Perindopril is a medicine that lowers your blood pressure and makes it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body.
It is part of a group of medicines known as ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors.
You can only get perindopril on prescription. It comes as tablets.
Perindopril is also known as:
- Coversyl Arginine
It is also available combined with 2 other blood pressure medicines called indapamide and amlodipine.
Uses of perindopril
Perindopril relaxes and widens the blood vessels. This can improve the symptoms of heart failure.
It is widely used to:
- treat high blood pressure and heart failure
- reduce the risk of future strokes and heart attacks
- improve your survival after a heart attack or heart surgery
Get emergency help
You might need emergency help if you have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), serious side effects or take too much.
If you take too much
Taking too much perindopril can cause dizziness, sleepiness, or a pounding heartbeat.
Emergency action required: Go to your nearest emergency department (ED) straight away or phone your GP if you:
- take too much perindopril
Do not drive yourself to the ED. Get someone else to drive or call for an ambulance.
Take your remaining medication and any leaflets with you.
Serious allergic reaction
A serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to perindopril is not common.
Emergency action required: Call 112 or 999 or go to your nearest emergency department (ED) if:
- you get a skin rash that may include itchy, red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
- you are wheezing
- you get tightness in the chest or throat
- you have trouble breathing or talking
- your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat start swelling
These are warning signs of a serious allergic reaction, such as angioedema.
Serious side effects
Emergency action required: Stop taking perindopril and go to an emergency department (ED) or phone your GP immediately, if you have:
- weak arms and legs or problems speaking - these can be signs of a stroke
- yellow skin or eyes
- paleness, feeling tired, faint or dizzy, or any sign of bleeding, such as bleeding from the gums and bruising easily
- sore throat and fever and getting infections more easily
- a faster heart rate, chest pain and tightness in your chest
- shortness of breath, wheezing and tightening of the chest
- severe tummy pain
- swollen ankles, blood in your pee or not peeing at all
Read more about side effects.
Check if you can take perindopril
Perindopril is prescribed for adults aged 18 or over, but it is not suitable for everyone.
Check with your GP before starting to take perindopril if you:
- have had an allergic reaction to perindopril or any other medicine
- have heart, liver or kidney problems
- are on a low-salt diet
- have unstable or low blood pressure
- have diabetes
- are having dialysis or any other type of blood filtration
- have had diarrhoea or vomiting recently
- are going to have desensitisation treatment
- have a blood problem such as neutropenia or agranulocytosis
- are going to have a major operation or a general anaesthetic
- are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or are breastfeeding
See the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine for a full list of conditions to check with your GP.
Perindopril does not affect contraception.
But talk to your GP if you use hormonal methods of contraception, such as the combined contraceptive pill and contraceptive patch.
These type of contraception are not usually recommended if you're taking perindopril for high blood pressure.
Perindopril is unlikely to affect fertility in men or women. But talk to your GP if you are trying to get pregnant.
Perindopril is not recommended in pregnancy.
Do not take perindopril if you are more than 3 months pregnant. It may cause serious harm to your baby.
Talk to your GP if you are trying to get pregnant or pregnant. Your GP will usually advise you to stop taking perindopril and to take another medicine.
Do not take perindopril if you are breastfeeding. Talk to your GP.
Perindopril and diabetes
Check your blood sugar (glucose) more often, particularly in the first few weeks, if you have diabetes.
Perindopril can lower the sugar level in your blood.
Perindopril and surgery
Tell your GP you are taking perindopril if:
- you are going to be put to sleep for an operation
- you are going to have a major operation, such as a Caesarean section, without a general anaesthetic
Perindopril can reduce your blood pressure when it is used with a general anaesthetic.
Your GP may advise you to stop taking it 24 hours before surgery.
When you start taking perindopril
Perindopril can cause blurred vision and make you feel dizzy when you first start taking it.
