Sounds like 'KWIN-a-pril'

Key points about quinapril

  • Quinapril is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
  • It belongs to a group of medicines called ACE inhibitors.
  • Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects.
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Quinapril has many different effects on the body and is used to treat a variety of conditions. It belongs to a group of medicines called ACE inhibitors. Quinapril may be used for:

  • high blood pressure by relaxing and widening your blood vessels and lowering your blood pressure
  • heart failure to help your heart pump blood more easily – this can help to relieve symptoms such as shortness of breath and swelling of your feet, legs and abdomen (tummy).

Quinapril tablets are available in different strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg and 20 mg. 

  • The dose of quinapril will be different for different people depending on your condition.
  • Your doctor will usually start you on a low dose so it doesn't make you feel dizzy. Your dose will be increased slowly over a few weeks depending on how you respond. This allows your body to get used to the medicine and reduces side effects.
  • Always take your quinapril exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much quinapril to take, how often to take it and any special instructions.
  • Check with your pharmacist if your tablets are different to what you expect.

My dose

You can use the table below to keep track of dose changes when you start taking quinapril.

Date Morning Evening

  • Timing: Quinapril may be taken once or two times a day. Take your dose at the same time each day. You can take quinapril with or without food.
  • Limit alcohol intake while you are taking quinapril. Alcohol can increase your chance of side effects such as dizziness and light-headedness. 
  • Missed dose: If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.

Quinapril is not suitable if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy. It is also not suitable if you have had a severe allergic reaction to an ACE inhibitor in the past, eg, swelling of your lips, eyes or tongue (called angioedema). Read more about who cannot take ACE inhibitors. If you are already taking diuretics (water pills), your doctor will monitor you very closely when you first start taking quinapril.

Here are some things to know when you're taking quinapril. Other things may be important as well, so ask your healthcare provider what you should know about.


Your doctor will arrange for you to have blood tests and blood pressure checks before you start taking quinapril and during your treatment, especially when you first start taking it. This is to check how it is working and to check your kidneys and potassium levels.

Have a sick day plan

If you have diarrhoea or are vomiting from a stomach bug, or are dehydrated from another illness, it’s important to let your GP know, as they may advise you to stop taking your quinapril for a few days, decrease your dose and start again when you feel better. 

Be careful when taking some pain relief medicines

ACE inhibitors can be used to protect your kidneys from damage if you have diabetes. However, if you are taking quinapril and diuretics (water pills), the combination of these with NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory pain relief medication) can be very harmful to your kidneys. It can cause acute kidney injury. This combination is called the 'dangerous trio' or 'triple whammy'. You have a higher risk of harm to your kidneys if you are also an older adult (over 65 years) or are dehydrated. 

If you are taking an ACE inhibitor with a diuretic, do not use NSAIDs for pain relief. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a safer option. Read more about NSAIDs and protecting your kidneys.

Examples of diuretics Examples of NSAIDs
  • bendroflumetazide (Arrow-Bendrofluazide)
  • Chlortalidone (Hygroton)
  • Indapamide (Dapa-Tabs)
  • Metolazone (Zaroxolyn)
  • Furosemide (Lasix, Urex Forte)
  • Bumetanide (Burinex)
  • Spironolactone (Spiractin)
  • Ibuprofen (Brufen SR, Nurofen)
  • Diclofenac (Voltaren)
  • Naproxen (Noflam, Naprosyn)
  • Mefenamic acid (Ponstan)
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex)
  • Tenoxicam (Tilcotil)

Like all medicines, quinapril can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling light headed 
  • Feeling faint or dizzy when you stand up
  • Headache
  • This is quite common when you first start taking quinapril and usually goes way with time.
  • Be careful when getting up from either lying down or sitting to avoid falls. These effects put you at risk of falls and injuries, especially if you are an older adult (over 65 years).
  • Stand up slowly. If you do feel dizzy sit or lie down for a few moments.
  • Tell your doctor if  this continues.
  • Tickle in the throat
  • Dry, irritating cough

  • This is quite common when you first start taking quinapril and usually goes away with time.
  • Tell your doctor if the cough is  troublesome and persistent.
  • Upset tummy or feeling sick
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • These are common when you first start taking cilazapril but should go away with time.
  • Tell your doctor if this continues.
  • Allergic reaction such as skin rash, itching, swelling of your lips, face and mouth or difficulty breathing, such as chest tightness or wheezing
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116.
  • Signs of problems with your liver, such as yellowing of your skin or eyes, dark urine or pain in your abdomen (tummy)
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116.
Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product(external link)

The following links provide more information on quinapril.

Accuretic®(external link) Medsafe Consumer Information
New Zealand Formulary Patient Information: quinapril(external link)


Quinapril in Te Reo Māori(external link) My Medicines, NZ, 2019
5 questions to ask about your medications(external link) Health Quality and Safety Commission, NZ, 2019 English(external link), te reo Māori(external link)


  1. Quinapril(external link) New Zealand Formulary, NZ


quinapril maori

Quinapril in Te Reo Māori

My Medicines, NZ, 2019

5 questions to ask about your medications

5 questions to ask about your medications

Health Quality and Safety Commission, NZ, 2019

Te reo Māori

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Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist, Healthify He Puna Waiora. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

Reviewed by: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland

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