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Among the most common side effects of Lotensin is a chronic dry cough. The same enzyme-blocking effect that allows Lotensin to lower blood pressure can also cause a buildup of other substances in the lungs, leading to a dry cough that will not go away. There is no way to know when and if a cough will develop -- some people experience it within hours after starting treatment with Lotensin, while others get it months after they begin the drug.
Does Lotensin Cause a Cough?There are a number of possible side effects that can occur with Lotensin® (benazepril hydrochloride). One side effect that is common in Lotensin, along with all other ACE inhibitors, is a dry cough that will not go away.
Understanding the ACE Inhibitor CoughLotensin is part of a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors for short. Lotensin helps to block the angiotensin-converting enzyme, which is normally part of a reaction in the body that causes blood vessels to narrow (constrict). By blocking this enzyme, Lotensin causes blood vessels to relax, which lowers blood pressure.
However, scientists also believe that angiotensin-converting enzyme is responsible for the breakdown of other substances in the lungs. When ACE is blocked, these substances can build up in the lungs, which can ultimately lead to a chronic cough.
The likelihood of developing a cough while taking an ACE inhibitor appears to be affected by a number of factors, including the specific ACE inhibitor and a person's genetics. Some ACE inhibitors can cause a cough in up to 35 percent of people taking the medicine.
How Common Is a Lotensin Cough?Based on data from clinical studies, up to 1.2 percent of people with high blood pressure who were taking Lotensin reported a cough. Up to 0.6 percent of people stopped taking their medicine because of this cough.
For people taking Lotensin, a cough can first appear within hours after taking the first dose or may first appear months after the medicine is first taken. Unfortunately, there is no way to know if or when a cough will occur. Once Lotensin is stopped, the cough also stops, though the amount of time for this can also vary. On average, it can take up to 14 days for the cough to completely go away. In some studies, however, it has been reported to take months.