Pet Medication 101: Benazepril

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Pet Medication 101: Benazepril

It’s important to understand a medication’s uses and side effects before giving it to your pet. This medication info sheet is meant to give you a good understanding of what benazepril is used for, how it works, and potential side effects in cats and dogs. Always consult a veterinarian before giving your pet any medication.

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1. Drug Name:

benazepril hydrochloride

2. Brand Names:

Fortekor, Lotensin

3. How Dispensed:

Prescription only

4. Forms:

2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg benazepril hydrochloride tablets

Oral dose combination products containing amlodipine or hydrochlorothiazide

5. Drug Type/Class:

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor

6. Uses in Dogs and Cats:

Used in dogs to open blood vessels (vasodilator) in the treatment of heart failure and to help decrease high blood pressure (antihypertensive). Also used in dogs with chronic kidney disease or kidney disease that causes protein loss through the urine. Used in cats for treating hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in which the heart muscle becomes thickened, and to reduce protein loss associated with chronic kidney failure.

7. How it Works:

Benazepril reduces circulating angiotensin II (vasoconstrictor) and aldosterone (sodium retention) concentrations.

8. Side Effects and/or Signs of Overdose:

Side effects include gastrointestinal upset (decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea). In rare cases, it can cause low blood pressure, kidney dysfunction, and high blood levels of potassium.

Overdosage of benazepril would most commonly cause hypotension (low blood pressure), which can lead to marked lethargy and collapse.

9. Drug Interactions:

  • Aspirin
  • Insulin
  • Potassium supplements
  • Diuretics (furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide): used commonly together but may increase risk of hypotension
  • Potassium-sparing diuretics (spironolactone): used commonly together but may increase the chance of high potassium levels
  • Lithium
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

10. Cautionary Statements:

  • Benazepril should not be administered to pets with any of the following conditions:
    • Known hypersensitivity to ACE inhibitors
    • Low levels of sodium in the blood
  • The patient’s kidney values and electrolytes should be monitored closely while patients are taking benazepril.
  • In some cases, benazepril can worsen pre-existing kidney disease.
  • Benazepril crosses the placenta and animal studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus.

Read more:

Can cats develop heart disease?

Your Pet’s Heart: A Guide to Understanding Heart Health in Dogs and Cats

Is diet important for my dog’s heart health?

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