What is Uniretic?

Uniretic (enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide) is a combination of an ACE inhibitor and a thiazide diuretic used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Uniretic is available in generic form.

Health Benefits

The ACE inhibitor component of Uniretic works by relaxing blood vessels, which helps to lower blood pressure. The thiazide diuretic component helps to remove excess water and salt from the body.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of Uniretic include:

headache

dizziness

cough

tiredness

diarrhea or constipation

nausea or vomiting

muscle or joint pain

Less common side effects include:

skin rash

changes in taste

excessive urination or thirst

decreased sexual ability

weight gain or loss

abnormal liver function tests

hives

Rare side effects include:

angioedema (swelling of the face, tongue, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs)

yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Uniretic and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:

chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling; irregular heartbeat; swelling of the ankles, feet, hands, or lower legs; shortness of breath; fainting; or vision changes.

Dosage

Uniretic is available in tablet form in the following strengths: enalapril 10 mg/hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg, enalapril 20 mg/hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg, and enalapril 20 mg/hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg. The usual starting dose is one tablet taken once daily. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed.

The maximum recommended dose is enalapril 40 mg/hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg per day. Uniretic should be taken with food to reduce the risk of stomach upset.

If you miss a dose of Uniretic, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Interactions

Uniretic may interact with other blood pressure medications, lithium, potassium supplements, salt substitutes that contain potassium, insulin or oral diabetes medications, steroids, or probenecid. Tell your doctor all medications you are taking. Uniretic must be used only when prescribed during pregnancy. This medication passes into breast milk and could have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Mechanism of Action

The mechanism of action of the ACE inhibitor component of Uniretic is not completely understood. It is thought to act by inhibiting the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II, a potent vasoconstrictor. The thiazide diuretic component of Uniretic works by inhibiting the reabsorption of electrolytes in the distal tubule, which leads to increased excretion of sodium and chloride. This also leads to an increase in potassium excretion.

Pharmacokinetics

Uniretic is rapidly and completely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. The ACE inhibitor component of Uniretic is metabolized in the liver to active and inactive metabolites. The thiazide diuretic component of Uniretic is also metabolized in the liver. Uniretic has a half-life of about 11 hours.

Alternatives to Uniretic

There are many other drugs available to treat hypertension. Some common alternatives to Uniretic include:

lisinopril (Zestril)

benazepril (Lotensin)

captopril (Capoten)

fosinopril (Monopril)

moexipril (Univasc)

perindopril (Aceon)

quinapril (Accupril)

ramipril (Altace)

trandolapril (Mavik)

These medications all work in similar ways and have comparable side effects. Your doctor will determine the best treatment for you based on your individual medical needs.