Benazepril is a drug that is usually used in conjunction with other medicines to treat patients suffering from high blood pressure, which is also know as hypertension.
Hypertension increases the pressure that is put on the heart and arteries and increases their workload. When this continues in patients it can reduce the functionality of the heart and arteries. In turn this can lead to damage of blood vessels in the brain, heart and kidneys. The result of this damage is a greatly increased risk of heart failure, stroke or kidney failure.
Use of Benazepril alongside other medication can reduce the blood pressure and in doing so reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack in the patients treated.
Benazepril is an inhibitor of (ACE) the angiotensin converting enzyme. In inhibiting this enzyme in the body, which usually causes the blood vessel to tighten, the blood vessels are relaxed and the blood pressure lowers. With a lower blood pressure the blood moves more slowly around the body allowing it to absorb more oxygen from the lungs and transport this to the heart.
Benazepril is taken in tablet form as Lotensin as prescribed by your doctor. In children the dose can be administered in a liquid form where required.
Benazepril acts directly on the renin-angiotensin system, which makes it inappropriate for use in pregnant women. In life-threatening situations, however, the drug may still be administered to a pregnant woman.
Unwanted side effects may occur with the use of Benazepril for treatment. Some of these can indicate serious medical conditions and should be reported to a doctor immediately. Others are minor side effects that do not require medical attention. Not all side effects experienced may be listed here. Any other side effects should be reported to your doctor.
When taking Benazepril you may also be told to undertake other steps to treat your high blood pressure. As well as other medication this can include weight loss initiatives and exercise. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best way to reduce your blood pressure but steps to take may include changes in the types of food you eat, reductions in salt intake and regular light exercise. Check with your doctor before changing your diet, but consider ways in which you can lower your blood pressure through a healthier lifestyle.
Benazepril is not a cure for high blood pressure. It is a measure being taken to prevent the high blood pressure from causing irreparable damage in your body. Stopping the intake of Benazepril will cause your blood pressure to increase so you need to keep taking the medication and may need to take it for the rest of your lifetime if you cannot lower your blood pressure naturally. Remember that a rise in your blood pressure can lead to heart failure, kidney disease, stroke and blood vessel disease.
It is common for those who have high blood pressure to feel healthy and be unaware of any illness. When taking Benazepril it is important to remember this and keep taking the prescribed medicine and keep checking up with your doctor as directed. Feeling well does not always mean that you are recovered and the Benazepril may simply be holding the condition at bay.
The dose of medication prescribed for each individual will be different. It will depend on your body size, weight, blood pressure and other factors. Below is an indication of the dose that an average person may be prescribed of Benazepril. The amount you take will also be dependent on the strength of the medication and the number of doses you are taking each day.
Adults – 10mg daily. This can be increased to 20-40mg per day. Doses can be taken all at once or in two separate doses in the day.
Children aged 6+ - Dose will be determined by weight. The starting dose will normally be 0.2mg/kg. The dose would not normally exceed 0.6mg/kg or mg daily.
Use is not recommended for children below the age of 6. Consult your doctor if it is prescribed.
If your child cannot swallow the tablets, the medication can be instead given as a liquid.
Missing a dose of Benazepril should always be avoided and if you do miss a dose you should take it as soon as possible. If such time has elapsed to mean the next dose if due soon, however, then you should skip the dose and return to your normal schedule. Keep note of any missed doses and inform your healthcare professional at your next assessment. Do not take double doses of this medication.
Benazepril can react with some medicines and should not be taken alongside them. In other cases Benazepril does react with other medicines but you may still be prescribed both even though an interaction will occur. When you are taking Benazepril it is very important that you make your doctor aware if you are taking any other medication, especially those listed below. This list of medication has been compiled due to severity of interaction and does not include all interactions.
The following medications are not recommended for use with Benazepril. Your doctor may wish to change one or more of your medicines if you are taking either of the following medications:
The use of Benazepril with any of the following medications will not usually be recommended. There are, however, cases in which both medications will be prescribed. Your doctor may wish to adjust the doses of one or the other when prescribing both. Your healthcare professional may also adjust the regularity of one or both medicines.
The following medications used at the same time as Benazepril can increase the risk of some of the side effects. Using both medicines may still be the best treatment for you, but your doctor may wish to make adjustments to your schedule of consumption and/or the doses you are taking:
Certain foods, alcohol and tobacco can also cause interactions with this medicine. Discuss your habits with your doctor before taking the prescription and consider adjustments that may be able to help in reducing the impact of the condition you are suffering from. Remember that alcohol and tobacco can also impact on your blood pressure. Changes in these habits may help to reverse the condition and allow you to stop taking Benazepril.
Underlying medical problems can also interact with the medication making it less effective or potentially harmful to you. Tell your doctor about any medical conditions that you have before taking this medicine. This is especially important if you suffer from any of the following conditions:
If you have reacted badly to any other ACE inhibitors in the past and suffered from swelling of the face, lips, throat, tongue or legs then there is an increased risk of these symptoms occurring again.
