Benazepril 

(ben ay' ze pril)

IMPORTANT WARNING:

Do not take benazepril if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking benazepril, call your doctor immediately. Benazepril may harm the fetus.

WHY is this medicine prescribed?

Benazepril is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Benazepril is in a class of medications called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It works by decreasing certain chemicals that tighten the blood vessels, so blood flows more smoothly.

HOW should this medicine be used?

Benazepril comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice a day with or without food. To help you remember to take benazepril, take it around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take benazepril exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of benazepril and gradually increase your dose.

Benazepril controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. Continue to take benazepril even if you feel well. Do not stop taking benazepril without talking to your doctor.

Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

Before taking benazepril,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to benazepril, captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril (Monopril), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), trandolapril (Mavik), or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor if you have diabetes (high blood sugar) and you are taking aliskiren (Tekturna, in Amturnide, Tekamlo, Tekturna HCT). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take benazepril if you have diabetes and you are also taking aliskiren.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: diuretics ('water pills'), lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), and potassium supplements. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have recently had severe diarrhea or vomiting and if you have or have ever had heart failure, kidney disease, lupus, scleroderma, or diabetes.
  • tell your doctor if you plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking benazepril.
  • you should know that diarrhea, vomiting, not drinking enough fluids, and sweating a lot can cause a drop in blood pressure, which may cause lightheadedness and fainting.

What SPECIAL DIETARY instructions should I follow?

Talk to your doctor before using salt substitutes containing potassium. If your doctor prescribes a low-salt or low-sodium diet, follow these directions carefully.

What should I do IF I FORGET to take a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

Benazepril may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

• cough

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:

  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • hoarseness
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • lightheadedness
  • fainting

• rash

  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • fever, sore throat, chills, and other signs of infection

Benazepril may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • dizziness
  • fainting

What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly to determine your response to benazepril. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to benazepril.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand Names
  • Lotensin®
  • Also available generically

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