Also Known As: Benazepril, Lotensin

Benazepril, brand name Lotensin, is a medication used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), congestive heart failure, and chronic renal failure. Upon cleavage of its ester group by the liver, benazepril is converted into its active form benazeprilat, a non-sulfhydryl angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor.

According to a 2006 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, patients with advanced renal insufficiency taking benazepril showed "substantial" kidney benefits.[1]

A long-term study of patients' kidney disease revealed patients who took benazepril had better kidney function and slower progressions of kidney disease than their peers who took a placebo drug.[2] This is notable because this category of pharmaceuticals has long been thought to cause further kidney damage or increase the rate of progression for kidney disease.

According to coverage of the study on WebMD:

ACE inhibitors can pose a potential threat to kidneys as well. The key question was whether damaged kidneys would worsen if patients took ACE inhibitors. In a nutshell, concerns centered on blood levels of potassium and creatinine, waste products that are excreted by the kidneys. Testing creatinine levels in the blood is used as a way to monitor kidney function (...) kidney problems worsened more slowly in those taking Lotensin. Overall, there were no major differences in side effects between patients taking Lotensin or the placebo.[2]

This study marks the first indication that benazepril, and perhaps other ACE inhibitors, may actually be beneficial in the treatment of hypertension in patients with kidney disease.

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