Benazepril | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More

Generic Name:

benazepril, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Lotensin
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Highlights for benazepril

Oral tablet
1

Benazepril is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It may be used alone or with other medications.

2

This drug comes in the form of a tablet you take by mouth.

3

Benazepril is available as a brand-name drug called Lotensin. It’s also available as a generic drug.

4

More common side effects that occur when taking this drug include headache, cough, dizziness upon standing, or sleepiness.

5

This medication can cause a reaction called angioedema that can be serious. It involves a sudden swelling of the face, arms, legs, lips, tongue, or throat, and intestines.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to drug effects that may be dangerous.

Pregnancy warning. Don’t take benazepril if you’re pregnant or become pregnant. This medication can cause injury and death to a developing fetus. If you become pregnant, stop taking this medication right away and call your doctor.

Sudden swelling (angioedema)

This medication can cause sudden swelling of the face, arms, legs, lips, tongue, or throat. It can also cause swelling in your intestines. Call your doctor right away if you have swelling in these areas, or have pain in your stomach area. Your doctor will likely stop this medication. They may also give you medication to reduce the swelling.

Low blood pressure

This medication can cause low blood pressure. This can make you feel lightheaded, especially during the first few days of treatment. Tell your doctor if this occurs, or if you have any fainting spells. Low blood pressure occurs more often if you’re not drinking enough fluids. It is also more common if you sweat more than normal, have diarrhea, or are vomiting.

Drug features

Benazepril is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you may need to take it with other drugs.

Benazepril is available as a brand-name drug called Lotensin. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drug. Talk to your doctor to see if the generic version will work for you.

Why it's used

Benazepril is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

How it works

Benazepril belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

More Details

How it works

Benazepril belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.  

This medication works by relaxing your blood vessels. This reduces the amount of work your heart has to do to pump your blood, which lowers your blood pressure.

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benazepril Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

Some of the more common side effects that can occur with use of benazepril include:

  • headache

  • cough

  • dizziness that occurs when changing positions

  • sleepiness

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Skin rash (Stevens-Johnson syndrome). Symptoms can include:

    • raised welts
    • facial swelling
    • hives
    • blistering, peeling skin
  • Angioedema. Symptoms can include:

    • swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
    • trouble breathing
    • pain in the abdomen (stomach area)
  • Infection. Symptoms can include:

    • fever
    • sore throat
  • Nausea and vomiting that occurs with pain in the abdomen (stomach area)

  • Lower libido (sex drive) than normal

  • Erectile dysfunction (impotence)

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Benazepril may cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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benazepril May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Benazepril can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Blood pressure drugs

Certain blood pressure drugs can increase the effect of benazepril. This can raise your risk of side effects from benazepril. These drugs include:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as:
    • benazepril
    • captopril
    • clizapril
    • enalapril
    • enalaprilat
    • fosniopril
    • imidapril
    • moexipril
    • perindopril
    • qunapril
    • ramipril
    • trandolapril
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) such as:
    • irbesartan
    • losartan
    • olmesartan
    • telmisatan
    • valsartan
  • Beta-blockers such as:
    • acebutolol
    • arotinolol
    • atenolol
    • betaxolol
    • bisoprolol
    • esmolol
    • metoprolol
    • nadolol
    • nebivolol
    • penbutolol
    • pindolol
    • propranolol
    • timolol (systemic)
  • Calcium channel blockers such as:
    • amlodipine
    • felodipine
    • nicardipine
    • nifedipine
  • Loop diuretics such as:
    • bumetanide
    • furosemide
    • indapamide
    • torsemide
  • Potassium-sparing diuretics such as:
    • eplerenone
    • spironolactone
    • triamterene
  • Thiazide diuretics such as:
    • chlorthiazide
    • chlorthalidone
    • hydrochlorothiazide
    • methylclothiazide
    • metolazone 

Also, certain blood pressure drugs can increase your levels of potassium too much. (Potassium is a mineral that helps the nerves, muscles, and other parts of the body work properly.) These drugs include drugs such as:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as:
    • benazepril
    • captopril
    • clizapril
    • enalapril
    • enalaprilat
    • fosniopril
    • imidapril
    • moexipril
    • perindopril
    • qunapril
    • ramipril
    • trandolapril
  • Potassium-sparing diuretics such as:
    • eplerenone
    • spironolactone
    • triamterene

Diabetes drugs

Use of benazepril can increase the effects of certain diabetes drugs. This can increase your risk of side effects from these drugs. These drugs include:

  • pramlintide
  • metformin
  • exenatide
  • liraglutide
  • lixisentaide
  • saxagliptin
  • sitagliptin
  • insulin
  • nateglinide
  • repaglinide
  • glimepriide
  • glipizide
  • glyburide
  • canagliflozin
  • dapagliflozin
  • empagliflozin
  • pioglitazone
  • rosiglitazone

Mood stabilizer drugs

Taking certain drugs used to treat mood disorders along with benazepril can lower your blood pressure even more. This raises your risk of dangerously low blood pressure. These drugs include monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as:

  • isocarboxazid
  • phenelzine
  • selegiline
  • tranylcypromine

Using lithium, another drug used to stabilize mood, with benazepril can increase the effects of lithium. This can increase your risk of side effects from lithium. 

