SHORT CAPOTEN DESCRIPTION:
The suggested dosage schedule includes starting with only 25 mg, or 1/2 tablet of Capoten per day. Due to its tendency to cause fatigue, the dosage is usually taken at night before bed so as to not interfere with the quality of ones day or training. This dosage can be increased over time, but no more than 50 or 100 mg is ever suggested per day.
LONG CAPOTEN DESCRIPTION:
Captopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, used medically for the treatment of high blood pressure. Although the exact underlying mechanisms behind the activity of captopril are not fully understood, it appears to lower blood pressure and have a beneficial effect on blood circulation in patients with congestive heart failure mainly by suppressing the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. It is a particularly effective medication in fact, and considered both as the first course of therapy or after other less powerful agents have failed to produce a desired response. Athletes are usually not using this drug to lower blood pressure however, at least not as the primarily purpose. In this arena captopril is of interest for its potential anabolic, thermogenic and diuretic qualities. Before going any further it is important to state that it is not recommend for anyone to take captopril unless they are already hypertensive from using anabolic steroids, as a potential dangerous drop in blood pressure may result.
Most athletes using capoten are hoping it will help promote fat loss. This use of captopril was first brought to our attention in and article by the writer Dharkham in Dan Duchaine’s Dirty Dieting newsletter. The suggested mechanism of action was a reduction of alpha-2 adrenoceptors, receptors that work against lipolysis in fat cells. If captopril were able to effectively lower alpha-2 levels in fat cells, it would certainly have quite a bit of potential in this regard. And indeed many who have used it do attest to the fact that it is a good cutting drug, often claiming they have a higher calorie threshold for fat loss/gain when taking the substance. Others however vehemently disagree with this use for captopril, and say they found it sorely lacking as a fat-loss agent. I did notice one study of great interest, showing that with 2 weeks of chronic administration it caused no significant changes and alpha-2 or beta-2 adrenoceptors. A second however, using the drug for 16 weeks, did note a reduction in alpha-2 receptors. If it simply takes longer to notice strong receptor downregulation, then captopril would work with prolonged use. However this would also make it a definite delayed gratification drug, and no doubt less than popular with bodybuilders. More immediately however, this drug does lower aldosterone levels and water retention. Even if not highly thermogenic, many will still no doubt find a use for the mild diuretic action of this drug.
Another interesting thing about captopril is that it has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity. Despite being integral to the deposition of body fat, we must remember that insulin is also an extremely potent anabolic agent in the human body. It is a nutrient transport hormone, responsible for the uptake and utilization of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and is even a strong promoter of protein synthesis in muscle tissues. Athletes have found that by manipulating insulin levels, and even insulin sensitivity, in the right window of time after training, they can produce dramatic anabolic effects. To this end studies with captopril look very promising. One for instance looked at the effect of captopril on insulin sensitivity in obese rats, noting it to increase this in both liver and muscle tissues. Perhaps an even better study to look it is one conducted in Japan in 1994, investigating the underlying mechanisms involved in this action of captopril. Here researchers showed that the drug actually increased the expression of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) in skeletal muscle, a definite positive effect in terms of glucose transport and metabolism in muscles. One would likely take captopril in conjunction with insulin for maximum effects, however should be cautious with the dosage as the effects of insulin may be notably enhanced in the presence of this drug.
The suggested dosage schedule includes starting with only 25 mg, or 1/2 tablet of Capoten per day. Due to its tendency to cause fatigue, the dosage is usually taken at night before bed so as to not interfere with the quality of ones day or training. This dosage can be increased over time, but no more than 50 or 100 mg is ever suggested per day. And due to the previously mentioned risk of low blood pressure, one should certainly not mistake this as a recommendation to take one or two tabs per day and not worry about it. Due to the already mentioned risk of low blood pressure, one should take extreme caution when fiddling with this drug. Symptoms of this include dizziness and weakness, which may indicate a need for immediate medical intervention, so take extreme caution. It is especially advisable to take care and follow your blood pressure. Aside from the primary worry of low blood pressure, other potential side effects of this drug are numerous and include the mentioned dizziness, headaches, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, nausea, flushes and fatigue.