Disease and Illnesses of dogs – Heart Failure- Benefortin

What is Benefortin?

Benefortin is a drug that is used to control heart failure in dogs and chronic renal failure in cats. Benefortin is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd and contains the active ingredient benazepril. Benazepril is one of a class of drugs called Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACEI). Benefortin is available in tablet form and is given once daily with or without food. Benefortin is in the legal class POM-V which means it can only be obtained from your veterinary surgeon or with a prescription from them.

What is Benefortin used for?

Benefortin is used to help manage congestive heart failure in dogs and chronic kidney failure in cats. The benazepril in Benefortin acts to reduce blood pressure which can be high in these conditions. This reduction in blood pressure helps to protect the organs and reduce the damage that can be caused from the potentially harmful high blood pressure. In both these diseases, Benefortin may be safely combined with other drugs such as Frusemide, which prevents fluid build up in the body, or digoxin which treats abnormal heart rhythms. In cases of chronic kidney failure, Benefortin may be combined with drugs such as Ipakitine which controls phosphorous levels.

Benefortin tips

·      Benefortin is given daily, by mouth

·      The dose of Benefortin will be based on your pet’s weight and determined by your vet

·      Benefortin comes in a tablet form in various sizes so accurate doses can be given

·      Benefortin is licensed for use in cats and dogs

·      Benefortin will often be combined with other drugs

·      If you suspect any side effects from Benefortin then contact your vet for advice

·      Benefortin tablets can be divided to make administration easier

·      Benefortin should be stored in a cool dry place under 25oC

·      Divided Benefortin tablets should be used within 2 days

Side Effects of Benefortin

  • Benefortin should not be used in animals under 2.5kg
  • Benefortin may cause lethargy in dogs
  • Benefortin may cause diarrhoea, vomiting and anorexia in cats
  • The side effects of Benefortin are usually mild and temporary
  • Benefortin should be used with care in animals already taking anti inflammatories
  • If you suspect any side effects from Benefortin then contact your vet for advice
  • An overdose of Benefortin may cause low blood pressure. If you suspect an overdose of Benefortin then contact your vet for advice
  • Benefortin has not been tested in pregnant or lactating animals and may be harmful to unborn animals

Dosage and Administration of Benefortin

  • The dose of Benefortin will depend on your pet’s weights and be determined by your vet
  • Benefortin comes as brownish, oval tablets
  • Benefortin comes as 2.5mg, 5mg and 20mg tablets
  • Benefortin is given orally, once daily
  • Benefortin can be given with or without food
  • Benefortin tablets are scored so they can be divided to make administration easier
  • The dose of Benefortin can be doubled in dogs with severe disease
  • Do not alter the dose of Benefortin without first consulting with your vet
  • Regular monitoring of your pet’s condition whilst taking Benefortin is needed

Further Information about Benefortin

Benefortin is a drug used to control congestive heart failure in dogs and chronic renal failure in cats. Benefortin contains the active ingredient benazepril and comes in tablet form. Benefortin tablets are scored so that they are easy to divide and available as 2.5mg, 5mg and 20mg tablets. The exact dose of Benefortin will depend on your pet’s weight and will be determined by your vet. Benefortin is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd and is a POM-V drug which means that it is only available from your vet or with a prescription from them.

The active ingredient, benazepril is one of the drugs in a class called the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACEI). These drugs prevent the conversion of Angiotensin I to Angiotensin II in the body. Angiotensin II causes blood vessels to constrict and raises blood pressure. This puts extra strain on organs especially the heart and kidneys. Giving Benefortin as an ACEI prevents these effects therefore protecting the heart and kidneys and preventing further damage.

Benefortin can have some side effects although these are usually mild and temporary. Benefortin can cause fatigue and lethargy in dogs and occasionally vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and anorexia in cats. If you see any of these effects from Benefortin then contact your vet for advice. Benefortin should not be used in animals under 2.5kg and its safety has not been established in breeding animals so should be avoided in pregnant or lactating animals.

Further Information about dosage and administration of Benefortin

Cats: The daily dose of Benefortin for cats is 0.5mg benazepril/kg bodyweight per day. The table below shows the dose of Benefortin needed by different sized cats

The total daily dose of Benefortin is given once daily by mouth. Benefortin can be given with or without food and the tablets are scored so that they can be easily divided into halves. Remaining half tablet should be used within two days.

Frequently asked Questions

Q1- What is Benefortin?                                                                                                                                       

A1- Benefortin is a drug which contains the active ingredient benazepril, an angiontensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI)

Q2- What is Benefortin used for?                                                                                                                     

A2- Benefortin is used to manage Congestive Heart Failure in dogs and chronic kidney disease in cats.

 Q3- How is Benefortin given?                                                                                                                               

A3- Benefortin comes as tablets and is given orally, with or without food.

 Q4- Can Benefortin tablets be broken?                                                                                                                  

A4- Yes, Benefortin tablets are scored so they can be easily divided into halves.

Q5- How long will my pet have to take Benefortin for?                                                                                       

A5-Treatment with Benefortin is usually lifelong.

Q6- Am I likely to see any side effects from Benefortin?                                                                                     

A6- Benefortin is generally very safe but it may cause lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea or anorexia. If you see any side effects then contact your vet for advice.

Q7- My dog has got hold of the box of Benefortin and eaten several tablets. Will this cause any problems?            

A7- Benefortin has been shown to be safe at several times the normal dose but an overdose can lower blood pressure causing weakness and lethargy. Contact your vet for advice. 

Q8- My dog seems to be getting worse despite Benefortin, should I increase the dose?                                                                       

A8- The dose can be increased in severe cases but this should only be done under guidance from your vet.

Q9- Will my pet need regular checks whilst taking Benefortin?                                                                        

A9- Yes. Your pets’ condition will need to be closely monitored and this may include blood tests. The exact frequency of checks will be determined by your vet.


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