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Taking Lotensin during pregnancy is not recommended. The FDA classifies Lotensin as a pregnancy Category D drug, which means that in previous studies it showed clear evidence of risk to fetuses. Lotensin can cause temporary or permanent problems -- such as kidney failure, low blood pressure, and death -- to an unborn child. Potential problems with Lotensin and pregnancy are present during all three trimesters of a woman's pregnancy.

Is Lotensin Safe During Pregnancy? -- An Overview

For people who are pregnant, Lotensin® (benazepril hydrochloride) is not recommended. This is because during pregnancy, Lotensin can cause temporary or permanent problems, including death, to the unborn child.

Lotensin and Pregnancy Category D

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Lotensin is considered a pregnancy Category D medicine by the FDA. Pregnancy Category D is given to medicines that have shown clear evidence of risk to the fetus in studies. A pregnancy Category D medicine may still be given to pregnant a woman if her healthcare provider believes that its benefits outweigh the possible risks to the unborn child.

What Is the Risk of Using Lotensin During Pregnancy?

Prior to 2006, there was a common belief among healthcare providers regarding Lotensin and pregnancy. The feeling was that problems with Lotensin and pregnancy were generally seen when the drug was taken during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. However, that changed when a study by researchers at Vanderbilt University was published in the June 2006 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. This study showed that in fact there is also an increased risk to the fetus if it is exposed to Lotensin during the first trimester.
Some of the complications seen with fetuses or newborns exposed to Lotensin during pregnancy include:
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Developmental problems with the nervous system
  • Developmental problems with the cardiovascular system (this includes the heart and blood vessels)
  • Developmental problems with the lungs
  • Kidney failure
  • Deformities of the head and face
  • Death.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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