Vascace (Cilazapril) is used for the treatment of raised blood pressure and, when used with digitalis (a medicine which increases the strength of the heart) and/or diuretics (water tablets), it is used for the treatment of chronic heart failure.

Why have I been prescribed Vascace?

Vascace (Cilazapril) is used for the treatment of raised blood pressure and, when used with digitalis (a medicine which increases the strength of the heart) and/or diuretics (water tablets), it is used for the treatment of chronic heart failure.

How does it work?

  • Vascace belongs to the group of medicines called Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors.
  • ACE inhibitors work by helping to widen your blood vessels, which then make it easier for your heart to pump blood through them.

When and how do I take it?

Take your medicine before or after meals, and swallow the tablets whole with water or another non-alcoholic drink. The medicine should be taken at around the same time each day, ideally in the morning.

What’s the dose?

  • If you have high blood pressure, your normal starting dose will be 1 mg daily. In some cases your doctor may feel that you should start on a lower dose. Your doctor may change the dose to suit your needs throughout your treatment. The full effect of your medicine is not usually seen until after two to four weeks of treatment and the effect then remains constant.
  • If your blood pressure is not adequately controlled by Vascace, your doctor may prescribe a diuretic (water tablet) which will work together with your medicine to further control your blood pressure.
  • If you are elderly, your doctor will probably start you on 0.5 mg a day if you are suffering from hypertension and 0.5 mg if you suffer from chronic heart failure. After starting therapy your doctor may adjust your dose, depending on your response.
  • If you have kidney or liver problems, your doctor may start you on a lower dose than normal before adjusting your dose depending on your response.
  • If you have chronic heart failure, treatment usually starts with a daily dose of 0.5 mg in addition to digitalis and/or diuretics. Depending on your individual response to the treatment your doctor may decide to increase the daily dose.
  • If you are already taking diuretics your doctor may reduce the dose of the diuretic, or even stop you taking the diuretic at all before you start taking Vascace.

Could it interact with other tablets?

You must tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other medicines including those not prescribed by your doctor, especially if you have been treated with a diuretic (water tablets) for a long time before starting treatment with Vascace. This is extremely important, as using more than one medicine at the same time can strengthen or weaken the effect of the medicines.

For example, other medicines that lower high blood pressure can increase the effect of your medicine. Potassium supplements or potassium-containing salt substitutes may lead to unwanted effects if they are taken together with these tablets.

In addition you should tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following types of drugs:

  • NSAIDs ( for the relief of pain e.g. aspirin)
  • lithium (for depression)
  • anti-diabetic drugs, (for lowering blood sugar in diabetes)
  • allopurinol (for gout)
  • cytostatic/immunosuppressive agents (to reduce the activity of the immune system)
  • systemic corticosteroids, (to reduce activity of the immune system)
  • procainamide (for heart disorders)
  • if you are undergoing treatment for wasp or bee stings or are about to have any form of operation that requires an anaesthetic
  • This includes dental surgery

Herbal supplements should be used with caution and only after informing your doctor first.

What are the possible risks or side-effects?

Side effects from taking Vascace are infrequent. However, contact your doctor immediately if:

  • you feel very dizzy or faint.
  • your skin or the whites of your eyes become yellow.
  • your face, lips, tongue and throat become swollen.
  • you develop a persistent pain in the abdomen.

The most common adverse effects include:

  • dry cough
  • rash
  • hypotension
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • headache and nausea
  • dyspepsia and other gastrointestinal disturbances

Medicines such as Vascace may be associated with a small increased risk of heart attack (myocardial infarction) or stroke.

Blood disorders have also been reported with ACE-inhibitors. These include reduced numbers of red blood cells (anaemia, which may cause tiredness or breathlessness), reduced numbers of white blood cells (which may increase the risk of infection) and reduced numbers of platelets (which may lead to bruising or bleeding).

Other less serious undesirable effects include

  • headache
  • coughing
  • tiredness
  • indigestion
  • rashes (which may be severe)
  • increased or irregular heart rate (palpitations)
  • pains in the chest
  • hair loss (which may be only temporary)
  • increased sensitivity to light
  • breathing problems
  • wheezing
  • irritation or inflammation of the nose, sinusitis, bronchitis
  • feeling sick

In addition, Vascace may affect tests your doctor may perform on blood or urine samples. Please remind your doctor that you are taking Vascace if you ever have any of these tests. If you are concerned about these or any other unwanted effects, talk to your doctor.

Can I drink alcohol while taking it?

Drinking alcohol while taking ACE-Inhibitor medicines can cause blood pressure problems. Signs include feeling faint or dizzy. Talk to your doctor for advice before drinking alcohol while taking Vascace.

What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?

  • The use of ACE-inhibitors is not recommended during the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • They cannot be used during the second and third trimester of pregnancy.
  • Vascace is not recommended while breast feeding.


If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.

Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note:
We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.



Health Reference: Hypertension