What is benazepril, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Benazepril is an ACE (angiotensin converting
enzyme) inhibitor used for
treating high blood pressure. Other
include enalapril (Vasotec), quinapril (Accupril), captopril (Capoten),
fosinopril (Monopril), ramipril (Altace), moexipril (Univasc) and trandolapril (Mavik).
ACE is an enzyme in the body that causes the formation of angiotensin II.
Angiotensin II causes contraction of the muscles surrounding arteries and
constriction of arteries in the body, thereby elevating blood pressure. ACE
inhibitors such as benazepril lower blood pressure by inhibiting the formation
of angiotensin II, thus relaxing the arteries. Relaxing the arteries not only
lowers blood pressure, but also improves the pumping efficiency of a failing
heart and thereby benefits patients with heart failure.
- The FDA approved
benazepril in June 1991.
What brand names are available for benazepril?
Is benazepril available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for benazepril?
What are the uses for benazepril?
- Benazepril can be used alone or in combination with
hydrochlorothiazide for treating high blood pressure.
- Like other ACE inhibitors
it also is used for treating heart failure or
diabetic nephropathy (kidney
disease) although these are not FDA approved uses for benazepril.
What are the side effects of benazepril?
Benazepril is generally well tolerated and side effects
are usually mild and transient. Side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of taste
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe dizziness
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- A sore or swollen throat
liver dysfunction and skin yellowing (jaundice) have been reported
with ACE inhibitors. Benazepril should not be taken by people with a known
allergy to ACE inhibitors. Swelling of the facial tissues and even the upper
airways has been reported with ACE inhibitors on very rare occasions, and can
lead to serious breathing difficulties. In rare instances, low white blood cell
counts have been reported with the use of one ACE inhibitor. Low white blood
cells increase the patient's risk of infections.
Salt and sodium are the same.
What is the dosage for benazepril?
- The usual starting dose of benazepril is 10 mg daily. If
patients are taking a diuretic (water pill) the starting dose is 5 mg daily.
- Doses may be increased to 20-40 mg once daily or divided and administered twice
Which drugs or supplements interact with benazepril?
- Combining benazepril with potassium supplements,
potassium containing salt substitutes, and potassium conserving diuretics such
as amiloride (Moduretic), spironolactone (Aldactone), and triamterene (Dyazide,
Maxzide), can lead to dangerously high blood levels of potassium.
- Combining benazepril or other ACE inhibitors with
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
in patients who are elderly, fluid-depleted (including those on diuretic
therapy), or with poor kidney function may result in reduced kidney function,
including kidney failure. These effects usually are reversible.
- There have been
reports that aspirin and other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Children's
Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and many others),
indomethacin (Indocin, Indocin-SR), and naproxen (Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn,
Aleve) may reduce the effects of ACE inhibitors. When taken with lithium
benazepril can increase lithium to toxic levels in the blood.
reactions (symptoms include facial flushing, nausea, vomiting and
may occur when injectable gold (sodium aurothiomalate), used in the treatment of
rheumatoid arthritis, is combined with ACE inhibitors, including benazepril.
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Is benazepril safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
- ACE inhibitors, including benazepril, can be harmful to the
fetus and should not be taken by
- A small amount
of benazepril is excreted into
breast milk. A newborn exclusively breastfed may
ingest less than 0.1% of the maternal dose of benazepril.
What else should I know about benazepril?
What preparations of benazepril are available?
Tablets: 5, 10, 20, and 40 mg.
How should I keep benazepril stored?
Tablets should be stored at room temperature at or below 30 C
(86 F) and protected from moisture.