Benazepril (Lotensin)

Benazepril (Lotensin)

Basics, Side Effects, Reviews & More

Warning Icon Are you looking for information on Lotensin HCT (lotensin/hctz) instead?

Benazepril (Lotensin) is a common medication used to lower blood pressure. It has the benefit of helping to protect the kidneys, but can cause a bothersome dry cough for some people.




ACE inhibitor


Not a controlled medication


Lower-cost generic available


Prescription only

Reviewed by:

Jennifer Tran, PharmD

Sophie Vergnaud, MD

Last reviewed on:

April 20, 2020

What is benazepril (Lotensin)?

How benazepril (Lotensin) works

Benazepril (Lotensin) is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. It blocks the production of a chemical that tightens blood vessels. Without this chemical, blood vessels relax. Having more relaxed blood vessels causes your blood pressure to go down.

What is benazepril (Lotensin) used for?

High blood pressure

Benazepril (Lotensin) dosage forms

Typical dosing for benazepril (Lotensin)

Most people start at 10 mg of benazepril (Lotensin) by mouth once daily and increase their dose over time to 40 mg daily.

Frequently asked questions about benazepril (Lotensin)

Pros and cons of benazepril (Lotensin)


Thumbs UpBenazepril (Lotensin) is a first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.

Thumbs UpBenazepril (Lotensin) protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.

Thumbs UpBenazepril (Lotensin) lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with high blood pressure.


Thumbs DownUp to 1 in 10 people can get a dry cough with benazepril (Lotensin). It ranges from a mild tickle in the throat to a persistent hacking cough.

Thumbs DownBenazepril (Lotensin) should not be used if you're pregnant.

Thumbs DownIn general, ACE inhibitors may not work as well in black patients.

Pharmacist tips for benazepril (Lotensin)

Capsule IconBenazepril (Lotensin) can cause dizziness in the first few days, but your body will adjust to it over time.

Capsule IconSome people get a dry cough while taking benazepril (Lotensin). This can happen at any time, even if you've been taking the medication for years. You can still have a cough for many weeks after stopping benazepril (Lotensin). Let your doctor know if the cough bothers you as there are other medications you can take.

Capsule IconIf you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if it's almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not "double up" to make up for the missed dose as this can drop your blood pressure too much.

Capsule IconIf you are checking your blood pressure at home, record your measurements and let your doctor know if it hasn't improved after 1 week.

Capsule IconLet your doctor know if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant because this medication can cause birth defects.

Capsule IconAs part of your annual checkup, your doctor might ask you to get a blood test to see how benazepril (Lotensin) is affecting your potassium levels and kidney function.

Prices for benazepril (Lotensin) start at just $9.72 with a GoodRx coupon. They’re fast, easy-to-use and free!

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What are the side effects of benazepril (Lotensin)?

With any medication, there are risks and benefits. Even if the medication is working, you may experience some unwanted side effects.

Warning Small Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, throat)

Caution Small The following side effects may get better over time as your body gets used to the medication. Let your doctor know immediately if you continue to experience these symptoms or if they worsen over time.

Common side effects

  • Headache (6%)
  • Dizziness (4%)
  • Tiredness (2%)
  • Dry cough (5-35%)

Other side effects

  • Changes in potassium levels
  • Changes in kidney function
  • Changes in blood sugar

Source: FDA

The following side effects have also been reported:

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:

Less common


cold sweats


dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position

unusual tiredness or weakness

Incidence not known

Arm, back, or jaw pain

blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin

bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet

chest pain or discomfort


fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse

feeling of warmth


general feeling of tiredness or weakness


joint or muscle pain

large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs


rapid breathing

rapid weight gain

red skin lesions, often with a purple center

red, irritated eyes

redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest

skin rash

sore throat

sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips


tingling of the hands or feet

unusual weight gain or loss

Some 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. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common


Less common



sleepiness or unusual drowsiness

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

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What are the risks and warnings for benazepril (Lotensin)?

Benazepril (Lotensin) can cause some serious health issues. This risk may be even higher for certain groups. If this worries you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other options


Warning Small Benazepril (Lotensin) can cause birth defects. If you're pregnant, let your doctor know immediately and stop taking benazepril (Lotensin) as soon as possible.


Angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, or other organs) can happen at any time while you're taking benazepril (Lotensin), and can make it difficult to breathe in more serious cases. This is more likely to happen if you're black. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any head or neck swelling or stomach pain that doesn't go away.


  • Risk factors: History of kidney problems | Severe congestive heart failure

Although benazepril (Lotensin) is usually good for the kidneys, on rare occasions it can make kidney function worse. You'll need blood work done to check your kidneys before starting benazepril (Lotensin) and at least yearly after.


  • Risk factors: Diabetes | Kidney problems | Taking other medications that also increase potassium

Benazepril (Lotensin) can raise the amount of potassium in your body. High potassium can cause heart problems.


  • Risk factors: Heart failure | Dialysis | Taking other medicines that lower your blood pressure such as water pills

Benazepril (Lotensin) lowers your blood pressure and can make you feel lightheaded or dizzy.


On rare occasions, ACE inhibitors like benazepril (Lotensin) can block the bile duct, which leads to a yellow skin color or even sudden liver failure. People should talk to their doctor and stop taking benazepril (Lotensin) if they notice yellowing of the skin or have blood test results that show decreased liver function.

Interactions between benazepril (Lotensin) and other medications

Benazepril (Lotensin) may interact with certain medications or supplements. Always let your doctor and pharmacist know about any other medications or supplements (including prescribed and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and dietary or herbal supplements) that you are currently taking. The list below does not include all possible drug interactions with benazepril (Lotensin). Please note that only the generic name of each medication is listed below.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

How much does benazepril (Lotensin) cost?

Benazepril (Lotensin) is available as a generic medication and may be significantly cheaper compared to the brand version. Unless there is a specific reason you need the brand, the generic medication will be a better value. For even more savings, use a GoodRx coupon and pay just a fraction of the retail price.

Lowest GoodRx Price
Lotensin (brand)


Lowest GoodRx Price
benazepril (generic)


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Pricing based on most commonly-filled versions: 30 tablets of benazepril 10mg

What are alternatives to benazepril (Lotensin)?

There are a number of medications that your doctor can prescribe in place of benazepril (Lotensin). Compare a few possible alternatives below.

Benazepril (Lotensin)
Drug Class:ACE inhibitor


lowest GoodRx price

View Prices
Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)
Drug Class:ACE inhibitor


lowest GoodRx price

View Prices

What is the latest news about benazepril (Lotensin)?

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