Pediatric cardiac medications: Enalapril

When your child is diagnosed with a heart problem it is very concerning. Understanding all you can about their condition is important to alleviate stress and anxiety. It is also important to understand the medications your child might take for a heart condition. One of these medications is called Enalapril.

Enalapril is in a class of medications called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It works by decreasing certain chemicals that tighten the blood vessels, so blood flows more smoothly and the heart can pump blood more efficiently. This is a unique medicine because it also aids the heart in a process called remodeling. Remodeling is the normal process all muscles go through continuously - breaking down and reorganizing. ACE inhibitors can assist this process to happen in a more organized and positive way. This can be very helpful in a child with a sick heart.
Typical dosing for Enalapril is anywhere from 0.1 mg per kg (patient’s weight) all the way up to 1 mg per kg for the whole day. This dose is usually divided into 2 parts typically at least 8 hours apart, although in older patients it can be administered once daily. Enalapril comes in tablet form but can be compounded and is available in a liquid suspension.

All medicines have side effects. Enalapril is no different. In general it is a very safe and effective. The main problems that can be caused by Enalapril are disturbances in kidney function. Other more rare side effects exist but do not often occur. A more detailed explanation can be found on medline plus-a service of the US National Institute of Health at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a686022.html.

Posted by Dr. Penn Laird Jr. in .