Imidapril for high blood pressure (Tanatril)

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Take imidapril once daily, about 15 minutes before a meal.

The first dose may make you feel dizzy, so it is best taken at night.

Some painkillers and indigestion remedies interfere with imidapril, so ask your pharmacist for advice before you buy any medicines.

Some people taking imidapril develop a troublesome cough. If this happens to you, let your doctor know.

Type of medicineAn angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor
Used forHigh blood pressure
Also calledTanatril®
Available asTablets

Imidapril is in a class of medicines called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors. You will have been prescribed it to reduce hypertension, a condition where your blood pressure is higher than normal.

ACE inhibitors like imidapril prevent your body from creating a hormone known as angiotensin II. They do this by blocking (inhibiting) a chemical called angiotensin-converting enzyme. This widens your blood vessels and helps to reduce the amount of water put back into your blood by your kidneys. These actions help to decrease blood pressure. People with high blood pressure often do not feel unwell but, if left untreated, high blood pressure can harm the heart and damage blood vessels, leading to a heart attack or stroke.

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking imidapril it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have any problems with your kidneys or liver.
  • If you are dehydrated - for example, if you have had diarrhoea or sickness very recently.
  • If you have been told you have atherosclerosis (a build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of your arteries).
  • If you have peripheral vascular disease (a particular type of poor circulation).
  • If you have collagen vascular disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or scleroderma.
  • If you have been told you have cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease), or aortic stenosis (narrowing of the main blood vessel from your heart).
  • If you have ever had angio-oedema (where your face, tongue or throat swells).
  • If you are having desensitisation treatment to protect against bee and wasp stings.
  • If you have dialysis treatment, or treatment to remove cholesterol from your blood by a machine (LDL apheresis).
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic or unusual reaction to any other ACE inhibitor (such as ramipril, lisinopril, captopril and perindopril), or to any other medicine.
  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about imidapril and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take imidapril once daily, exactly as your doctor tells you to. Your doctor may advise you to take your very first dose at bedtime. This is because you may feel dizzy when you first start taking it.
  • With the exception of the first dose, you can generally take imidapril at a time of day that suits you. You should, however, try to take each of your doses at the same time of day, each day.
  • Swallow the tablet with a drink of water. You should take imidapril about 15 minutes before a meal.
  • There are several strengths of imidapril tablets. It is usual to start by taking the 5 mg strength tablet. You may be asked to take only half of a tablet to begin with, although it is more usual to take a whole tablet. Your doctor may gradually increase your dose over the following few weeks. This allows your doctor to make sure that you have the dose that helps your condition, but helps to avoid any unwanted side-effects, such as dizziness. Each time you collect a new supply, check to make sure the tablets are the strength that you are expecting.
  • If you forget to take a tablet at your usual time, take it as soon as you remember. However, if you do not remember until the following day, skip the forgotten dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
  • Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your progress can be monitored. Your doctor will want you to have some blood tests from time to time to check that your kidneys are working well.
  • It is very important that you follow any dietary and lifestyle advice that you have been given by your doctor. This may include advice about eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and taking regular exercise.
  • If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with imidapril. This is because some medicines (such as anti-inflammatory painkillers and indigestion remedies) may interfere with these tablets.
  • It is likely that your doctor will advise that you do not to use salt substitutes while you are taking imidapril. These products have a high content of potassium which could be harmful for you.
  • If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about taking imidapril and alcohol. Alcohol may make you feel light-headed or dizzy, and may not be recommended for you with these tablets.
  • If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently, as these tablets may lower the levels of sugar in your blood. Your doctor will advise you about this.
  • If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking imidapril. This is because if you need an anaesthetic, it may cause your blood pressure to drop.
  • Treatment with imidapril is often long-term unless you experience an adverse effect. Continue to take the tablets unless you are advised otherwise.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Common imidapril side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine
What can I do if I experience this?
Dry irritating coughIf this continues, speak with your doctor, as an alternative medicine may be better for you
Feeling dizzyGetting up more slowly should help. If you begin to feel dizzy, sit or lie down for a few moments before standing. If this continues beyond the first few days, speak with your doctor. Do not drive or use tools or machines while you feel dizzy
HeadacheAsk your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller
Feeling sickStick to bland foods - avoid rich or spicy meals

Important: if you experience any of the following rare but serious symptoms, stop taking imidapril and contact your doctor for advice straightaway:

  • Any difficulty breathing, or swelling of your face, mouth, tongue or throat. These are signs of an allergic reaction.
  • Any yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes. These may be signs of jaundice which is a rare side-effect.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • Manufacturer's PIL, Tanatril® 5, 10 & 20 mg tablets; Chiesi Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated August 2010.
  • British National Formulary; 65th Edition (Mar 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Adrian Bonsall
Document ID:
3693 (v23)
Last Checked:
Next Review:
The Information Standard - certified member

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