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I'm sorry for the double question - "hitting two birds with one stone" type of thing - but it's about the same drug.
I have been taking benazepril for two years now, and I have noticed that it seems less and less responsive and effective. Its onset is supposed to be about an hour, but after an hour I now notice very little change in my high morning BP readings, which average 160/95, hr 64. (My heart rate is never a problem since I quit amlodipine, the poison from hell - use the search window to read my other postings on amlodipine for all the gory details.) I take 40mg of benazepril in a single dose in the morning on an empty stomach.
The situation is complicated because I also have generalized anxiety disorder and whenever I take 1 mg of alprazolam later in the morning, my blood pressure drops in an hour, often ~50 points in my systolic and ~25 in my diastolic!
This drop seems much more than just alprazolam had ever done on its own, and it seems that perhaps (just a guess now!!) that alprazolam (xanax) somehow potentiates (increases the activity) of the benazepril. But alprazolam leaves me drowsy and unmotivated - formerly I only took it at night before bedtime, but now it is the only thing that keeps my BP under control during the day, but it's making working and functioning during the day very difficult - I feel like I constantly need a nap badly, even though I slept well throught the night.
I also discovered when I consumed large amounts of potassium-rich food and took potassium supplements (a no-no with ACE inhibitors such as benazepril), that my BP stayed down, and my energy stayed up.
The second problem is that lately I have had no libido, no sexual interest whatsoever - and I have always had a very high sex drive. This is simply a fact - a sometimes quite inconvenient one, not a brag in the least. I have also ceased having morning non-sexual erections, which have been normal all my life. I've taken alprazolam for years longer than benazepril and have never had this phenomenon with alprazolam. Benazepril is the newest drug I've taken regularly (aside from my 2 weeks with amlodipine, which actually cause the opposite problem of inappropriate, unwanted, even painful priapism several times during the night!!)
I am at such a loss now. My doctor says he has no more to offer, but I cannot continue to run 160+/90+ with benazepril, and do not want to continue to compensate this apparently weakening, sexual-neutralizing ACE inhibitor to lower my BP with benzos, i.e., alprazolam, which I must take to control my anxiety/panic attacks.
I cannot take amlodipine - whose ONLY positive aspect is that it dramatically lowers your blood pressure to normal - at a great cost in unpleasant, sometimes scary side effects.
I hope this helps someone in a similar plight, and I hope that we can find some helpful suggestions. My immediate plan is to drop benazepril and increase my intake of potassium, both by food and supplements.
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