Pain drugs

Taking certain pain drugs along with benazepril can increase your risk of kidney damage. These drugs include NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as:

  • celecoxib
  • diclofenac
  • ibuprofen
  • indomethacin
  • keoprofen
  • ketorolac
  • meloxicam
  • nabumetone
  • naproxen
  • piroxicam

Supplements

Taking a potassium supplement, or a potassium-based salt substitute, along with benazepril can increase your levels of potassium too much. (Potassium is a mineral that helps the nerves, muscles, and other parts of the body work properly.) Having high levels of potassium in your body can cause dangerous side effects. These include heart rhythm problems and heart attack.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with kidney disease

If you have kidney problems or a history of kidney disease, you may not be able to clear this drug from your body well. This may increase the levels of benazepril in your body and cause more side effects.

People with liver damage

In rare cases, benazepril can cause liver damage. If you already have liver disease, taking this drug may make it worse. If you develop jaundice while being treated with benazepril, you should stop taking benazepril right away. Symptoms of jaundice include yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

Pregnant women

Benazepril is a category D pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in humans has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. This drug should only be used during pregnancy in serious cases where it's needed to treat a dangerous condition in the mother.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Ask your doctor to tell you about the specific harm that may be done to the fetus. This drug should be only used if the potential risk to the fetus is acceptable given the drug’s potential benefit.

Women who are breast-feeding

This medication can pass into breast milk and can cause serious side effects in a child who is breast-fed. Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your baby. You should decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

For children

This medication should not be used in children younger than 6 years of age.

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor or go to the emergency room if you have chest pain, a headache, jaw pain, upper back pain, nausea or vomiting, or trouble breathing. These may be symptoms of a heart attack.

Allergies

Benazepril can cause a severe allergic skin reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • itching
  • rash
  • hives
  • blistering, peeling skin

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take benazepril (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

High blood pressure

Brand: Lotensin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg

Generic: benazepril

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

The recommended dose is 10 mg tablet by mouth once daily. This can be increased to a maintenance dose of 20–40 mg once daily or two times daily.

Child dosage (ages 6–17 years)

The recommended dose is 0.2 mg/kg once daily.

Note: Children in this age range shouldn’t use this drug if their creatinine clearance (CrCl) is less than 30 mL/min/1.72 m2. CrCl is a test that shows how well the kidneys work.

Child dosage (ages 0–5 years)

This medication should not be used in children younger than 6 years of age.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help prevent levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Kidney problems: For adults with a creatinine clearance (CrCl) of <30 mL/min/1.73 m2, your doctor will likely prescribe you 5 mg once daily, with a maximum daily dose of 40 mg.

Hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis: If you’re on either of these types of dialysis, you doctor will likely give you 25–50% of the recommended dose of this drug.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Benazepril comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

Your blood pressure may increase. This can lead to serious health problems, such as heart attack or stroke.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. In order for this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take it as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before the time for your next dose, only take one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two tablets at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your blood pressure should go down. To find out what your blood pressure is, you’ll need to have your doctor check it. Or, you can check it using a home blood pressure monitor.

Benazepril is used for long-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking benazepril

Store this drug carefully

  • Don’t store benazepril at a temperature above 86°F (30°C).
  • Keep it away from light, and don’t freeze it.
  • Don’t store this drug in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you, such as in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Be sure to carry with you the prescription-labeled box your medication came in.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Self-management

You may need to buy a blood pressure monitor. Your doctor may suggest that you use this device at home to check your blood pressure.

Clinical monitoring

You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include:

  • Electrolyte levels. Blood tests can check the levels of electrolytes in your body. Electrolytes are chemicals that help your cells perform many important functions. Blood pressure drugs can disrupt the balance of electrolytes in your body.
  • Kidney function. Blood tests can check how well your kidneys are working. If your kidneys aren’t working well, your doctor may decide to lower your dose of this drug.
  • Blood pressure. Your doctor may suggest that you check your blood pressure each day using a home blood pressure monitor.      

Hidden costs

To help manage your blood pressure, you may need to have certain tests done. You may also need to purchase certain equipment.

  • Blood tests. These can help check your kidney function and the levels of electrolytes in your body.
  • Home blood pressure monitor. This device can help you check your blood pressure each day.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

What does the pill look like?

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How Much Does benazepril Cost?

Oral tablet

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for benazepril on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on September 2, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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