If this happens:
- do not drive a car, ride a bike, or use tools or machinery
- get up very slowly or stay sitting down until you feel better
- lie down so you do not faint, then sit until you feel better if you begin to feel dizzy
How and when to take perindopril
Always take perindopril exactly as your doctor has told you.
If you're unsure, follow the instructions on the medicine label or check with your GP or pharmacist.
Usually, you’ll take a single dose once a day in the morning before your breakfast.
Take your dose at the same time every day.
You'll usually start on a low dose. Usually, your dose will be increased gradually.
Your GP will check your blood pressure and ask about side effects. They can then decide the correct dose of perindopril for you. They may also do some blood tests.
If you forget to take it
If you miss a dose of perindopril, take it as soon as you remember that day.
If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose.
Never take a double dose to make up for a forgotten one.
How long it takes to work
Perindopril starts to work within a few hours to reduce high blood pressure. It might take up to a month for full effect.
If you are taking perindopril for heart failure, it may take weeks, even months, before you feel better.
Keep taking perindopril even if you don't think it is working. It will still be helping you even if you don't notice any change.
How long you'll need to take perindopril
You'll usually need to take perindopril for the rest of your life.
Perindopril is generally safe to take for a long time. There’s no evidence that perindopril is addictive.
Taking perindopril for a long time can sometimes affect your kidneys. Your GP will check how well your kidneys are working with regular blood tests.
Stopping taking perindopril
Talk to your GP if you want to stop. Stopping perindopril may cause your blood pressure to rise. This may increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Your GP may be able to prescribe you a different blood pressure-lowering medicine if you are concerned about side effects.
Perindopril can cause side effects in some people. These side effects often go away as your body gets used to the medicine.
Talk to your GP or pharmacist if side effects do not go away. Your GP may be able to switch you to a different type of ACE inhibitor.
Side effects include:
- dry, tickly cough that does not go away
- feeling dizzy or light headed, especially when you stand up or sit up quickly
- diarrhoea and vomiting
- a mild skin rash
- blurred vision
See the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine for a full list of side effects.
You can report any suspected side effects to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).
Taking perindopril with other medicines
Some medicines can interfere with the way perindopril works
Talk to your GP or pharmacist before taking perindopril if you are taking any other medicines. This includes herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements.
Alcohol and perindopril
Do not drink alcohol when you start taking perindopril or after a dose increase. This is so you can see how the medicine affects you.
Alcohol can increase the blood pressure-lowering effect of perindopril. This can make you feel dizzy or light-headed.
Stop drinking alcohol if perindopril makes you feel dizzy.
Avoid salt substitutes
Do not use salt substitutes such as Lo-Salt if you are taking perindopril. Salt substitutes are high in potassium.
When mixed with perindopril they may make the level of potassium in your blood too high. This could affect your heart beat.
Finding your patient information leaflet online
Your patient information leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet that comes in the package of your medicine.
To find your PIL online, visit the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) website
- In the ‘Find a medicine’ search box, enter the brand name of your medicine. A list of matching medicines appears.
- To the right of your medicine, select ‘PIL’. A PDF of the PIL opens in a new window.
You can also:
- Select the brand name of your medicine.
- Scroll down to the Documents section.
- From the Package Leaflet line, select PDF version. A PDF of the PIL opens in a new window.
If your PIL is not on the HPRA website, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) website opens in a new window when you select ‘PIL’.
You can find your PIL on the EMA website.
Finding your PIL on the EMA website
If your PIL is not on the HPRA website, you will be sent to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) website.
To find your PIL on the EMA website:
- In the Medicines search box, enter the brand name of your medicine and the word ‘epar’. For example: ‘Zoely epar’. A list of matching medicines appears.
- Select the ‘Human medicine European public assessment report (EPAR)’ for your medicine
- From the table of contents, select Product information.
- Select the EPAR – Product Information link for your medicine. A PDF opens in a new window. The PIL information is in Annex III of the PDF under ‘labelling and package leaflet’
This content was fact checked by a pharmacist, a GP, the National Medication Safety Programme (Safermeds) and the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).