Frequently asked questions for Benazepril
Q. What is Benazepril? What is it used for?Benazepril belongs to a group of medicines known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It relaxes and widens the blood vessels, making it easier for the blood to pass through the vessels. As a result of this, the heart does not have to work more to push the blood. Since the workload on the heart is reduced, it helps to lower the blood pressure and thus reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Q. What time of the day should I take Benazepril?Benazepril should be taken in the dose and duration advised by the doctor, preferably at the same time each day to reduce the chances of a missed dose. Your doctor may advise you to take your first dose before bedtime, as it can make you dizzy. However, if you do not feel dizzy after the first dose, you may take Benazepril at any time of the day. If you have been prescribed Benazepril twice a day, try to take it once in the morning and once in the evening, leaving a gap of 10 to 12 hours between the two doses.
Q. I feel better after taking Benazepril, can I stop taking it?No, do not stop taking Benazepril even if you feel better or if your blood pressure is under control. These beneficial effects are due to the use of medicines. Stopping Benazepril suddenly may cause your blood pressure to increase and your chances of stroke or heart attack may rise. Usually, medicine used for controlling blood pressure needs to be taken life long unless you cannot tolerate it.
Q. Will Benazepril make me feel dizzy? What should I do about it?Yes, Benazepril may make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. If Benazepril makes you feel dizzy when you stand up, try getting up very slowly or stay seated until you feel better. However, if you still feel dizzy, lie down so that you don't faint. Do not drive, use tools or machines and avoid anything requiring concentration while you're feeling dizzy or shaky.
Q. What other lifestyle changes should I make while taking Benazepril?Lifestyle changes play a major role in keeping you healthy if you are taking Benazepril. Avoid taking excess salt in your diet and find ways to reduce or manage stress in your life. Practice yoga or meditation or take up a hobby. Ensure that you have a sound sleep every night as this also helps to reduce stress levels and helps to keep your blood pressure normal. Stop smoking and alcohol consumption as this helps in lowering your blood pressure and preventing heart problems. Exercise regularly and take a balanced diet that includes whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables and fat-free products. Consult your doctor if you need any further guidance to get the maximum benefit of Benazepril and to keep yourself healthy.
Q. Can Benazepril increase potassium levels? If so, what should be done?Benazepril may increase potassium levels in the blood, especially if you have uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, kidney problems and dehydration. Also, potassium levels may increase in patients who are using potassium salts or medicines or are aged more than 70 years of age. Therefore, if you have any of these conditions and are using Benazepril, be careful and get regular blood tests done to monitor potassium levels.
Q. After starting Benazepril, I have developed dry cough which is very irritating and is not getting better with any medicine. What should I do now?Benazepril may cause dry cough, as a side effect in some people. This can be persistent and may not be relieved by any medicine. Talk to your doctor if it bothers you or if you have trouble sleeping. Your doctor may suggest ways of managing the cough or may prescribe another medicine. Remember, do not stop taking Benazepril without consulting your doctor as it may increase your blood pressure and put you at a risk of developing a heart attack or stroke. Even if you stop taking Benazepril, the cough may take a few days to a month to resolve completely.
Q. Can Benazepril affect my fertility?There is no evidence that Benazepril has any effect on fertility in both men and women. However, if you are planning to get pregnant, consult your doctor first. This is because Benazepril is not recommended in pregnancy.