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Are There Risks With Benazepril?

Some Benazepril Precautions and Warnings

Some benazepril warnings and precautions to be aware of include:
 
  • There are a number of medicines that benazepril can interact with (see Drug Interactions With Benazepril).
     
  • ACE inhibitors are more likely than other drugs to cause allergic reactions. For example, there have been reports of severe allergic reactions occurring in people on benazepril during dialysis. There have also been reports of severe reactions in people getting bee or wasp venom to protect against stings.
Make sure to discuss these risks with your healthcare provider. Also, seek emergency medical attention immediately if you notice things such as hives, an unexplained rash, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face or throat.
  • ACE inhibitors may cause swelling (angioedema) of the head and neck, including the tongue, lips, eyes, or throat. This occurs more frequently in African Americans than in Caucasians. Seek emergency medical care immediately if you notice swelling in the head or neck area, or if you have wheezing or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
     
  • In addition to causing head and neck angioedema, ACE inhibitors have been known to cause swelling in the intestines. This is known as intestinal angioedema. Symptoms may include stomach pain with or without vomiting. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop any of these symptoms.
     
  • Benazepril may cause extreme low blood pressure in some people. Extreme low blood pressure is more likely to happen in people who are taking a diuretic, who are on dialysis, who have diarrhea or vomiting, or who sweat a lot. This is why it is important to drink fluids regularly while taking benazepril. If you have any possible symptoms of low blood pressure, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting, contact your healthcare provider and stop taking the medicine.
Also, make sure not to drive, operate any heavy machinery, or perform any other tasks that require alertness before you know how benazepril affects you.
  • Benazepril is a pregnancy Category D medicine, meaning that benazepril has clear health risks to your unborn child. Let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking benazepril, contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Lotensin and Pregnancy for more information).
     
  • ACE inhibitors, including benazepril, are known to cause a cough. If a cough becomes bothersome, talk to your healthcare provider about alternate options for your condition (see Lotensin Cough).
     
  • While taking benazepril, do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes with potassium unless you have discussed this with your doctor. In some people taking benazepril, potassium in the blood can increase to dangerous levels.
     
  • People on benazepril can be at increased risk of infections. Talk to your healthcare provider if you develop any signs of infections, such as a sore throat or fever.
     
  • If you are over 65 years old, your healthcare provider may choose to make any necessary dosing adjustments with caution.
     
  • This medication may cause a decrease in kidney function, especially in people who are elderly, have kidney disease, have severe congestive heart failure (CHF), or are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or diuretics (water pills). Your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your kidney function with a blood test while you are taking it. 
Contact your healthcare provider if you notice a decrease in urination or swelling in your hands, legs, ankles, or feet, which can be signs of kidney problems.
  • If you have kidney disease or kidney failure, your body may metabolize the benazepril differently than intended. Therefore, your healthcare provider will monitor your situation more closely.
     
  • In clinical studies, ACE inhibitors, including benazepril, have rarely been known to cause liver failure. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice things such as nausea, tiredness, lethargy, itchy or yellowing skin, abdominal pain, or flu-like symptoms.
     
  • It is not known whether or not benazepril passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are nursing, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should stop benazepril or stop breastfeeding.
     
  • If you have congestive heart failure, your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your progress more closely.
     
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