GENERIC NAME: amlodipine and benazepril
BRAND NAME: Lotrel
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Lotrel is a combination drug, containing benazepril (Lotensin) and amlodipine (Norvasc) and is used for treating high blood pressure. Benazepril is an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. ACE is an enzyme in the body that is important for the formation of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II causes constriction of the muscles surrounding arteries in the body, thereby narrowing the arteries and elevating blood pressure. ACE inhibitors such as benazepril lower blood pressure by inhibiting the formation of angiotensin II, thus relaxing the muscles and dilating the arteries. Relaxing the arteries not only lowers blood pressure, but also improves the pumping efficiency of a failing heart and improves the pumping of blood by the heart in patients with heart failure. Amlodipine belongs to a class of medications called calcium channel blockers. These medications block the transport of calcium into the smooth muscle cells lining the coronary arteries and other arteries of the body. Since calcium is important in muscle contraction, blocking calcium transport relaxes artery muscles and dilates coronary arteries and other arteries of the body. Relaxing muscles of arteries lowers blood pressure. The FDA approved Lotrel in March 1995.
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