Lotrel is a prescription medication that is used to lower high blood pressure in adults by causing the blood vessels to relax. In clinical studies, the drug was shown to decrease systolic blood pressure by up to 25 mmHg and diastolic pressure by up to 13 mmHg. The higher the dose, the greater the drop in blood pressure tended to be. Because Lotrel is a combination of two medications, it causes a greater drop in blood pressure than if either medication is used alone. Possible side effects of this drug include cough, headache, and dizziness.
Lotrel is a combination of two medicines -- benazepril hydrochloride (sold under the brand Lotensin® and in generic form as Benazepril Hydrochloride) and amlodipine besylate (sold under the brand name Norvasc®). Lotensin 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 a part of a reaction in the body that causes the blood vessels to narrow (constrict). By blocking this enzyme, Lotensin causes blood vessels to relax.
Norvasc is part of a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers. Norvasc helps to slow down the rate at which calcium moves into your blood vessel walls. This, in turn, helps to relax the vessels, causing a decrease in blood pressure. It also makes it easier for the heart to pump blood.
Because of the effects of both Lotensin and Norvasc, Lotrel can lower blood pressure. Because of its combined effects, Lotrel causes a greater drop in blood pressure than when either medicine is used alone.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Lotrel [package insert]. East Hanover, NJ: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation;2012 October.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed May 27, 2010.
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