Pharmacy Spotlight: Enalapril
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Spotlight on Enalapril

  • Medication type: Prescription-only, ACE inhibitor

  • Active ingredient: Enalapril maleate

  • Dosage form: Tablet

  • Manufacturer: Wockhardt

  • Major use: For dogs suffering from heart failure due to chronic valvular disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, and/or high blood pressure. Enalapril is sometimes used in certain types of kidney failure.

  • How it works: Enalapril is an ACE inhibitor. ACE stands for "Angiotensin Converting Enzyme." ACE inhibitors work like this: Angiotensin I is an inactive chemical produced by the body. ACE causes Angiotensin I to convert to Angiotensin II, the active form of the chemical that triggers the muscles around blood vessels to contract, causing them to narrow. When the vessels narrow, blood pressure increases in the way that pinching a garden hose increases the pressure of the water in the hose. Increased blood pressure is hard on the heart and on the body. An ACE inhibitor is a medication that inhibits ACE's activity so that less Angiotensin II is produced, and the arteries and other blood vessels don't contract. This helps to keep blood pressure at a more normal level, making the heart's job easier.

    For full details on this medication, download the free patient information sheet.