Lotrel
Last Edited: April 16th, 2012

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Lotrel exists to treat blood pressure in individuals who have not been successful with other treatment methods. This medicine is made up of a combination of two drugs: benazepril and amlodipine. Benazepril is used to widen blood vessels and prevent the patient from retaining water. The other chemical, amlodipine works to widen blood vessels as well and can improve the flow of blood. Although the combination of benazepril and amlodipine can be used in other ways, their most popular usage is to treat hypertension and high blood pressure.

Information Patients Should Know Before Taking Lotrel

Patients who are allergic to amlodipine, benazepril, ACE inhibitors or angioedema should not take Lotrel. Pregnant women should immediately stop taking the drug once they realize they are expecting. This drug can cause serious injury and be potentially fatal for the unborn child.

Anyone who is driving a car should be especially careful. This drug can make it difficult to think and slow down a driver’s reaction time. Always be wary when performing any task that requires you to be completely alert.

Any patient who has a history of kidney disease, diabetes, liver disease or congestive heart failure should tell their doctor before taking Lotrel. Additionally, individuals who are on a low-salt diet or nursing a child should alert their doctor prior to receiving the medicine.

Taking Lotrel

Lotrel should always be taken exactly as it is prescribed by your doctor. Taking larger or smaller amounts can make it less effective or cause potential side effects. If you feel like you are not getting the ideal results, you can discuss this with your doctor and potentially be put on a higher dosage. Patients who are taking this drug do not need to take it with food. Ideally, each dose should be spaced at regular intervals so the pills are always taken at the same time of day.

While using Lotrel, patients should always make sure to drink plenty of water. This medication can cause patients to become dehydrated easily. If the medicine is taken for an extended period of time, the patient should visit their doctor for a regular blood test. Additionally, if the patient is about to undergo surgery, they should tell the surgeon ahead of time so they can be informed.

Even if the patient feels perfectly fine, they should continue to take their medication as prescribed by their doctor. High blood pressure will often cause no obvious symptoms. The only way to know if someone’s blood pressure is too high is to test it.

Side Effects

Individuals who experience any of the serious side effects of Lotrel should immediately seek emergency medical help. Some of the serious side effects may not occur until after several months of using Lotrel. The most serious side effects associated with this drug include:

  • Swelling or rapid weight gain
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea, dark urine or upper stomach pain
  • Fever, chills or flu-like symptoms
  • Feeling faint
  • Clay-colored stools or jaundice

Other side effects may occur that are not as serious. Individuals may experience muscle pain, dizziness, headaches or insomnia. In addition, they may lose interest in sex or develop muscle pains. Over time, patients may develop diarrhea or flushed and tingling skin. If these side effects cause the patient discomfort, the patient should consult with their doctor about other medication options or ways to alleviate the problem. Although the list of side effects is not exhaustive, patients should always develop the habit of telling their doctor about any unusual developments and seek medical attention when needed.