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Drugs reference index «Lotensin HCT»

Lotensin HCT

Lotensin HCT

Generic name: Benazepril hydrochloride, HydrochlorothiazideBrand names: Lotensin HCT

Why is Lotensin HCT prescribed?

Lotensin HCT combines two types of blood pressure medication. The first, benazepril hydrochloride, is an ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitor. It works by preventing a chemical in your blood called angiotensin I from converting into a more potent form (angiotensin II) that increases salt and water retention in the body and causes the blood vessels to constrict—two actions that tend to increase blood pressure.

To aid in clearing excess water from the body, Lotensin HCT also contains hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic that promotes production of urine. Diuretics often wash too much potassium out of the body along with the water. However, the ACE inhibitor part of Lotensin HCT tends to keep potassium in the body, thereby canceling this unwanted effect.

Lotensin HCT is not used for the initial treatment of high blood pressure. It is saved for later use, when a single blood pressure medication is not sufficient for the job. In addition, some doctors are using Lotensin HCT along with other drugs to treat congestive heart failure.

Most important fact about Lotensin HCT

You must take Lotensin HCT regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of Lotensin HCT; and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Lotensin HCT does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.

How should you take Lotensin HCT?

Take Lotensin HCT exactly as prescribed, and see your doctor regularly to make sure the drug is working properly without unwanted side effects. Do not stop taking Lotensin HCT without first consulting your doctor.

  • If you miss a dose...Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time.
  • Storage instructions...Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container. Protect from moisture and light.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Lotensin HCT.

  • Side effects may include:Dizziness, fatigue, headache

This side effects list is not complete. If you have any questions about side effects you should consult your doctor. Report any new or continuing symptoms to your doctor right away.

Why should Lotensin HCT not be prescribed?

If you are unable to urinate, avoid Lotensin HCT.

You should not take Lotensin HCT if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to any of the following: Lotensin, thiazide diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide, ACE inhibitors such as captopril and enalapril, or sulfa or other sulfonamide-derived drugs such as sulfamethoxazole. If you have a history of allergies or asthma, you may be at greater risk for an allergic reaction to Lotensin HCT. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Special warnings about Lotensin HCT

If you develop swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, or of your arms and legs, or have difficulty swallowing or breathing, stop taking the medication and contact your doctor immediately. You may be having an allergic reaction and might need emergency treatment.

If you develop abdominal pain with or without nausea and vomiting, contact your doctor. ACE inhibitors such as Lotensin HCT have been known to cause intestinal swelling.

You may feel light-headed, especially during the first few days of Lotensin HCT therapy. If this occurs, notify your doctor. If you actually faint, stop taking the medication until you have consulted with your doctor.

Dehydration, excessive sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea can all deplete your body's fluids and cause your blood pressure to drop. If this leads to light-headedness or fainting, you should check with your doctor.

Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Lotensin HCT before undergoing surgery or anesthesia.

Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium without consulting your doctor.

If you develop a sore throat or fever, contact your doctor immediately. It could indicate a more serious illness.

Your doctor will probably check your kidney function when you start taking Lotensin HCT and do follow-up tests periodically thereafter. For people with severe kidney disease, doctors usually prescribe other blood pressure medications instead of Lotensin HCT.

Caution is warranted, too, if you have liver disease. If you notice a yellow tinge to your skin and the whites of your eyes, stop taking the drug and notify your doctor. This could be a sign of liver damage.

Lotensin HCT may increase your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. It may cause kidney problems in people with severe congestive heart failure. It can also trigger gout or the connective tissue disease lupus erythematosus. Use Lotensin HCT cautiously if you have any of these problems.

The safety and effectiveness of Lotensin HCT in children have not been established.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Lotensin HCT

If Lotensin HCT is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Lotensin HCT with the following:

Barbiturates such as phenobarbitalCholestyramineColestipolCorticosteroids such as prednisone or ACTHDiabetes medication such as insulin or glyburideDigoxinDiuretics such as furosemide and hydrochlorothiazideLithiumNarcotics such as oxycodoneNonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxenNorepinephrineOther high blood pressure medicationsPotassium-sparing diuretics such as amiloride, spironolactone, and triamterenePotassium supplementsSalt substitutes containing potassium

Alcohol may increase the effect of Lotensin HCT, and could cause dizziness or fainting. Check with your doctor before drinking alcoholic beverages.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

ACE inhibitors such as the one in Lotensin HCT have been shown to cause injury and even death to the unborn child when used in pregnancy during the second and third trimesters. If you are pregnant, your doctor should discontinue Lotensin HCT as soon as possible. If you plan to become pregnant, make sure your doctor knows you are taking Lotensin HCT. The diuretic component of Lotensin HCT can cause jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes) and abnormal bruising and bleeding in newborns.

Lotensin HCT appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. To avoid potential harm to the baby, you'll need to choose between breastfeeding and continuing your treatment with Lotensin HCT.

Recommended dosage for Lotensin HCT


Lotensin HCT is usually taken once a day. Your doctor will adjust the dosage depending on how your blood pressure responds. The smallest dose that is effective should be used.


Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Symptoms of Lotensin HCT overdose may include:A severe drop in blood pressure, dry mouth, excessive thirst, muscle pain or cramps, nausea and vomiting, weak or irregular heartbeat, weakness and dizziness
  • Lotensin HCT Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Lotensin HCT Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Lotensin HCT Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Lotensin HCT MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)