BRAND NAME: Lotensin HCT
WARNING: This drug can cause serious fetal harm (possibly death) if used during the last 6 months of pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor immediately.
USES: This medication is a combination of two drugs, an ACE inhibitor (benazepril) and a water pill/diuretic (hydrochlorothiazide). It is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Benazepril works by relaxing blood vessels, causing them to widen. The hydrochlorothiazide diuretic increases the amount of urine you make, therefore decreasing excess water and salt in your body. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.
OTHER USES: This medication may also be used to treat congestive heart failure and help protect the kidneys from damage due to diabetes.
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth, usually once a day or as directed by your doctor. You may take this drug with or without food. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day. Drink adequate fluids to prevent from becoming dehydrated. If you are on restricted fluid intake, consult your doctor for further instructions. Do not take potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium without talking to your doctor or pharmacist first. This medicine can infrequently raise or lower your potassium blood levels, which rarely can cause serious side effects such as muscle weakness/cramping or very slow heartbeats. Tell your doctor immediately if these effects occur. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take 2 weeks before the full benefit of this drug occurs or several weeks to months when used for congestive heart failure. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. If you are also taking cholestyramine or colestipol, take benazepril/hydrochlorothiazide at least 2 hours before either of those drugs.