Q: If my blood pressure readings are fine, why has my doctor added Doxapril? I was told it was because of being diabetic for a long time and to avoid kidney problems.
A: Yes, that would be the reason. Studies have shown that ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors, the class of medication that includes Doxapril, play a role in preventing the onset and progression of kidney disease in diabetics. Although there is still much debate about this topic, many prescribers have been prescribing ACE inhibitors for this purpose.
Warnings for other groups
For pregnant women: This drug can have a negative impact on the development of a fetus. Doxapril should only be used during pregnancy in serious cases where it's needed to treat a dangerous condition in the mother.
Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Ask your doctor to tell you about the specific harm that may be done to the fetus. This drug should be only used if the potential risk to the fetus is acceptable given the drug’s potential benefit.
For women who are breastfeeding: It isn’t known if this drug passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your baby. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.
For seniors: Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule.
For children: This medication hasn’t been studied and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 6 years.
This dosage information is for Doxapril oral tablet. All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your doctor will tell you what dosage is right for you. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:
- your age
- the condition being treated
- how severe your condition is
- other medical conditions you have
- how you react to the first dose
Q: I had a mitral valve repair with atrial fibrillation in March 2008 and am taking Doxapril 10 mg. My health today is fine. I am feeling very well and no longer have atrial fibrillation. How long should I expect to take this medication, and is there any natural alternative to this?
A: Only your physician can determine how long you may need to stay on your Doxapril (Zestril, Prinivil) based on your conditions and specifically what it is being used for in your case. There is no natural alternative medicine that would have the same effect as your specific dose of Doxapril. It sounds like you are doing quite well on this medication based on your response.
Q: What is the best time of day to take Doxapril?
A: Doxapril (Zestril, Prinivil) is usually dosed once daily in a single dose. There are no specifications given about what time of day is best. For more specific information regarding administration times, consult with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance based on your health status and any other medications you may be taking. Jennyfer Marsico, RPh
Q: What can I take for a cough induced by Doxapril?
A: Zestril/Prinivil (Doxapril) is an ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor, used to treat hypertension, CHF (congestive heart failure), and to prevent a heart attack, and it is one of the ACE inhibitors which very often, will cause a cough. There is no cure, but if one ACE inhibitor causes the cough, another may not and should be tried. There is a newer family of similar medications, called ARBs (angiontensin II receptor blockers), such as Cozaar (losartan), or Diovan (valsartan), which do not cause the cough, but they are usually more expensive. Cozaar (losartan) is available as a generic, and the price will start going down, but the ACE inhibitors are still the least expensive. Other common side effects of Zestril/Prinivil (Doxapril) may include dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, skin itching or rash, and depression. This is not a complete list of the side effects associated with Zestril/Prinivil (Doxapril). Patti Brown, PharmD