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Search Health Information    Captopril for Kidney Stones

Captopril for Kidney Stones

Examples

Generic Name Brand Name
captopril Capoten

How It Works

Captopril helps keep cystine dissolved in the urine, which makes cystine kidney stones less likely to form.

Why It Is Used

Captopril is used to prevent kidney stones in people with high levels of cystine in their urine.

How Well It Works

Captopril binds to cystine and keeps it from forming stones. 1

Side Effects

All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.

Here are some important things to think about:

  • Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
  • Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
  • If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:

  • Trouble breathing.
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor if you have:

  • Hives.
  • Irregular heartbeats (this could be caused by too much potassium in your blood).
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness or fainting.

Common side effects of this medicine include:

  • Dry cough.
  • Headache.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

A cough is one of the most common side effects of captopril. But most people do not get a cough. The cough tends to be a minor problem for most people who have it. They feel that they can live with it in exchange for the benefits of this medicine.

If you take captopril and have a problem with coughing, talk with your doctor. Your cough may be caused by something else, like a cold. Do not stop taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Captopril may interact with other medicines such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antacids, potassium supplements, certain diuretics, and lithium. Be sure your doctor knows about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements you are taking.

Taking medicine

Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.

There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.

Advice for women

Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant. If you need to use this medicine, talk to your doctor about how you can prevent pregnancy.

Checkups

Your doctor may check your potassium levels and how your kidneys are working to make sure this medicine is not causing problems.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF) (What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

References

Citations

  1. Spector DA (2007). Urinary stones. In NH Fiebach et al., eds., Principles of Ambulatory Medicine, 7th ed., pp. 754–766. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
Last Revised April 28, 2011

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