The antihypertensive effect of the orally active angiotensinconverting enzyme inhibitor Captopril (SQ 14225) was assessed in 22 hypertensive patients of whom 17 were followed for periods ranging from 1 to 7 months. Of these, eight had essential hypertension, eight had renovascular hypertension, and six had hypertension associated with chronic renal failure. Blood pressure decreased markedly in all patients, including those with low renin levels. Nevertheless, the magnitude of blood pressure reduction correlated with the base-line plasma renin activity (r = 0.58, P < 0.01). Increasing the dose of Captopril from 25 to 200 mg did not enhance the amplitude of the antihypertensive effect but did increase its duration. Patients' blood pressure remained well controlled and free of side-effects with a maximal daily dose of up to 200 mg by mouth twice daily. Despite the blood pressure reduction, sodium excretion tended to increase, probably because of reduced aldosterone secretion. There was no evidence of orthostatic hypotension, and no escape from the antihypertensive effect was observed. These results indicate that chronic inhibition of the angiotensin-converting enzyme with an orally active compound offers a new, efficient, and well-tolerated approach to the treatment of hypertension.