this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., complete blood count, blood sodium and potassium levels, kidney function, liver function) should be performed from time to time to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Check your blood pressure regularly while taking this medication, especially when you first start this drug or when your dose is changed. Learn how to monitor your own blood pressure at home, and share the results with your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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