Highlights for benazepril
- Benazepril oral tablet is available as a brand-name drug and a generic drug. Brand name: Lotensin.
- Benazepril comes in the form of a tablet you take by mouth.
- Benazepril is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It may be used alone or with other medications.
FDA warning: Pregnancy 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 about drug effects that may be dangerous.
- Don’t take benazepril if you’re pregnant or become pregnant. This medication can harm or end your pregnancy. If you become pregnant, stop taking this medication right away and call your doctor.
- Sudden swelling (angioedema) warning: This medication can cause sudden swelling of your 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.
What is benazepril?
Benazepril is a prescription drug. It comes as an oral tablet.
Benazepril is available as a brand-name drug called Lotensin. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drug.
Benazepril may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you may need to take it with other drugs.
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. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
Benazepril 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.
Benazepril side effects
Benazepril oral tablet may cause drowsiness. It can also cause other side effects.
More common side effects
The more common side effects that can occur with use of benazepril include:
- dizziness that occurs when changing positions
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 911 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
- blistering, peeling skin
- Angioedema. Symptoms can include:
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- trouble breathing
- pain in the abdomen (stomach area)
- Mental health issues. Symptoms can include:
- trouble sleeping
- Infection. Symptoms can include:
- sore throat
- Nausea and vomiting that occurs with pain in the abdomen (stomach area)
- Lower libido (sex drive) than normal
- Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we can not 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.
Benazepril may interact with other medications
Benazepril oral tablet 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.
Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with benazepril are listed below.
Taking benazepril with sacubitril, which is used with valsartan to treat high blood pressure and heart failure, raises your risk of angioedema (serious swelling). You should not use benazepril within 36 hours of using sacubitril.
Blood pressure drugs
Certain blood pressure drugs can increase the effect of benazepril. This can raise your risk of side effects from benazepril. Examples of these drugs include:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as:
- Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) such as:
- Calcium channel blockers such as:
- Loop diuretics such as:
- Potassium-sparing diuretics such as:
- Thiazide diuretics such as:
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.) Examples of these drugs include:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as:
- Potassium-sparing diuretics such as:
Use of benazepril can increase the effects of certain diabetes drugs. This can increase your risk of side effects from these drugs. Examples of these drugs include:
Mood stabilizer drug
Using lithium with benazepril can increase the effects of lithium. This can increase your risk of side effects from lithium.
Taking certain pain drugs with benazepril can increase your risk of kidney damage. These drugs include NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as:
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.
Medications that contain gold
Taking certain injectable, gold-based medications with benazepril may increase your risk of nitritoid reactions. Symptoms of nitritoid reactions include facial flushing, nausea, vomiting, and low blood pressure. Examples of these drugs include:
- sodium thiomalate
Taking benazepril with certain medications that prevent rejection of a new kidney may increase your risk of a severe allergic reaction called angioedema. Examples of these drugs include:
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we can not 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.
This drug comes with several warnings.
Benazepril can cause a severe allergic skin reaction. Symptoms may include:
- blistering, peeling skin
If you develop these symptoms, call 911 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).
Warnings for people with certain health conditions
For 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.
For 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.
Warnings for other groups
For pregnant women: Benazepril is a category D pregnancy drug. That means two things:
- Research in humans has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
- 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 your pregnancy.
If you become pregnant while taking this drug, stop taking it and call your doctor right away.
For women who are breastfeeding: This medication can pass into breast milk and can cause serious side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You should decide whether to stop breastfeeding 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, a higher amount 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.
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.
How to take benazepril
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
- the severity of your condition
- other medical conditions you have
- how you react to the first dose
Dosage for high blood pressure
- Form: oral tablet
- Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg
- Form: oral tablet
- Strengths: 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 to 64 years)
- Typical dosage: 10 mg tablet by mouth once daily.
- Typical maintenance dosage: 20 to 40 mg once daily or in two equally divided doses.
Child dosage (ages 6 to 17 years)
- Typical dosage: 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/1.73 m2. CrCl is a test that shows how well the kidneys work.
Child dosage (ages 0 to 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, a higher amount 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 dosage or a different dosing schedule. This can help prevent levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.
Special dosage considerations
For people with 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.
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 speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Take as directed
Benazepril oral tablet is used for long-term treatment. It 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 911 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.
Important considerations for taking benazepril
Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes benazepril for you.
- You can crush or cut the tablet.
- Don’t store benazepril at a temperature above 86°F (30°C).
- Don’t freeze this drug.
- Keep this drug away from light.
- Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.
A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.
When traveling with your medication:
- Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
- Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t harm your medication.
- You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container with you.
- 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.
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.
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.
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. The cost of these tests will depend on your insurance coverage.
- 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.
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 here in 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.