To undertake an event monitoring study of cilazapril in general practice during the early marketing period, to provide some comparisons with other angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and to assess the monitoring method.
The monitoring was undertaken in the Intensive Medicines Monitoring Programme. Cilazapril was prescribed for mild to moderate hypertension in 996 patients at a recommended dose of 2.5-5.0 mg daily. The monitoring period was six months and practitioners were asked to report all adverse events. A reaction profile was prepared and compared with profiles for lisinopril, enalapril and captopril. The chi-square test was applied to differences in proportions.
There were 84 (8.4%) reports describing 133 adverse events; 124 (93%) were assessed as reactions. Withdrawals totalled 53 (5.3%). The most common reactions were cough (2.9%), nausea and vomiting (1.3%) and lethargy (1.1%). Cilazapril had a higher proportion of neurological reactions (p < 0.001) (mainly headache) but a lower proportion of skin reactions (p = 0.001) than the other ACE inhibitors. It also had relatively less diarrhoea and there were differences in the patterns of psychiatric reactions.
Cilazapril has a similar reaction profile to other ACE inhibitors but this paper shows differences, some not previously reported, that may assist selection when prescribing. Although there was a high rate of reporting of known adverse reactions, other events were reported at a very low rate and spontaneous reporting is thus confirmed as an unreliable method of monitoring for unexpected adverse reactions.
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