Perindopril

Sounds like 'per-in-doe-pril'

Perindopril is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure and to prevent kidney problems for people with diabetes. Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects. Perindopril is also called Coversyl.

What is perindopril?

Perindopril has many different effects on your body so it is used to treat a range of conditions. It belongs to a group of medicines called ACE inhibitors.

Perindopril may be used for the following conditions:

  • High blood pressure – by relaxing and widening your blood vessels it lowers 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 in your feet, legs and abdomen (tummy).
  • Diabetic kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy) – to protect your kidneys and help them to function.

Perindopril can work quickly for hypertension (high blood pressure). If you have heart failure it may be a few weeks before you notice an improvement in your symptoms. 

Dose

In Aotearoa New Zealand perindopril is available as tablets, 2 mg, 4mg and 8 mg (from December 2022). 

  • The dose of perindopril 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 perindopril exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much 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 perindopril.

Date Dose
   
   
   
Notes:


How to take perindopril

  • Timing: Perindopril is usually taken once a day, in the morning before breakfast. Take your dose at about the same time each day. Your healthcare provider may suggest that you take your first dose before bedtime because it can make you feel dizzy.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol while you are taking perindopril. 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.

Who can't take perindopril?

Perindopril 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.

Things to consider while you are taking perindopril

Have a sick day plan

If you have diarrhoea (runny poo) or are vomiting (being sick) from a stomach bug, or are dehydrated from another illness, it’s important to let your healthcare provider know, as they may advise you to stop taking your perindopril for a few days, or 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 perindopril and diuretics (water pills), the combination of these with NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory pain relief medicine) 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)
  • Bumetanide (Burinex)
  • Spironolactone (Spiractin)
  • Ibuprofen (Ibugesic, I-Profen, Nurofen)
  • Diclofenac (Voltaren)
  • Naproxen (Noflam, Naprosyn)
  • Mefenamic acid (Ponstan)
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex)
  • Tenoxicam (Tilcotil)

What are the side effects of perindopril?

Like all medicines perindopril 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 when you stand up
  • This is quite common when you first start taking perindopril and usually goes way with time.
  • These effects put you at risk of falls and injuries, especially if you are an older adult. Be careful when getting up from either lying down or sitting. 
  • Stand up slowly. If you do feel dizzy, sit or lie down for a few moments.
  • Tell your doctor if this continues.
  • Tickle in your throat
  • Dry, irritating cough


  • This is quite common when you first start taking perindopril and usually goes away with time.
  • Tell your doctor if the cough is troublesome and persistent.
  • 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 phone Healthline 0800 611 116.
  • Signs of problems with your liver, such as yellowing of your skin or eyes, dark pee or pain in your abdomen (tummy)
  • Tell your doctor immediately or phone 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

Learn more

The following links provide more information on perindopril.

Perindopril NZ Formulary Patient Information

Reference

  1. Perindopril NZ Formulary
Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Last reviewed: 22 Apr 2021