This autoimmune disease can increase your risk of blood problems when taking Benazepril.
Use of Benazepril with congestive heart failure can lead to the development of kidney complications.
With diabetes or kidney problems there is a significant risk of potassium levels in the blood and body increasing to a dangerous level.
Both kidney and liver disease can be worsened by use of the drug Benazepril.
Before taking Benazepril or any other medicines you should discuss the health benefits of doing so in relation to the risks that will also occur. Before taking Benazepril you should consider the following:
Inform your doctor of any allergies that you may have. If you have ever reacted strangely to other medications then inform your doctor. Also be sure to tell them about any other allergic reactions that you may have had to foods, dyes, preservatives, animals or other exposures you may have reacted to.
Studies have been carries out that show no limitations on the normal use of this medication on 6-16 year olds. The use of this medication on those under 6 would not normally be recommended.
No geriatric limitations have been determined that would affect the use of this drug in the elderly. However, it is important to be aware of age-related conditions that may require adjustments to be made. The presence of kidney problems, for example, may require dose amendments.
Pregnant women should not take this medication. Drugs that effect the renin-angiotensin system including Benazepril have been shown to be harmful to the development of a fetus. In life-threatening situations, however, the benefits can outweigh the risks. If you are taking this medicine and become pregnant then you should inform your doctor immediately and the doctor may stop treatment if possible.
Breastfeeding poses minimal risk to the fetus but you should weight the benefits against the potential risk before breastfeeding your child.
When taking Benazepril it is very important that your doctor is able to check on your progress regularly. Your blood pressure will need to be checked at intervals and blood tests may need to be taken.
Benazepril can cause serious allergic reactions that need to be treated immediately. These will almost always occur when you first take the medicine but they can be life-threatening. If you experience any of the following symptoms when taking this medication seek emergency medical assistance:
Benazepril can also cause intestinal angioedema. If you experience severe stomach pain contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Dizziness and fainting can occur when taking this medication. You should assess the effects it has on you to ensure you are safe to drive and operate machinery or equipment when taking it.
It is important to stay well hydrated when taking this medicine. Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heavy exercise and hot weather can all cause you to loose too much water. Ensure that you are drinking plenty whenever the following are experienced and contact your doctor if you think you may be dehydrated or becoming dehydrated.
Fever, chills and a sore throat can be signs of infection. Infections can be a sign of a low white blood cell count and should be reported immediately.
Hyperkalemia (a high level of potassium in the blood stream) can com to pass when you are consuming Benazepril. Avoid taking any supplements that contain potassium and check with your doctor if you experience symptoms of hyperkalemia. These include:
Check with your doctor immediately if you see a change in color in your stools or urine. This is particularly important if you think there may be blood present.
This medicine can have less effect in black patients. Black patients may also experience more swelling as a side effect to the use of this medication.
Do not take any other medication when taking Benazepril unless you have discussed it with a doctor. This includes all over the counter medicines and medication for coughs, asthma, colds, hay fever and other every-day conditions.
Keep out of reach of children. Children who are prescribed this medication should take it under supervision of an adult.
If medication becomes outdated it should be disposed off as soon as possible. Consult your doctor to determine responsible methods of disposal.
Keep the medication in a sealed container out of direct light and away from heat and moisture. Do not allow the medication to freeze and store at room temperature.
If mixed oral liquid is prescribed for children it can be kept in the fridge for up to 30 days. Do not allow the liquid to freeze as it will become ineffective.
Benazepril is used for the treatment of high blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension.
In patients with hypertension there is too much strain placed on the arteries and heart and the blood is pushed through the lungs too fast for proper absorption of oxygen. This can all lead to increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and liver disease.
Benazepril is not a cure for high blood pressure, but it does temporarily lower the blood pressure by blocking an enzyme that causes the blood vessels to contract. If further steps are not taken to lower blood pressure, Benazepril will need to be taken for the entire lifetime of a patient. Cessation of treatment will expose the patient to risks of high blood pressure within a very short period of time.
Patients should also look to lower their blood pressure naturally when taking Benazepril. This can be done by exercising, changing the foods you eat and/or reducing your intake of salt. Discuss ways in which you can lower your blood pressure with your doctor and discuss any changes of diet too.
Benazepril should not be taken when pregnant as the renin-angiotensin system, which is important in fetus development, is affected by the medication. The medication blocks the production of important enzymes that are needed in their development. If you are taking Benazepril and become pregnant you should consult with your doctor immediately.
When taking Benazepril it is likely that the patient will feel healthy and may consider that they no longer need to take it. This medicine prevents the blood pressure from increasing again, however, and cessation of treatment will result in a rapid increase in the blood pressure. This will put significant strain on the body and can result is very serious medical conditions including a stroke. Do not stop taking this medicine without first informing your doctor.
Benazepril is suitable for the use in adults and for children aged 6+. Use for children under the age of 6 is not recommended. For children who are unable to take the medication in tablet form, doctors can provide a liquid version of the medication. Child administration should be supervised by an adult.