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Enalapril oral

Updated 2 Feb 2023 | ACE inhibitors


Oral formulations of enalapril

Drugs List

  • enalapril 10mg tablets
  • enalapril 2.5mg tablets
  • enalapril 20mg tablets
  • enalapril 5mg tablets
  • INNOVACE 10mg tablets
  • INNOVACE 2.5mg tablets
  • INNOVACE 20mg tablets
  • INNOVACE 5mg tablets
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Congestive cardiac failure
    Prophylaxis of heart failure in asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction
    Treatment of essential hypertension

    Unlicensed Uses

    Diabetic nephropathy
    Proteinuria in nephritis



    Initial dose: 5mg to 20mg once daily.
    Maintenance dose: 20mg, may be increased to a maximum of 40mg daily.
    Mild cases may be responsive to doses of 5mg to 10mg of enalapril.

    Renovascular hypertension, cardiac decompensation, severe hypertension in patients with a strongly activated renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system
    5mg or lower as an excessive drop in blood pressure may occur after initial dose. Treat under careful medical supervision.

    Patients with prior experience with high dose diuretics
    5mg or lower. If possible, diuretic therapy should be discontinued for two to three days prior to initiation of enalapril therapy. Monitor renal function and serum potassium levels.

    Heart failure/asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction (in combination with diuretics and digitalis or beta blockers):
    Initial dose: 2.5mg.
    Maintenance dose: 20mg as a single or divided dose, gradually achieved over a two to four week period.
    Maximum daily dose: 40mg as two divided doses.

    Suggested dose titration
    Week 1
    Days 1 to 3: 2.5mg/day (single dose).
    Days 4 to 7: 5mg/day (two divided doses).
    Week 2
    10mg/day (single or divided doses).
    Weeks 3 and 4
    20mg/day (single or divided doses).


    Patients capable of swallowing tablets, recommended dose:
    Bodyweight above 50kg: 5mg once daily. Maximum dose 40mg.
    Bodyweight 20kg to 50kg: 2.5mg once daily. Maximum dose 20mg.
    Bodyweight less than 20kg: Not licensed in these patients.
    Paediatric patients with a glomerular filtration rate of less than 30 ml/minute/1.73 metre squared should not be given enalapril maleate tablets.

    The following alternative dosing schedule may be suitable:
    Hypertension; Congestive heart failure (unlicensed); Proteinuria in nephritis (unlicensed)
    Children aged 12 to 18 years, bodyweight above 50kg: 2.5mg once daily, maintenance 10mg to 20mg daily in one to two divided doses; maximum 40mg daily.
    Children aged 12 to 18 years, bodyweight under 50kg: 2.5mg once daily, maintenance 10mg to 20mg daily in one to two divided doses.
    Children aged 1 month to 12 years: 100 micrograms/kg once daily, increase up to 1mg/kg daily in one to two divided doses.

    Diabetic nephropathy (unlicensed)
    Children aged 12 to 18 years, bodyweight above 50kg: 2.5mg once daily, maintenance dose 10mg to 20mg daily in one to two divided doses; maximum 40mg daily.
    Children aged 12 to 18 years, bodyweight under 50kg: 2.5mg once daily, maintenance dose 10mg to 20mg daily in one to two divided doses.


    Hypertension, congestive heart failure, proteinuria in nephritis (under specialist supervision)(unlicensed)
    Neonate: 10 micrograms/kg once daily, monitor blood pressure carefully for 1 to 2 hours, increased as necessary up to 500 micrograms/kg daily in one to three divided doses.

    Patients with Renal Impairment

    The intervals between administration of enalapril should be prolonged and/or the dosage reduced.

    Creatinine clearance (initial dose):
    31 to 79ml/minute: 5 to 10mg/day.
    11 to 30ml/minute: 2.5mg/day.
    Less than or equal to 10ml/minute: 2.5mg on dialysis days.

    Enalaprilat, the active metabolite of enalapril, is dialysable. Dosage during non-dialysis days should be adjusted depending on blood pressure response.

    Not recommended in paediatric patients with a glomerular filtration rate of less than 30 ml/minute/1.73 square metres as no data are available.


