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Benazepril hydrochloride belongs to the class of drugs known as ACE inhibitors and is used in the treatment of congestive heart failure in dogs and also for treating chronic renal failure in cats. Benazepril hydrochloride is the trade name of generic lotensin HCT, which is a combination of lotensin and hydrochlorothiacide. The other names of generic lotensin include benazepril HCT and benazepril HCTZ. Benazepril Hydrochloride is a prescription medication, effective in the treatment of high blood pressure. This medication is known under the trade names of fortoker in the UK and lotensin in the USA. Administration of this medication is found to considerably reduce the blood pressure levels of dogs. Benazepril works as an inhibitor in the conversion of the hormone angiotensin I into angiotensin II, which in turn, constricts the blood vessels, thereby reducing the blood pressure. Benazepril dilates and relaxes the blood vessels thus enabling easier flow of blood through the blood vessels. It is available as tablets for oral administration. The ingredients include colloidal silico dioxide, crospovidone, hydrogenated castor oil, hypromellose, iron oxides, lactose, microcrystalline cellulose, polysorbate 80 etc.
Be cautious when using this medication in small cats, as it has not yet been tested on cats weighing less than 2.5 kg. It is also not suggested to administer this medication in cats with already high potassium levels as it is found to enhance the potassium levels in its body. It is dangerous to give benazepril along with diuretics such as furosemide. There are also chances of benazepril to interact with metacam, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. Do not use this medication in animals with history of cardiac output failure.
The medication is prescribed only for oral administration and the ideal dosage would be once daily. In cats, benazepril should be administered in doses of 0.5 to 1.0 mg. The dosage may be doubled only by the prescription of a veterinary surgeon. In case of dogs, the common recommended dosage is 0.25-0.5 mg.
The common side effects noted while administering this medication are loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, collapse, increased thirst, changes in urination, a slow heart rate and a weak pulse.
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