- What is benazepril, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- 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 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?
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
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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Related Disease Conditions
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million people in the US have hypertension (1 in 3 adults), and only half of them are able to manage it. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because it often has no has no warning signs or symptoms. Systolic and diastolic are the two readings in which blood pressure is measured. The American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure in 2017. The guidelines now state that blood normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. If either one of those numbers is higher, you have high blood pressure. The American Academy of Cardiology defines high blood pressure slightly differently. The AAC considers 130/80 mm Hg. or greater (either number) stage 1 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is considered 140/90 mm Hg. or greater. If you have high blood pressure you are at risk of developing life threatening diseases like stroke and heart attack.REFERENCE: CDC. High Blood Pressure. Updated: Nov 13, 2017.
Kidney (Renal) Failure
Kidney failure can occur from an acute event or a chronic condition or disease. Prerenal kidney failure is caused by blood loss, dehydration, or medication. Some of the renal causes of kidney failure include sepsis, medications, rhabdomyolysis, multiple myeloma, and acute glomerulonephritis. Post renal causes of kidney failure include bladder obstruction, prostate problems, tumors, or kidney stones.Treatment options included diet, medications, or dialysis.
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin dependent). Symptoms of diabetes include increased urine output, thirst, hunger, and fatigue. Treatment of diabetes depends on the type.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Congestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, myocarditis, and cardiomyopathies are just a few potential causes of congestive heart failure. Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure may include fatigue, breathlessness, palpitations, angina, and edema. Physical examination, patient history, blood tests, and imaging tests are used to diagnose congestive heart failure. Treatment of heart failure consists of lifestyle modification and taking medications to decrease fluid in the body and ease the strain on the heart. The prognosis of a patient with congestive heart failure depends on the stage of the heart failure and the overall condition of the individual.
Diabetes Treatment: Medication, Diet, and Insulin
The major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is treated with: insulin, exercise, and a diabetic diet. Type 2 diabetes is first treated with: weight reduction, a diabetic diet, and exercise. When these measures fail to control the elevated blood sugar, oral medications are used. If oral medications are still insufficient, insulin medications are considered.
Things to Know About High Blood Pressure Treatment
High blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include lifestyle modifications (alcohol, smoking, coffee, salt, diet, exercise), drugs and medications such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), alpha blockers, clonidine, minoxidil, and Exforge.
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Heart Attack Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management. Symptoms of heart attack in men and women include chest discomfort and pain in the shoulder, neck, jaw, stomach, or back.
Tips for Managing Type 1 and 2 Diabetes at Home
Managing your diabetes is a full time commitment. The goal of diabetic therapy is to control blood glucose levels and prevent the complications of diabetes. Information about exercise, diet, and medication will help you manage your diabetes better. Blood glucose reagent strips, blood glucose meters, urine glucose tests, tests for urinary ketones, continuous glucose sensors, and Hemoglobin A1C testing information will enable you to mange your diabetes at home successfully.
Treatment & Diagnosis
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Medications & Supplements
- ACE Inhibitors
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Drug Interactions
- Types of High Blood Pressure Medications
- lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil, Qbrelis) ACE Inhibitor
- Congestive Heart Failure Medications
- ramipril (Altace)
- trandolapril (Mavik)
- captopril (Capoten)
- enalapril (Vasotec, Epaned)
- lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide (Zestoretic, Prinzide)
- Side Effects of Lotensin (benazepril)
- quinapril (Accupril)
- benazepril and hydrochlorothiazide (Lotensin HCT)
- fosinopril sodium, Monopril
- captopril and hydrochlorothiazide (Capozide)
- enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide (Vaseretic)
Prevention & Wellness
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing Information