Generic name: Lotensin (benazepril)

brand names: Lotensin, Lotrel

Lotensin (benazepril) is an ACE inhibitor. ACE stands for angiotensin converting enzyme. Lotensin is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. This medication may also be used to treat congestive heart failure.

ACE inhibitors work by relaxing blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily. They also reduce the workload on the heart and help it to pump more efficiently.

Lotensin is available in tablet form and is typically taken once or twice daily, with or without food. It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip doses or stop taking Lotensin without first talking to your doctor.

Pharmacokinetics

Benzapril is rapidly absorbed after oral administration. The time to peak plasma concentration (Tmax) is about 1 hour. The bioavailability of Lotensin is about 25%.

Lotensin is 96% bound to plasma proteins.

The elimination half-life of Lotensin is about 12 hours.

Benzapril and its metabolites are excreted primarily in the urine.

Interactions

Lotensin may interact with other medications. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements you use, especially:

  • other ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril (Zestril), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril (Monopril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace) or trandolapril (Mavik)
  • diuretics (‘water pills’) such as bumetanide (Bumex), chlorthalidone, ethacrynic acid (Edecrin), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide/hctz, indapamide, metolazone, spironolactone (Aldactone) or torsemide
  • any other blood pressure medications.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Lotensin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: aliskiren, lithium, salt substitutes that contain potassium, or other ACE inhibitors such as benazepril (Lotensin HCT), captopril (Capoten), fosinopril (Monopril), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), or trandolapril (Mavik).

Side Effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Lotensin and seek emergency medical attention:

  • chest pain or tightness
  • wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles or lower legs
  • hoarseness or change in voice
  • hives or rash
  • itching

Lotensin may cause other less serious side effects. Continue taking the medication and talk to your doctor if you experience:

  • dizziness
  • cough
  • headache
  • tiredness or weakness
  • diarrhea or upset stomach
  • nausea or vomiting
  • muscle cramps or aches
  • joint pain or stiffness.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

Precautions and Warnings

Lotensin should not be taken by anyone who is allergic to benazepril or any other ACE inhibitor. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless it is absolutely necessary. If you become pregnant while taking Lotensin, stop taking the medication and notify your doctor immediately.

It is not known whether Lotensin passes into breast milk. If you are a nursing mother, do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor.

Before taking Lotensin, tell your doctor if:

  • you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • you have had kidney disease or are currently receiving dialysis treatment
  • you have liver disease or any other medical condition.

You may not be able to take Lotensin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Lotensin should be used with caution in elderly patients as they may be more sensitive to the effects of the medication.

Dosage and Administration

Lotensin should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The usual starting dose is 10 mg once daily. Your doctor may increase the dose gradually to a maximum of 80 mg daily, depending on your blood pressure response.

Lotensin may be taken with or without food.

If you miss a dose of Lotensin, 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.

Storage and Disposal

Store Lotensin at room temperature away from light and moisture. Keep this medication out of the reach of children and pets.

Do not take Lotensin after the expiration date on the label has passed.

If you no longer need this medication or it is expired, follow the instructions below to dispose of Lotensin safely.

Take the Lotensin tablet out of its packaging.

Flush the Lotensin tablet down the toilet.