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Side Effects
Serious

Fever and chills, sore throat and hoarseness, sudden difficulty breathing or swallowing, swelling of the face, mouth, or extremities, impaired kidney function (ankle swelling, decreased urination), confusion, yellow discoloration of the eyes or skin (indicating liver disorder), intense itching, chest pain or palpitations, abdominal pain. Serious side effects are very rare; contact your doctor immediately.
Common

Dry, persistent cough.
Less Common

Dizziness or fainting, skin rash, numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips, unusual fatigue or muscle weakness, nausea, drowsiness, loss of taste, headache.
Benazepril Hydrochloride


Drug Class:
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: No

Lotensin 20 mg
(Novartis)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Tablets

Why Prescribed
To control high blood pressure; to treat congestive heart failure; to treat patients with left ventricular dysfunction (damage to the pumping chamber of the heart); and to minimize further kidney damage in diabetics with mild kidney disease.

How It Works
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors block an enzyme that produces angiotensin, a naturally occurring substance that causes blood vessels to constrict and stimulates production of the adrenal hormone, aldosterone, which promotes sodium retention in the body. As a result, ACE inhibitors relax blood vessels (causing them to widen) and reduces sodium retention, which lowers blood pressure and so decreases the workload of the heart.

Range and Frequency
If you are not also taking a diuretic (water pill), 10 mg once a day to start, increased to 20 to 80 mg a day in 1 or 2 doses. If you are taking a diuretic, 5 mg per day.

Onset of Effect
60 to 90 minutes.

Duration of Action
Up to 24 hours.

Dietary Advice
Take it on an empty stomach, about 1 hour before mealtime. Follow your doctor's dietary advice (such as low-salt or low-cholesterol restrictions) to improve control over high blood pressure and heart disease. Avoid high-potassium foods like bananas and citrus fruits and juices, unless you are also taking medications, such as diuretics, that lower potassium levels.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and direct light.

Missed Dose
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
Do not stop taking this drug abruptly, as this may cause potentially serious health problems. Dosage should be reduced gradually, according to your doctor's instructions.

Prolonged Use
See your doctor regularly for examinations and tests if you must take this medicine for a prolonged period. Remember that benazepril helps control high blood pressure but does not cure it. Lifelong therapy may be necessary.

Over 60
Adverse reactions may be more likely and more severe in older patients.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Avoid such activities until you determine how the medication affects you.

Alcohol
Consume alcohol only in moderation since it may increase the effect of the drug and cause an excessive drop in blood pressure.

Pregnancy
Tell your doctor before taking this medication if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Use of this drug during the last 6 months of pregnancy may cause severe defects, even death, in the fetus.

Breast Feeding
Benazepril passes into breast milk; if possible, avoid using the drug while nursing.

Infants and Children
Benazepril is generally not prescribed for children; benefits must be weighed against risks. Consult your pediatrician for specific advice.

Overdose Symptoms
None reported.

What to Do
While overdose is unlikely, call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately if you suspect that someone has taken a much larger dose than prescribed.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor if you are taking diuretics (especially potassium-sparing diuretics), potassium supplements or drugs containing potassium (check ingredient labels), lithium, anticoagulants (such as warfarin), indomethacin or other anti-inflammatory drugs, or any over-the-counter drugs (especially cold remedies and diet pills).

Food Interactions
Avoid low-salt milk and salt substitutes. Many of these products contain potassium.

Disease Interactions
Consult your doctor if you have systemic lupus erythematosus or if you have had a prior allergic reaction to ACE inhibitors. This medication should be used with caution by patients with severe kidney disease or renal artery stenosis (narrowing of one or both of the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys).  


Date Published: 04/13/2005
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