Captopril for heart failure
This leaflet is for parents and carers about how to use this medicine in children. Our information may differ from that provided by the manufacturers, because their information usually relates to adults. Read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.
Name of medicine
Common brands: Capoten, Ecopace, Kaplon, Noyada
Why is it important for my child to take Captopril?
Captopril will help your child’s heart to work better so that they have fewer symptoms of heart failure, such as difficulty breathing, poor feeding and slow growth.
What is Captopril available as?
- Tablets: 12.5 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg
- Liquid medicine: 5 mg or 25 mg in 5 mL
Your child may also be prescribed a different liquid medicine that can be ordered specially from your pharmacist, but it may take up to 3 weeks to supply.
When should I give Captopril
Captopril is usually given three times a day. This should be first thing in the morning, early afternoon and at bedtime. Try to make sure that these times are at least 4 hours apart.
Give the medicine at about the same times each day so that this becomes part of your child’s daily routine, which will help you to remember.
How much should I give?
Your doctor will work out the amount of Captopril (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.
It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.
How should I give Captopril?
- Tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water, squash or juice. Your child should not chew the tablets.
- You can crush the tablet and mix it with a small amount of soft food such as yogurt, honey, or mashed potato. Make sure your child swallows it straight away, without chewing.
- Shake the medicine well. Measure out the right amount using an oral syringe or a medicine spoon. You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount.
When should the medicine start working?
Captopril may make your child’s blood pressure fall for a short while after each dose and they may feel dizzy or faint. If this happens, they should sit or lie down for a while after taking a dose.
What if my child is sick (vomits)?
- If your child is sick less than 30 minutes after having a dose of Captopril, give them the same dose again.
- If your child is sick more than 30 minutes after having a dose of Captopril, do not give them another dose. Wait until the next normal dose.
If your child is sick again, seek advice from your family doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or hospital. They will decide what to do based on your child’s condition and the specific medicine involved.
What if I forget to give it?
If you miss a dose, wait until the next normal dose. Do not give the missed dose.
Never give a double dose of Captopril.
Are there any possible side effects?
We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side effects).
Side effects you must do something about
If your child gets a rash in the first 2 weeks of taking Captopril, contact your doctor straight away, as they may be allergic to Captopril. Do not give any more medicine until you have spoken to your doctor.
Other side-effects you need to know about
Your child may feel dizzy or light-headed when they stand up, or may even faint. Encourage them to stand up slowly, and to sit or lie down if they feel dizzy or lightheaded.
Your child may get flushing (reddening of the face and neck).
Your child may feel sick or be sick (vomit) when they first start taking Captopril. Giving the medicine with some food may help. This effect should wear off after a few days as your child’s body gets used to the medicine. If it is still a problem after a week, contact your doctor for advice.
Your child may develop a dry cough that doesn’t go away. If it becomes a problem, contact your doctor for advice, but continue to give Captopril as normal.
Your child may have a dry mouth, shortness of breath, disturbed sleep or hair loss.
Your child may get facial swelling.
Your child may get rashes.
Your child may find it difficult to pass urine (do a wee). Contact your doctor if this happens.
There may sometimes be other side effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned, contact your doctor. You can report any suspected side effects to a UK safety scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard
Can other medicines be given at the same time as Captopril?
- You can give your child medicines that contain paracetamol or ibuprofen, unless your doctor has told you not to.
- Captopril should not be taken with some other medicines that affect the kidneys or blood pressure. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about any other medicines that your child is taking before starting Captopril.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal and complementary medicines.
Is there anything else I need to know about this medicine?
- Treatment with Captopril is usually started in hospital, so that its effects on your child can be monitored carefully and the right dose worked out.
- Your doctor will test your child’s blood regularly to check that Captopril has not affected their kidneys.
- Your doctor will check your child’s blood pressure and pulse rate regularly while taking Captopril.
- When you get a new prescription of liquid medicine, check what strength medicine you have and how much to give your child, as this may be different from the previous batch.
General advice about medicines
- Try to give medicines at about the same times each day, to help you remember.
- If you are not sure a medicine is working, contact your doctor but continue to give the medicine as usual in the meantime. Do not give extra doses, as you may do harm.
- Only give this medicine to your child. Never give it to anyone else, even if their condition appears to be the same, as this could do harm.
- Make sure that you always have enough medicine. Order a new prescription at least 2 weeks before you will run out.
- Make sure that the medicines you have at home have not reached the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date on the packaging. Give old medicines to your pharmacist to dispose of.
If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor straight away.
Where should I keep this medicine?
- Keep the medicine in a cupboard, away from heat and direct sunlight.
- Some liquid medicine does not keep for long once opened. Write the date that you start it on the bottle and do not keep the medicine for longer than stated on the label.
- Make sure that children cannot see or reach the medicine.
- Keep the medicine in the container it came in.
Who to contact for more information?
Your child’s doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about Captopril and about other medicines used to treat heart failure.
England: NHS 111
Scotland: NHS 24
Northern Ireland: NI Direct
Wales: NHS Direct
Tel 111 (free) or 0845 46 47 (2p per minute)111.wales.nhs.uk/
British Heart Foundation
0300 330 3311www.bhf.org.uk/
Children's Heart Federation
0300 561 0065www.chfed.org.uk/
Version . © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild, all rights reserved. Review by July 2017.
The primary source for the information in this leaflet is the British National Formulary for Children. For details on any other sources used for this leaflet, please contact us through our website, www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk.
We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.