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Generic Name: Benazepril (ben-AYZ-eh-pril)
Brand Name: Lotensin

DO NOT take Benazepril if you are pregnant. Benazepril can cause injury and possibly death to an unborn baby when used after the third month of pregnancy. Talk with your doctor at once if you suspect that you are pregnant.

Benazepril is used for:

Treating high blood pressure. It may be used alone or with other blood pressure medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Benazepril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. It works by decreasing a chemical that tightens blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to relax (dilate), which lowers blood pressure.

Do NOT use Benazepril if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Benazepril
  • you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other ACE inhibitor
  • you are pregnant

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Benazepril :

Some medical conditions may interact with Benazepril . Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have or have ever had liver or kidney problems, kidney transplantation, or diabetes
  • if you have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus), scleroderma or a collagen vascular disease (ask your doctor if you are not sure), bone marrow suppression, low blood counts, low blood pressure, low blood sodium, high blood potassium, or narrowing or hardening of the arteries of the brain, or are dehydrated
  • if you are scheduled to have surgery or to receive anesthesia or kidney dialysis

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Benazepril . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Dextran sulfate or thiazide diuretics (eg, hydrochlorothiazide) because the risk of serious damage to the kidney (eg, decreased urine output, weight gain) may be increased
  • Lithium because toxic side effects (eg, tiredness; confusion; slurred speech; muscle tremors, spasms, weakness, or involuntary movements; seizures; loss of consciousness; coma) may be increased by Benazepril
  • Indomethacin because the effectiveness of Benazepril may be decreased
  • Oral diabetes medicine (eg, glyburide) because side effects, including low blood sugar levels (eg, hunger, shakiness or weakness, dizziness, headache, sweating), may be increased by Benazepril
  • Potassium supplements or potassium-sparing diuretics (eg, amiloride) may cause high blood potassium levels, resulting in listlessness, confusion, abnormal skin sensations of the arms and legs, heaviness of limbs, slow or irregular heartbeat, or stopping of the heart
  • Thiopurines (eg, azathioprine) because the risk of side effects (eg, a low white blood cell count, increase in infections) may be increased by Benazepril

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Benazepril may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Benazepril :

Use Benazepril as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Benazepril may be taken with or without food.
  • To help you remember to take Benazepril , take it around the same time each day.
  • Drink plenty of fluids while taking Benazepril . Not drinking enough fluids or excessive sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting can lead to lightheadedness or fainting.
  • For children who cannot swallow tablets, ask your doctor or pharmacist about preparing a suspension of Benazepril .
  • If you miss a dose of Benazepril , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Benazepril .

Important safety information:

  • Benazepril may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Benazepril . Using Benazepril alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness may occur if you stand up too fast from a lying or sitting position. If this occurs, sit or stand up slowly and avoid sudden changes in posture. If lightheadedness occurs, especially during the first few days of treatment, contact your doctor.
  • Patients being treated for high blood pressure often feel tired or rundown for a few weeks after starting blood pressure medicines. Continue taking your medicine even though you may not feel quite "normal." Contact your doctor about any new symptoms.
  • Benazepril may cause a dry, unproductive cough. This symptom usually stops after treatment with Benazepril is stopped.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Benazepril .
  • Do not use a salt substitute or a potassium supplement without checking with your doctor.
  • Diabetes patients - Benazepril may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • LAB TESTS may be performed to monitor your progress. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Benazepril is not recommended for use in CHILDREN younger than 6 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: When Benazepril is used after the third month of pregnancy, it can cause injury or even death to the developing fetus. If you suspect that you could be pregnant, contact your doctor immediately. Benazepril is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Benazepril .

Possible side effects of Benazepril :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Cough; dizziness, especially upon standing; headache; nausea; sleepiness; tiredness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; chills; fainting; fever; hoarseness; irregular or slow heartbeat; lightheadedness; sore throat; unusual stomach pain; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dizziness; lightheadedness, especially upon standing; weakness.

Proper storage of Benazepril :

Store Benazepril at or below 86 degrees F (30 degrees C), away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Benazepril out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Benazepril , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Benazepril is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Benazepril . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: November 1, 2006
Database Edition
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


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