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All about: Lotrel

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Lotrel

Not commercially available in Canada.

Category

  • Antihypertensive

Description

Amlodipine (am-LOH-di-peen) and benazepril (ben-AY-ze-pril) combination belongs to the class of medicines called high blood pressure medicines (antihypertensives). It is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. High blood pressure may also increase the risk of heart attacks. These problems may be less likely to occur if blood pressure is controlled.

The exact way in which this medicine works is not known. Amlodipine is a type of medicine known as a calcium channel blocker. Calcium channel blocking agents affect the movement of calcium into the cells of the heart and blood vessels. Benazepril is a type of medicine known as an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. It blocks an enzyme in the body that is necessary in producing a substance that causes blood vessels to tighten. The action of both medicines together is to relax blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and increase the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form:

  • Oral
  • Capsules (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For amlodipine and benazepril combination, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to amlodipine or benazepril, as well as to any other ACE inhibitor (captopril, enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril, moexipril, quinapril, ramipril, or trandolapril). Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Studies with this combination medicine have not been done in pregnant women. However, use of any of the ACE inhibitors during pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimesters (after the first 3 months) can cause low blood pressure, kidney failure, an underdeveloped skull, or even death in newborns. Therefore, it is important that you check with your doctor immediately if you think that you may be pregnant. Be sure that you have discussed this with your doctor before taking this combination medicine.

Breast-feeding—Benazepril passes into breast milk. Use of this combination medicine is not recommended in women who are breast-feeding.

Children—Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of amlodipine and benazepril combination in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults—This medicine has been tested in patients 65 years of age or older and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults. However, blood levels of amlodipine may be increased in the elderly and elderly people may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Diuretics (water pills)—Effects on blood pressure may be increased
  • Potassium-containing medicines or supplements or
  • Salt substitutes that contain potassium—Use of these substances with ACE inhibitors may result in an unusually high potassium level in the blood, which can lead to irregular heart rhythm and other problems

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bee-sting allergy treatments or
  • Dialysis—Increased risk of serious allergic reaction occurring
  • Dehydration—Lowering effects on blood pressure may be increased
  • Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes)—Increased risk of potassium levels in the body becoming too high
  • Heart or blood vessel disease—Lowering blood pressure may make problems resulting from these conditions worse
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease—Effects may be increased because of slower removal of this medicine from the body
  • Scleroderma or
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (or history of)—Increased risk of blood problems caused by ACE inhibitors

Proper Use of This Medicine

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor, at the same time each day. Do not take more of it and do not take it more often than directed.

Dosing—The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The number of tablets that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are taking it .

  • For oral dosage form (capsules):
    • For high blood pressure:
      • Adults—1 capsule a day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to make sure the medicine is working properly, to check for unwanted effects, and to change the dosage if needed.

If you think that you may have become pregnant, check with your doctor immediately. Use of this medicine, especially during the second and third trimesters (after the first 3 months) of pregnancy, may cause serious injury or even death to the unborn child.

Do not take any other medicines, especially potassium supplements, or salt substitutes that contain potassium unless approved or prescribed by your doctor.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur after the first dose, especially if you have been taking a diuretic (water pill). Make sure you know how you react to the medicine before you drive, use machines, or do other things that could be dangerous if you experience these effects.

Check with your doctor if you notice any signs of fever, sore throat, or chills. These could be symptoms of an infection resulting from low white blood cell counts.

Check with your doctor if you notice difficult breathing or swelling of the face, arms, or legs. These could be symptoms of a serious allergic reaction.

Check with your doctor if you become sick while taking this medicine, especially with severe or continuing vomiting or diarrhea. These conditions may cause you to lose too much water, possibly resulting in low blood pressure.

Check with your doctor if you have strong stomach pain. This could be a symptom of a condition called intestinal angioedema. Your doctor may have to use a CT scan or an ultrasound to diagnose this condition.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may also occur if you exercise or if the weather is hot. Heavy sweating can cause loss of too much water and result in low blood pressure. Use extra care during exercise or hot weather.

In some patients, tenderness, swelling, or bleeding of the gums may appear soon after treatment with this medicine is started. Brushing and flossing your teeth carefully and regularly and massaging your gums may help prevent this. See your dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned. Check with your medical doctor or dentist if you have any questions about how to take care of your teeth and gums, or if you notice any tenderness, swelling, or bleeding of your gums.

Before having any kind of surgery (including dental surgery) or emergency treatment, tell the medical doctor or dentist in charge that you are taking this medicine.

Black patients may be less sensitive to the blood pressure-lowering effects of this medicine. In addition, the risk of a serious allergic reaction involving swelling of the face, mouth, hands, or feet may be increased.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare

Swelling of face, mouth, hands, or feet; trouble in swallowing or breathing (sudden) and/or hoarseness

Incidence not determined

Chest pain; difficulty in swallowing; heartburn; pain or burning in throat; vomiting; sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or tongue or inside the mouth; stomach pain

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; swelling of ankles, feet, or lower legs

Signs and symptoms of too much potassium in the body

Confusion; irregular heartbeat; nervousness; numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or lips; shortness of breath; weakness or heaviness of legs

Rare

Bleeding gums, fatigue, nosebleeds, and/or pale skin; blisters in mouth spreading to trunk, scalp, or other areas; chills, fever, or sore throat; nausea or vomiting; sores in mouth, or on arms, feet, hands, legs, or lips (sudden); stomach pain or bloating with fever, nausea, or vomiting; unusual bleeding or bruising; yellow eyes or skin

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

Less common

Awareness of heartbeat; cough (dry, continuing); feeling of warmth; redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally upper chest; sleepiness

Incidence not determined

acid or sour stomach; belching; blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of skin; body aches or pain; congestion; cracked, dry, scaly skin; decreased interest in sexual intercourse; difficulty having a bowel movement (stool); dryness or soreness of throat; fear; fever; frequent urination; hoarseness; inability to have or keep an erection; increased volume of pale, dilute urine; indigestion; lack or loss of strength; loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance; muscle or bone pain; nervousness; runny nose; shakiness in legs, arms, hands, feet; sleeplessness; small lump under the skin; sudden sweating; swelling; stomach discomfort or upset; tender, swollen glands in neck; trembling or shaking of hands or feet; trouble in swallowing; trouble sleeping; unable to sleep; unusual tiredness or weakness; voice changes

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 08/10/1998
Revised: 11/09/2004

The information contained in the Thomson Healthcare (Micromedex) products as delivered by Drugs.com is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.

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