    Within 36 hours of discontinuing a sacubitril containing product
    Haemodialysis with high flux membranes
    Hereditary angioneurotic oedema
    Idiopathic angioneurotic oedema
    Renal artery stenosis
    Renovascular disorder

    Precautions and Warnings

    Children under 18 years
    Desensitisation therapy
    Restricted sodium intake
    Aortic stenosis
    Cardiogenic shock
    Cerebral ischaemia
    Collagen vascular disease
    Diabetes mellitus
    Glucose-galactose malabsorption syndrome
    History of angioedema
    Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
    Ischaemic heart disease
    Lactose intolerance
    Left ventricular outflow obstruction
    Metabolic acidosis
    Mitral stenosis
    Peripheral vascular disease
    Renal dialysis
    Renal impairment in adult patients - creatinine clearance below 80ml/min

    Anaphylactoid reactions possible with haemofiltration or LDL apheresis
    Anaphylaxis possible with concomitant hyposensitisation to wasp/bee venom
    Advise ability to drive/operate machinery may be affected by side effects
    Afro-Caribbean or black patients may show reduced response
    Correct volume and/or salt depletion before initiating therapy
    Some formulations contain lactose
    Place patient in supine position if severe hypotension occurs
    Resuscitation facilities must be immediately available
    Evaluate renal function before and during treatment
    Monitor serum electrolytes before and during treatment
    Consider dose reduction if BUN and serum creatinine rise during treatment
    Consider monitoring white blood cell counts in collagen vascular disease
    Monitor antidiabetic drug treatment
    Monitor blood pressure
    Monitor patients with renovascular disease
    Advise patients at risk of neutropenia to report any signs of infection
    Higher incidence of angioedema in black patients
    Increased risk of hyperkalaemia with K+ suppl. and K+ sparing diuretic
    Discontinue temporarily in LDL apheresis or desensitisation therapy
    Advise patient to seek advice at first indications of pregnancy
    Discontinue if jaundice or other evidence of hepatic impairment occurs
    Discontinue immediately if angioedema involves face/oropharynx/larynx
    Advise patient not to take NSAIDs unless advised by clinician
    Alcohol may enhance side effects
    Advise on problems of salt substitutes/high intake of potassium-rich food
    Female: Ensure adequate contraception during treatment

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Enalapril is contraindicated in pregnancy.

    In animal studies enalapril has been shown to produce foetal growth retardation and incomplete skull ossification in pregnant rats. Enalaprilat, the active agent produced by the hydrolysis of enalapril, is known to cross the human placenta. An in vitro study using human placental lobe showed that enalaprilat crossed over to the foetal side with a mean transfer of 2.99%. Enalapril appears to be teratogenic in human when used in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters causing foetal hypocalvaria and renal defects, thought to be related to foetal hypotension and decreased renal blood flow.

    ACE inhibitors are contraindicated during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy as exposure during these trimesters is known to induce human foetal toxicity (renal dysfunction, oligohydramnios, pulmonary hypoplasia, patent ductus arteriosus, delay in skull ossification, neonatal toxicity and even death). Severe and sometimes fatal anuria in the foetus and in the newborn have been observed and is thought to be caused by the compromise of the foetal renal system. Foetal renal failure resulting from in utero exposure to ACE inhibitors has been reported where dialysis has been required shortly after birth. Evidence of a risk of teratogenicity after first trimester exposure is conflicting, however, the MHRA recommends that a risk cannot be excluded. Recent data published does associate first trimester ACE inhibitor exposure with congenital CNS and cardiovascular defects. Unless treatment with an ACE inhibitor is considered absolutely essential, women who are planning to become pregnant should be switched to an alternative drug with an established safety record. If exposure has occurred in the first trimester a detailed ultrasound diagnosis is advisable. Exposure to an ACE inhibitor during pregnancy is not an indication for either invasive diagnostic procedures or termination of pregnancy. In cases involving long term prenatal therapy in the second and/ or third trimesters, the foetus should be monitored for the potential development of oligohydramnios, and foetal growth should be assessed with detailed ultrasound scans (Schaefer, 2007).

    The use of all medication in pregnancy should be avoided whenever possible; particularly in the first trimester. Non-drug treatments should also be considered. When essential, a medication with the best safety record over time should be chosen, employing the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Polypharmacy should be avoided. Teratogens taken in the pre-embryonic period, often quoted as lasting until 14 to 17 days post-conception, are believed to have an all-or-nothing effect. Where drugs have a short half-life, and when the date of conception is certain, this may allow women to be reassured where drug exposure has occurred within this time frame. Further advice may be available from the UK National Teratology Information Service (NTIS) and through ToxBase, available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).


