Captopril (Capoten) Nursing Considerations

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Generic Name


Trade Name



Hypertension, management of CHF, decrease progression of DM neuropathy


Block conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II, increases renin levels and
decreases aldosterone leading to vasodilation

Therapeutic Class


Pharmacologic Class

ACE Inhibitor

Nursing Considerations

• Can cause neutropenia – check WBCs regularly
• Use cautiously with potassium supplements and potassium sparing diuretics
• Use cautiously with diuretic therapy
• Administer 1 hour before meals
• Monitor blood pressure often
• Monitor weight and fluid status
• Monitor renal profile
• Monitor CBC frequently
• May lead to Rhabdomyolysis
• Dry cough

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Hey guys, let’s talk about Captopril, also known as Capoten. This is an oral medication, as you can see here in the photo, and in some countries like Hungary, Tensiomen, which is right here, captopril is the active ingredient in. Okay. So remember that the therapeutic class is what the drug does in the body while the pharmacologic class is the actual chemical effect that the drug has. So with captopril, the therapeutic class is an anti-hypertensive as it works to decrease hypertension or, or blood pressure, while the pharmacologic class is it is an ACE inhibitor. Now, remember that little trick that ACE inhibitors traditionally end in that -pril. Okay. So what is the action of Captopril? It works by blocking conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II it increases renin levels and decreases Aldosterone, which results in vasodilation, as you can see here. Remember guys, angiotensin is a peptide hormone that causes vasoconstriction. So it totally makes sense that Captopril blocks this hormone. So like I already said, it is used to treat hypertension. It’s also used for the management of CHF or congestive heart failure, and it decreases the progression of diabetic neuropathy. 

So what side effects are seen with Captopril? A side effect that ACE inhibitors are known for is that dry cough due to the increase in levels of bradykinin, neutropenia, a rash, and angioedema are also side effects that can occur, which should most definitely be reported to the provider. Okay. So let’s take a look at a few nursing considerations for Captopril. Monitor CBC, frequent renal profile, also weight and fluid status. Use caution with diuretic therapy, potassium supplements, and potassium-sparing diuretics. Guys, important to know that Captopril can lead to rhabdomyolysis, or rhabdo as we call it for short, which is that serious condition where skeletal muscle breaks down that can lead to kidney damage. Be sure to teach your patient to take Captopril one hour before meals, and also they need to take their blood pressure often. So, interesting fact guys about Captopril. It used to be given sublingually for a hypertensive emergency because it was thought that within 30 minutes there was a greater reduction in blood pressure. However, newer evidence has shown that it is more favorable to just give Captopril orally rather than sublingually as the risk of an event is relatively low within that first 30 minutes of the event. That’s it for Captopril or Capoten. Now go out and be your best self today, and as always happy nursing.

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