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Enalapril (Enacard®) and Benazepril (Lotensin®)

Overview

Enalapril and benazepril are related members of a class of drugs called ACE inhibitors. They have similar effects and uses in veterinary medicine.

ACE inhibitors lower blood pressure and help to reduce the amount of work that the heart must do to pump blood effectively. In veterinary medicine, their main uses are the treatment of heart conditions in cats and dogs and the treatment of high blood pressure. Pets that take ACE inhibitors for these purposes usually receive the medicines indefinitely.

ACE inhibitors also are prescribed in some forms of kidney disease.

Form

ACE inhibitors are readily available as oral tablets. Special compounding pharmacies may be able be able to produce palatable pills or liquid suspensions.

Side Effects

The most common side effect of ACE inhibitors is gastrointestinal upset (diarrhea, vomiting, or lack of appetite). Low blood pressure or skin rashes may also occur.

In some instances, it is thought that ACE inhibitors may exacerbate kidney problems. However, many experts recommend their use in certain forms of kidney disease.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your pet may be suffering side effects from enalapril or benazepril.

Monitoring

Most pets that take ACE inhibitors require long-term administration of the medication. Periodic blood tests are recommended to ensure proper function of the liver and kidneys. As well, regular follow-up veterinary examinations are necessary to monitor blood pressure and ensure that the medication is having the desired effect.

Copyright © Eric Barchas, DVM All rights reserved.
The contents of this page are provided for general informational purposes only. Under no circumstances should this page be substituted for professional consultation with a veterinarian.