Enalapril is a medicine that is used in patients with high blood pressure (arterial hypertension) and heart failure (heart failure).

The active ingredient "Enalapril" is contained in the following products: Benalapril, Corvo, EnaHEXAL, Enalapril-ratiopharm, Juxtaxan and Xanef.

Mode of action

Enalapril must first be carried out by enzymes in the liver in his active form enalaprilat being transformed. Enalapril is therefore called "Inactive prodrug", as the effect is only possible after an alcohol group has been split off by liver enzymes.

The activated form of enalapril, enalaprilat, inhibits then a specific body enzyme, which plays an important role in blood pressure regulation. The Angiotensin converting enzymes (ACE) is inhibited and can therefore produce less angiotensin II:

  • On the one hand, this leads to a Dilation of blood vessels with the result that blood pressure drops.

  • In addition, the lower angiotensin II level leads to a decrease Release of the hormone aldosterone from the adrenal cortex. This in turn reduces the blood pressure by changing the kidney function (less sodium and therefore less water is retained in the body).

In addition to enalapril, the following drugs show a similar effect, which is why they are called ACE inhibitors summarizes: benazepril, Captopril, Cilazapril, fosinopril, Lisinopril, Moexipril, perindopril, quinapril, Ramipril.

Areas of application

  • Enalapril and other ACE inhibitors are used for Therapy of high blood pressure. This is often combined with other antihypertensive drugs, including Diuretics (lead to an increased excretion of water via the kidney).

  • Enalapril is also used for Therapy of heart failure (Heart failure). Here it serves to lower the work of the heart. Again, the ACE inhibitor enalapril is used frequently combined with other drugs.

To what time of day and in what dose Enalapril needs to be taken is dependent on the Underlying disease. In patients with heart failure it is recommended that the dose of enalapril be over some weeks to increase slowly. The maximum daily dose is included 40mg.

Side effects

Total will be ACE inhibitors, which includes enalapril, is used by most patients well tolerated.

  • The most commonly observed side effect is a dry cough. Besides that, it can too hoarseness, Throat irritation and rarely to Asthma attacks come.
  • Skin reactions also occur more frequently: Reddening of the skin, Hives up to angioedema (life-threatening clinical picture due to sudden swelling of the skin and mucous membranes, which can also affect the airways).
  • Too much lower blood pressure can lead to dizziness, nausea, a headache and Drowsiness to lead.
  • Very rarely does it happen Kidney dysfunction.
  • Taking enalapril can cause a increased potassium and one decreased sodium levels to lead.


Enalapril must not be taken

  • in the pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • at a narrowed aortic valve (Aortic stenosis) or narrowed renal arteries (Renal artery stenosis)
  • with impaired kidney function
  • with hereditary factors Angioedema
  • at increased levels of aldosterone due to overproduction in the adrenal cortex (Conn syndrome)


Certain medications should not be taken with enalapril. This includes all drugs that the Increase potassium levels (Potassium tablets, certain water tablets). Also Erythropoietin should not be taken with enalapril.