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Lotensin is one of a group of drugs that includes Vasotec and Capoten. These medications are called ACE inhibitors because they affect an enzyme (angiotensin-converting enzyme) important in regulating blood pressure.

Lotensin is used to treat high blood pressure.

Side Effects and Interactions

ACE inhibitors, including Lotensin, can reduce kidney function, particularly in people who already have kidney problems. Regular monitoring for both kidney and liver is essential.

People on Lotensin have experienced headache, dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, a dry persistent cough not relieved by cough medicine, or nausea.

Other side effects reported include chest pain, palpitations, swelling of the legs and feet, digestive disturbances, skin rash, anxiety, joint aches and impotence. Report any symptoms to the physician promptly.

Lotensin, like other ACE inhibitors, is not recommended during pregnancy. Notify the doctor as soon as you suspect you may have become pregnant.

In general, it is important to avoid potassium supplements, including low-sodium salt substitutes, when taking a drug like Lotensin.

Diuretics such as Dyazide, Aldactazide and Moduretic which preserve potassium can also cause dangerous elevations in potassium when taken with Lotensin.

Other diuretics may also interact with Lotensin. So might the psychiatric drug lithium. Check with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure Lotensin is safe in combination with any other drugs you take.

Special Precautions

The first few doses of Lotensin may cause dizziness or fainting, especially for older people. Be especially careful when standing up until your body adjusts.

When you start taking Lotensin, be alert for a rare, but serious reaction. Some people have experienced swelling of the face, lips, tongue and throat which can make breathing difficult if not impossible. This requires immediate emergency treatment.

Taking the Medicine

Lotensin may be taken when convenient, with or without food. Do not stop taking Lotensin suddenly, as this could lead to complications.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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