Benazepril for cats is a prescription medication that treats heart failure, high blood pressure, and several forms of kidney disease. An angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, benazepril relaxes blood vessels, reduces blood pressure, and makes it easier for the heart to function efficiently.
This medication also helps reduce scarring of the heart muscle and is commonly known by brand names such as Lotensin and Fortekor. Keep reading for more information about the safety and efficacy of benazepril for cats, dosage instructions, and any side effects you need to be aware of.
Benazepril for cats is a prescription medication and is mainly available in tablet form, with sizes ranging from 2.5 milligrams to 40 milligrams. A liquid suspension of benazepril is also available.
The cost of benazepril varies depending on the size of the tablet and the amount you buy. As a general guide, you can expect to pay somewhere in the $0.09 to $0.30 range per 5-milligram tablet.
According to the MSD Veterinary Manual, the recommended dosage of benazepril for the adjunctive treatment of congestive heart failure in cats is 0.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. Your vet will be able to advise you on the appropriate dosage amount for your pet.
Benazepril for cats is given orally as a tablet. It can be administered with or without food, and you should only ever stop giving the medication or change the dosage amount on the advice of your veterinarian.
A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2006 examined 61 cats with chronic renal insufficiency. It found that benazepril for cats has the potential to delay the progression of chronic renal insufficiency, and to extend the survival time of cats with the condition.
Another clinical study examined the effects of benazepril in 192 cats with chronic kidney disease. The drug was well-tolerated by all cats in the study, was found to decrease proteinuria (protein in urine), and also increased the appetite of cats given benazepril instead of a placebo. However, there was no difference in renal survival time between cats given benazepril and those given a placebo.
In terms of treating heart conditions, a 1999 study featured in the Journal of Veterinary Cardiology found that benazepril had some positive effects on the clinical signs of primary hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in cats.
However, a recent study of 150 cats with heart disease found that while the medication was well-tolerated, there was no evidence of any benefit of benazepril.
As is the case with any other medication, your cat may experience side effects from benazepril. Side effects that may occur include:
Less commonly, kidney dysfunction can also occur, so discuss any side effects of benazepril for cats with your veterinarian.
If your cat is allergic to benazepril or any other ACE inhibitors, they should not be given this medication. Benazepril should also not be used in pregnant females, in cats in acute renal failure, or in cats with low blood pressure.
There are other situations where the use of benazepril is not advised, or where a high level of caution is recommended. With this in mind, your veterinarian will need to know your pet’s full medical history before prescribing this medication.
Benazepril can also interact with other drugs your cat is taking. Benazepril may interact with:
Diuretics (such as spironolactone and furosemide)
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and other drugs aside from those listed above may interact with benazepril. Make sure your veterinarian is aware of all medications your pet is currently taking before they prescribe benazepril.
Allergic reactions and sensitivity
Some cats may be allergic to benazepril, or other ACE inhibitors, and they should not be given this medication. Common signs of an allergic reaction can include hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing, so monitor your pet closely and notify your vet if any adverse symptoms appear.
Frequently asked questions
Does my cat need a prescription for benazepril?
Yes, you’ll need a prescription from your veterinarian before you can purchase this medication for your cat.
How should I store benazepril for cats?
Benazepril should be stored in a dry place at temperatures below 86° Fahrenheit. It should also be kept out of reach of children. Check the label for any other storage instructions.
I think my pet has had an overdose — what should I do?
If you suspect that your pet has had an overdose of benazepril, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for advice on the best steps to follow.
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