Quinapril. A reappraisal of its pharmacology and therapeutic efficacy in cardiovascular disorders

Drugs. 1994 Aug;48(2):227-52. doi: 10.2165/00003495-199448020-00008.


Following systemic absorption, quinapril is converted by de-esterification to quinaprilat (the active diacid metabolite), an inhibitor of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). Pharmacodynamic studies in animals indicate inhibition of ACE both in plasma and at tissue sites, such as the arterial wall and heart, following administration of quinapril. Tissue ACE inhibition may be an important component of the mechanism of action of quinapril (and other ACE inhibitors) in achieving favourable effects in cardiovascular disorders. Quinaprilat has a short elimination half-life (approximately 2 hours), but binds potently to and dissociates slowly from ACE, thus allowing once or twice daily administration of quinapril in the treatment of patients with hypertension or congestive heart failure. Quinapril 10 to 40 mg/day has achieved adequate control of blood pressure in most patients with essential hypertension in clinical trials. Some patients required quinapril dosages up to 80 mg/day and/or concomitant diuretic therapy. Titrating quinapril dosages from 10 to 40 mg/day increased response rates without increasing the incidence or severity of adverse events. Addition of hydrochlorothiazide to quinapril therapy improved response rates by approximately 10 to 20% in patients with hypertension. In general, blood pressure control with quinapril monotherapy was similar to that achieved with enalapril or other standard antihypertensive agents in comparative trials. Quinapril < or = 40 mg/day improved exercise tolerance, reduced the severity and frequency of symptoms, and improved functional (New York Heart Association) class in most clinical studies of patients with congestive heart failure. In addition, beneficial haemodynamic and echocardiographic changes achieved with quinapril were maintained for up to 1 year with continued administration to such patients, but its effect on survival in patients with congestive heart failure has not been reported. The tolerability profile of quinapril is broadly similar to that of other ACE inhibitors; pooled data from clinical trials indicated that 12% of patients with hypertension or congestive heart failure receiving quinapril experienced a treatment-related adverse effects compared with 15% of enalapril recipients and 16% of captopril recipients. Thus, quinapril has clearly established a role as an effective and well tolerated alternative to other ACE inhibitors for the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure. While effects of quinapril on survival of patients with congestive heart failure have not been determined, large intervention studies have demonstrated improved mortality rates with other ACE inhibitors. Further studies, including a large ongoing trial of normotensive patients with coronary artery disease but normal left ventricular function, may also establish a role for quinapril in treating patients with ischaemic heart disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Isoquinolines / administration & dosage
  • Isoquinolines / adverse effects
  • Isoquinolines / pharmacology
  • Isoquinolines / therapeutic use*
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Male
  • Quinapril
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines*


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Isoquinolines
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines
  • Quinapril