Univasc

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Univasc

Generic name: Moexipril Hydrochloride
Brand names: Univasc

Why is Univasc prescribed?

Univasc is used in the treatment of high blood pressure. It is effective when used alone or with thiazide diuretics that help rid the body of excess water. Univasc belongs to a family of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It works by preventing the transformation of a hormone in your blood called angiotensin I into a more potent substance that increases salt and water retention in your body. Univasc also enhances blood flow throughout your blood vessels.

Most important fact about Univasc

You must take Univasc regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of Univasc; and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Univasc does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.

How should you take Univasc?

Univasc should be taken 1 hour before a meal. Try to get in the habit of taking your medication at the same time each day, such as 1 hour before breakfast, so that it is easier to remember. Always take Univasc exactly as prescribed.

--If you miss a dose...

Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never try to "catch up" by doubling the dose.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container, away from moisture.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Univasc.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Cough, diarrhea, dizziness, flu-like symptoms

If you develop swelling of your face, around the lips, tongue, or throat; swelling of arms and legs; sore throat; or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking the drug and contact your doctor immediately. You may need emergency treatment.

Why should Univasc not be prescribed?

If you have ever had an allergic reaction to Univasc or other ACE inhibitors such as Capoten, Vasotec, and Zestril, you should not take Univasc.

Special warnings about Univasc

Your doctor will check your kidney function when you start taking Univasc and watch it carefully for the first few weeks.

Univasc can cause low blood pressure, especially if you are taking high doses of diuretics. You may feel light-headed or faint, especially during the first few days of therapy. If these symptoms occur, contact your doctor. Your dosage may need to be adjusted or discontinued. If you actually faint, stop taking the drug and contact your doctor immediately.

If you have congestive heart failure or other heart or circulatory disorders, use Univasc with caution. Be cautious, too, if you have kidney disease, diabetes, or a collagen-vascular disease such as lupus erythematosus or scleroderma.

Excessive sweating, severe diarrhea, or vomiting could make you lose too much water, causing your blood pressure to become too low. Call your doctor if you have any of those conditions.

If you notice a yellow coloring to your skin or the whites of your eyes, stop taking the drug and notify your doctor immediately. You could be developing liver problems.

If you are using bee or wasp venom to prevent severe reactions to stings, you may have an allergic reaction to Univasc.

Some people on dialysis have had an allergic reaction to this type of drug (ACE inhibitor).

If you develop a persistent, dry cough, tell your doctor. It may be due to the medication and, if so, will disappear if you stop taking Univasc. If you develop a sore throat or fever, you should contact your doctor immediately. It could indicate a more serious illness.

Do not take potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium without talking to your doctor first. In a medical emergency and before you have surgery, notify your doctor or dentist that you are taking Univasc.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Univasc

If Univasc is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Univasc with the following:

Diuretics (Diuril, Hydrodiuril, Lasix)
Potassium supplements (Slow-K)
Potassium-sparing diuretics (Aldactone, Moduretic, Maxzide)
Lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Univasc can cause injury or death to developing and newborn babies if taken during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. If you are pregnant and are taking Univasc, contact your doctor immediately. It is not known whether Univasc appears in human breast milk. Therefore, Univasc should be used with caution if you are breastfeeding.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS

For people not taking a diuretic drug, the usual starting dose is 7.5 milligrams taken once a day, an hour before a meal. The dosage after that can range from 7.5 to 30 milligrams per day, taken in either a single dose or divided into 2 equal doses daily. The maximum dose is 60 milligrams per day. Your doctor will closely monitor the effect of Univasc and adjust it according to your individual needs.

People already taking a diuretic should stop taking it, if possible, 2 to 3 days before starting Univasc. This reduces the possibility of fainting or light-headedness. If the diuretic cannot be discontinued, the starting dosage of Univasc should be 3.75 milligrams. If Univasc alone does not control your blood pressure, your doctor will have you start taking a diuretic again.

For people with kidney problems, the usual starting dose is 3.75 milligrams a day; your doctor may gradually raise the dose to a maximum of 15 milligrams a day.

CHILDREN

The safety and effectiveness of Univasc have not been established in children.

Overdosage

Although there is no specific information available, a sudden drop in blood pressure would be the most likely symptom of Univasc overdose.

If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.





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