Ramipril tablets come in several different strengths, including 1.25 milligrams (mg), 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg. Each of the four types of Ramipril tablets comes in a different color to make identification easier. The 1.5 mg tablet is white; 2.5 mg tablet yellow; the 5 mg tablet red; and the 10 mg tablet is blue. The color may be consistent throughout the entire tablet, or just appear on one side, depending on the manufacturer.
This medication is typically used to treat high blood pressure. It belongs to the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor class of medications. Ramipril tablets help the heart pump more efficiently by decreasing the amount of chemicals that tighten the blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow more smoothly. The tablets may be used alone or with other medications. Physicians typically start patients on the lowest dose and increase the dosage as needed.
In some cases, Ramipril is also used to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke in patients age 55 or older. Patients eligible for this treatment typically have a history of heart disease, stroke, or diabetes and must have at least one other risk factor, such as smoking or high cholesterol. Ramipril tablets may also be given within the first few days after an acute myocardial infarction in patients with previous congestive heart failure.
Ramipril tablets are typically taken once or twice a day, preferably at consistent times from day to day. They can be taken with or without food. Capsules can be swallowed whole or broken open and sprinkled into a small amount of applesauce or juice.
Common side effects of Ramipril include dizziness, headache, upset stomach, and fatigue. Muscle weakness and coughing may also occur in some patients. Patients should inform their physician if side effects worsen with time. Severe side effects are less common, but may include difficulty breathing, jaundice, fever or chills, and fainting.
This medication may negatively interact with certain other medications and supplements. Patients should inform their doctors of any medications, vitamins, or supplements that they are taking. Patients taking lithium should exercise extra caution while taking Ramipril tablets, as the medication can increase the risk of lithium toxicity, especially when also combined with a diuretic.
ACE inhibitors, including Ramipril tablets, should not be taken by women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. The medication can cause fetal and neonatal injury or death. The risk is particularly high during the first trimester. Caution should also be used in patients with kidney disease, as Ramipril tablets can worsen this condition in some cases.