    Use enalapril with caution in breastfeeding.

    May be considered during breastfeeding of older infants.

    Enalapril is excreted at low levels in breast milk. The amounts ingested by the infant are small and would not be expected to cause any adverse effects.

    The MHRA has stated that although ACE inhibitors are not generally recommended for use by breastfeeding mothers they are not absolutely contraindicated and may be prescribed if treatment is considered essential. The MHRA state that ACE inhibitors should not be used by breastfeeding mothers in the first few weeks after delivery because of possible profound neonatal hypotension particularly in preterm infants. If ACE inhibitor therapy is considered essential for the mother the use of captopril, enalapril or quinapril may be considered when the infant is older. The infant should be carefully followed up for signs of hypotension should ACE inhibitor treatment be deemed necessary.

    Neonates, infants born prematurely, those with low birth weight, those with an unstable gastrointestinal function or who have serious illnesses may require special consideration. For any infant, if a drug is prescribed to the nursing mother, it should be at the lowest practical dose and for the shortest time. When drug administration is unavoidable and breastfeeding is to continue, minimisation of exposure of the infant to the drug may sometimes be achieved by timing the maternal doses to just after a feeding episode. Infants exposed to drugs via breast milk should be monitored for unusual signs or symptoms. Interactions between the drug received by the infant from the mother's milk and medication prescribed for the infant should also be considered, for example, when the drug given to the infant may prevent metabolism of the drug received via breast milk.
    Specialist advice is available from the UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service at

    Side Effects

    Accelerated erythrocyte sedimentation
    Allergic alveolitis
    Angina pectoris
    Angioneurotic oedema
    Autoimmune disorders
    Blood urea increased
    Blurred vision
    Bone marrow depression
    Cardiac arrhythmias
    Cerebrovascular accident
    Chest pain
    Decrease in haematocrit
    Decrease in haemoglobin
    Dream abnormalities
    Dry mouth
    Eosinophilic pneumonia
    Erythema multiforme
    Exfoliative dermatitis
    Gastro-intestinal symptoms
    Hepatic failure
    Hepatic necrosis
    Hypersensitivity reactions
    Inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone
    Increases in hepatic enzymes
    Intestinal angioedema
    Muscle cramps
    Myocardial infarction
    Orthostatic hypotension
    Peptic ulceration
    Positive ANA titre
    Pulmonary infiltrates
    Raynaud's phenomenon
    Renal failure
    Serum bilirubin increased
    Serum creatinine increased
    Sleep disturbances
    Sore throat
    Stevens-Johnson syndrome
    Taste disturbances
    Toxic epidermal necrolysis


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: November 2015

    Reference Sources

    Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation: Treatment Options and Risk Assessment, 2nd edition (2007) ed. Schaefer, C., Peters, P. and Miller, R. Elsevier, London.

    Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk, 9th edition (2011) ed. Briggs, G., Freeman, R. and Yaffe, S. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.

    Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference (online) London: Brayfield A (ed). Pharmaceutical Press Accessed 10 November 2015

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Innovace Tablets. Merck Sharp & Dohme Ltd. Revised August 2015.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Enalapril 2.5mg Tablets. Aurobindo Pharma - Milpharm Ltd. Revised December 2020.
    Summary of Product Characteristics: Enalapril 5mg Tablets. Aurobindo Pharma - Milpharm Ltd. Revised December 2020.
    Summary of Product Characteristics: Enalapril 10mg Tablets. Aurobindo Pharma - Milpharm Ltd. Revised December 2020.
    Summary of Product Characteristics: Enalapril 20mg Tablets. Aurobindo Pharma - Milpharm Ltd. Revised December 2020.

    MHRA Drug Safety Update: Volume 2, Issue 10, May 2009.
    Last accessed: 10 November, 2015

    MHRA Drug Safety Update: Volume 1, Issue 5, December 2007
    Last accessed: 10 November, 2015

    NICE - Evidence Services
    Available at:
    Last accessed: 29 June 2017.

    US National Library of Medicine. Toxicology Data Network. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed).
    Available at:
    Enalapril Last revised: 10 March, 2015
    Last accessed: 10 November, 2015

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