What side effects are possible with this medication?
A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. It can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent, but does not occur in everyone. The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. If you develop any of these side effects (or any other side effects not listed here) or they change in intensity, speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice on managing them and on the risks and benefits of the medication.
- dizziness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
to learn about serious side effects that can potentially occur with any medication. These examples are provided for information purposes only and are not meant to be exhaustive. Always consult your doctor for sound medical advice specific to your particular medication and treatment.
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 or by phone at 1-800-332-1088.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.
Angioedema: Angioedema (a serious allergic reaction which causes swelling of your face, eyelids, lips, tongue, or throat; difficulty swallowing; wheezing; or other breathing problems) may occur with ACE inhibitors, including benazepril. If you experience
swelling of the face, tongue or throat, stop taking benazepril at once and get immediate medical attention.
Other medications known as ACE inhibitors should not be taken in the future. People who have had angioedema caused by other substances may be at increased
risk of angioedema while receiving an ACE inhibitor.
Cough: A dry, persistent cough that usually disappears only after stopping benazepril may occur.
Diabetes: Rarely, people taking both benazepril and diabetes medications (e.g., insulin, glyburide, metformin) may experience low blood sugar. Talk to your doctor about how often you should be checking your blood sugar.
Kidney function: Changes in kidney function have been seen in people who use benazepril. People with narrowed blood vessels in their kidneys and people with severe congestive heart failure are more at risk. The use of diuretics (water pills) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may further increase the risk of kidney problems.
Liver problems: Rarely, this medication could cause liver damage. Stop taking the medication and contact your doctor as soon as possible if you notice signs of liver problems, such as yellow skin or eyes, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored stools, loss of appetite, or nausea and vomiting.
Low blood pressure: Occasionally, blood pressure drops too low after taking benazepril. This usually happens after the first or second dose or when the dose is increased. It is more likely to occur in those who take water pills, have a salt-restricted diet, are on dialysis, are suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, or have been sweating excessively and not drinking enough liquids. If low blood pressure causes you to faint or feel lightheaded, contact a doctor.
Potassium: Increases in blood levels of potassium occur in approximately 1% of hypertensive patients receiving benazepril. This rarely causes problems, but potassium levels should be monitored by your doctor. Check with your doctor before using potassium supplements or salt substitutes using potassium.
White blood cells: Benazepril may decrease white blood cell counts, especially if you have impaired kidney function or a collagen vascular disease (e.g., scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus). Your doctor may order blood tests to monitor your white blood cell counts while you are taking this medication. Contact your doctor if you experience any signs of infection, such as sore throat or fever.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy. Taking benazepril during pregnancy can cause serious harm and even death to the unborn baby. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking benazepril, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you will need to stop taking benazepril or stop breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established in children less than 6 years of age and in children with severely impaired kidney function.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between benazepril and any of the following:
- diabetes medications (e.g., insulin, glyburide, metformin)
- diuretics (water pills)
- injectable gold
- medications for diabetes (e.g., insulin, glyburide)
- medications that increase potassium levels (e.g., potassium supplements, salt substitutes containing potassium)
- potassium-sparing diuretics (e.g., spironolactone, amiloride, triamterene)
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.