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LOTREL (AMLODIPINE, BENAZEPRIL): WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

Anaphylactoid and Possibly Related Reactions

Presumably because angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors affect the metabolism of eicosanoids and polypeptides, including endogenous bradykinin, patients receiving ACE inhibitors (including Lotrel) may be subject to a variety of adverse reactions, some of them serious. These reactions usually occur after one of the first few doses of the ACE inhibitor, but they sometimes do not appear until after months of therapy. Black patients receiving ACE inhibitors have a higher incidence of angioedema compared to nonblacks.

Head and Neck Angioedema

Angioedema of the face, extremities, lips, tongue, glottis, and larynx has been reported in patients treated with ACE inhibitors. In U.S. clinical trials, symptoms consistent with angioedema were seen in none of the subjects who received placebo and in about 0.5% of the subjects who received benazepril. Angioedema associated with laryngeal edema can be fatal. If laryngeal stridor or angioedema of the face, tongue, or glottis occurs, discontinue treatment with Lotrel and treat immediately. When involvement of the tongue, glottis, or larynx appears likely to cause airway obstruction, appropriate therapy, e.g., administer subcutaneous epinephrine injection 1:1000 (0.3-0.5 mL), promptly.

Intestinal Angioedema

Intestinal angioedema has been reported in patients treated with ACE inhibitors. These patients presented with abdominal pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); in some cases there was no prior history of facial angioedema and C-1 esterase levels were normal. The angioedema was diagnosed by procedures including abdominal CT scan or ultrasound, or at surgery, and symptoms resolved after stopping the ACE inhibitor. Intestinal angioedema should be included in the differential diagnosis of patients on ACE inhibitors presenting with abdominal pain.

Anaphylactoid Reactions During Desensitization

Two patients undergoing desensitizing treatment with hymenoptera venom while receiving ACE inhibitors sustained life-threatening anaphylactoid reactions. In the same patients, these reactions were avoided when ACE inhibitors were temporarily withheld, but they reappeared upon inadvertent rechallenge.

Anaphylactoid Reactions During Membrane Exposure

Anaphylactoid reactions have been reported in patients dialyzed with high-flux membranes and treated concomitantly with an ACE inhibitor. Anaphylactoid reactions have also been reported in patients undergoing low-density lipoprotein apheresis with dextran sulfate absorption.

Increased Angina and/or Myocardial Infarction

Rarely, patients, particularly those with severe obstructive coronary artery disease, have developed documented increased frequency, duration or severity of angina or acute myocardial infarction on starting calcium channel blocker therapy or at the time of dosage increase. The mechanism of this effect has not been elucidated.

Hypotension

Amlodipine Besylate, Benazepril Hydrochloride (Lotrel) can cause symptomatic hypotension. Symptomatic hypotension is most likely to occur in patients who have been volume or salt depleted as a result of prolonged diuretic therapy, dietary salt restriction, dialysis, diarrhea, or vomiting.

In patients with congestive heart failure, with or without associated renal insufficiency, ACE inhibitor therapy may cause excessive hypotension, which may be associated with oliguria, azotemia, and (rarely) with acute renal failure and death. In such patients, start Lotrel therapy under close medical supervision; follow closely for the first 2 weeks of treatment and whenever the dose of the benazepril component is increased or a diuretic is added or its dose increased.

Symptomatic hypotension is also possible in patients with severe aortic stenosis.

If hypotension occurs, place the patient in a supine position, and if necessary, treat with intravenous infusion of physiologic saline. Amlodipine Besylate, Benazepril HCl (Lotrel) treatment usually can be continued following restoration of blood pressure and volume.

Fetal / Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality

Lotrel (Amlodipine, Benazepril) can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus.

Drugs that act on the renin angiotensin system can cause fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality when used in pregnancy. In several dozen published cases, ACE inhibitor use during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy was associated with fetal and neonatal injury, including hypotension, neonatal skull hypoplasia, anuria, reversible or irreversible renal failure, and death.

Hepatic Failure

Rarely, ACE inhibitors have been associated with a syndrome that starts with cholestatic jaundice and progresses to fulminant hepatic necrosis and, sometimes, death. The mechanism of this syndrome is not understood. Patients receiving ACE inhibitors who develop jaundice or marked elevations of hepatic enzymes should discontinue the ACE inhibitor and receive appropriate medical follow-up.

In patients with hepatic dysfunction due to cirrhosis, levels of benazeprilat are essentially unaltered.

However, since amlodipine is extensively metabolized by the liver and the plasma elimination half-life (t1/2) is 56 hours in patients with impaired hepatic function, titrate Lotrel slowly in patients with severe hepatic impairment.

Impaired Renal Function

Lotrel (Amlodipine / Benazepril) should not be used in patients with severe renal disease (Clearance creatinine < 30 ml / min).

In patients with severe heart failure, whose renal function may depend on the activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, treatment with benazepril may be associated with oliguria or progressive azotemia and (rarely) with acute renal failure and / or death.

In a small study of hypertensive patients with unilateral or bilateral renal artery stenosis, treatment with benazepril was associated with increases in blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine; these increases were reversible upon discontinuation of benazepril therapy, concomitant diuretic therapy, or both. When such patients are treated with Lotrel, monitor renal function during the first few weeks of therapy.

Some benazepril-treated hypertensive patients with no apparent preexisting renal vascular disease have developed increases in blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine, usually minor and transient, especially when benazepril has been given concomitantly with a diuretic. Dosage reduction of Lotrel may be required.

Renal function should be monitored periodically in patients receiving benazepril.

Hyperkalemia

In U.S. placebo-controlled trials of Lotrel (Amlodipine with Benazepril), hyperkalemia (serum potassium at least 0.5 mEq / l greater than the upper limit of normal) not present at baseline occurred in approximately 1.5% of hypertensive patients receiving this medication. Increases in serum potassium were generally reversible. Risk factors for the development of hyperkalemia include renal insufficiency, diabetes mellitus, and the concomitant use of potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements, and/or potassiumcontaining salt substitutes. Serum potassium should be monitored periodically in patients receiving benazepril.

Cough

Presumably due to the inhibition of the degradation of endogenous bradykinin, persistent nonproductive cough has been reported with all ACE inhibitors, generally resolving after discontinuation of therapy. Consider ACE inhibitor-induced cough in the differential diagnosis of cough.

Surgery / Anesthesia

In patients undergoing surgery or during anesthesia with agents that produce hypotension, benazepril will block the angiotensin II formation that could otherwise occur secondary to compensatory renin release. Hypotension that occurs as a result of this mechanism can be corrected by volume expansion.


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