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- What is benazepril, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for benazepril?
- Is benazepril available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for benazepril?
- What are the uses for benazepril?
- What are the side effects of benazepril?
- What is the dosage for benazepril?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with benazepril?
- Is benazepril safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about benazepril?
What is benazepril, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Benazepril is an ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor used for treating high blood pressure. Other ACE inhibitors include enalapril (Vasotec), quinapril (Accupril), captopril (Capoten), fosinopril (Monopril), ramipril (Altace), moexipril (Univasc) and trandolapril (Mavik). ACE is an enzyme in the body that causes the formation of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II causes contraction of the muscles surrounding arteries and constriction of arteries in the body, thereby elevating blood pressure. ACE inhibitors such as benazepril lower blood pressure by inhibiting the formation of angiotensin II, thus relaxing the arteries. Relaxing the arteries not only lowers blood pressure, but also improves the pumping efficiency of a failing heart and thereby benefits patients with heart failure.
- The FDA approved benazepril in June 1991.
What are the uses for benazepril?
What are the side effects of benazepril?
Benazepril is generally well tolerated and side effects are usually mild and transient. Side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of taste
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe dizziness
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- A sore or swollen throat
A dry, persistent cough has been reported with the use of benazepril and other ACE inhibitors. Coughing resolves after discontinuing the medication.
In rare instances, liver dysfunction and skin yellowing (jaundice) have been reported with ACE inhibitors. Benazepril should not be taken by people with a known allergy to ACE inhibitors. Swelling of the facial tissues and even the upper airways has been reported with ACE inhibitors on very rare occasions, and can lead to serious breathing difficulties. In rare instances, low white blood cell counts have been reported with the use of one ACE inhibitor. Low white blood cells increase the patient's risk of infections.
What is the dosage for benazepril?
- The usual starting dose of benazepril is 10 mg daily. If patients are taking a diuretic (water pill) the starting dose is 5 mg daily.
- Doses may be increased to 20-40 mg once daily or divided and administered twice daily.
Which drugs or supplements interact with benazepril?
- Combining benazepril with potassium supplements, potassium containing salt substitutes, and potassium conserving diuretics such as amiloride (Moduretic), spironolactone (Aldactone), and triamterene (Dyazide, Maxzide), can lead to dangerously high blood levels of potassium.
- Combining benazepril or other ACE inhibitors with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in patients who are elderly, fluid-depleted (including those on diuretic therapy), or with poor kidney function may result in reduced kidney function, including kidney failure. These effects usually are reversible.
- There have been reports that aspirin and other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and many others), indomethacin (Indocin, Indocin-SR), and naproxen (Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve) may reduce the effects of ACE inhibitors. When taken with lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), benazepril can increase lithium to toxic levels in the blood.
- Nitritoid reactions (symptoms include facial flushing, nausea, vomiting and hypotension) may occur when injectable gold (sodium aurothiomalate), used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, is combined with ACE inhibitors, including benazepril.
Is benazepril safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Benazepril (Lotensin) is a medication prescribed alone or in combination with hydrochlorothiazide for treating high blood pressure. Off label uses for Lotensin include treatment for heart failure or diabetic neuropathy. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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Medications & Supplements
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- lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil, Qbrelis) ACE Inhibitor
- ramipril (Altace)
- Congestive Heart Failure Medications
- captopril (Capoten)
- enalapril (Vasotec, Epaned)
- trandolapril, Mavik
- quinapril, Accupril
- lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide, Zestoretic, Prinzide
- fosinopril sodium, Monopril
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- enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide, Vaseretic
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