Lisinopril, also known as Zestril, is a drug commonly prescribed for high blood pressure and heart failure

What is Lisinopril?

Lisinopril is a member of the class of medications known as ace inhibitors. It works by enlarging blood arteries, easing the cardiac strain, and facilitating blood circulation throughout the body. You can get its prescription from your doctor. Lisinopril is widely prescribed to treat heart failure and excessive blood pressure. Some people receive this medication after having a heart attack or stroke. According to evidence, lisinopril enhances life expectancy for heart attack patients. It does this by assisting in reducing future heart attacks and strokes. 


If you have any of the following problems, it is essential to see your doctor before taking this medication:

  • You’ve previously experienced an allergic reaction to lisinopril or another ace inhibitor drug.
  • Your blood pressure is low.
  • If currently undergoing dialysis or have a history of renal illness?
  • Have blood problems or liver disease
  • If following a low-sodium diet.
  • To lessen your allergy to insect stings, you undergo desensitization therapy.

Additionally, diabetic people need to closely monitor their blood sugar levels during the first few weeks. As lisinopril is known to lower blood sugar levels, your chance of developing hypoglycemia may increase.


Is Lisinopril safe in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?

Use of lisinopril during pregnancy is not advised. The kidneys and lungs may suffer long-term damage from this drug, which could harm your baby. Consequently, you must utilize reliable contraception if you have a sexual lifestyle. Discuss your intentions to become pregnant with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. If you just found out you’re pregnant, get in touch with your doctor right away to discuss better options. How much of this medication is found in mother’s milk during nursing is not well understood due to lack of study. It will probably only amount to a little sum, though. Mums who are nursing should consult their doctor about a safer substitute. 

Medication Interaction

Lisinopril may interact with several medications, affecting how lisinopril works. Your prescribing doctor will need to be aware if you are taking any of the following:

  • Medication used to manage blood pressure, e.g., Aliskiren 
  • Diuretic medication, those which make you pee more, e.g., furosemide 
  • Medicines that can increase potassium in your blood, E.g., spironolactone, 

Losartan/ valsartan, potassium supplements, and some birth control pills

  • Specialist heart medications such as sacubitril 
  • Medications that suppress the immune system (such as azathioprine, everolimus, and sirolimus) 
  • Diabetic medications
  • Gout medication called Allopurinol 
  • Lithium, a mood stabilizer
  • Antidiarrheal medication, Racecadotril

It is not a complete list. Because manufacturers disclose all potential drug interactions, consult the drug information leaflet included with your prescriptions for further details. 


What is the correct dose of lisinopril?

Lisinopril has several strengths, which will differ significantly depending on the indication. Starting doses are typically in the 2.5–10 mg range and increase to a daily maximum of 80 mg. 

How long will I need to take my medication?

Most individuals prescribed lisinopril will need to continue this medication lifelong. Those taking lisinopril to control high blood pressure see a rise in their blood pressure should they stop their medication. Maintaining blood pressure well over the long term will help reduce heart attacks and strokes.

How long does it take for lisinopril to work?

Many individuals will not have experienced any symptoms before starting this medication, e.g., those with high blood pressure. Therefore, you may not feel any different while taking this medication. Lisinopril gets to work soon after you start your prescription. If you are taking this medication to help manage symptoms of heart failure, it may take several weeks to feel the full benefit.

How to take lisinopril

Most people will only take lisinopril once daily. Try to take this medication every day at the same time. You can have lisinopril with or without food, but ensure you have a good glass of water. Avoiding salt substitutes like reduced salt is recommended. Salt alternatives could have higher potassium concentrations. Blood potassium levels may rise if you use salt replacements combined with lisinopril. High blood potassium levels can occasionally pose a life-threatening concern. Many people have no issues using this medication while also drinking alcohol. 

Other people may feel lightheaded. Drinking alcohol while taking lisinopril can cause your blood pressure to drop more than it should. It is recommended to avoid alcohol if you develop dizziness when using this medication. Don’t worry if you forget to take your lisinopril; take it as soon as you remember. If you don’t know until the next day, skip the missing dose. Don’t forget to bring your subsequent amount at the scheduled time. Do not take a second one to make up for a missing dose. Lisinopril can be deadly if you take too much of it. Therefore you should get emergency medical help if you mistakenly took too much of it. Overdose symptoms include lightheadedness or dizziness, palpitations, and sleepiness. 

Side effects

Many people will not experience any side effects. However, as with all medications, side effects can occur. Individuals experience dizziness when taking their first dose. To reduce this, you can take your first dose in the evening. These side effects should improve as your body becomes accustomed to the medication.

Common side effects you should discuss with your doctor are: 

  • A dry, persistent cough
  • Persistent feeling of dizziness or lightheaded 
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Headaches or blurring of your vision

Less commonly, people experience more concerning side effects. If you face any of the following, please consult with your doctor urgently:

  • A change in the color of your skin, yellowing of your eyes, lightening of your poo, or darkening of your wee may indicate lisinopril is detrimental to your liver.
  • Severe tummy pain – may indicate inflammation of your pancreas
  • The development of swelling to your ankles, difficulty going for a wee, or the presence of blood in your urine may indicate serious kidney problems.
  • Development of bruising, unusual bleeding, feeling tired, sore throat or fever may indicate the presence of a blood 
  • Muscle weakness, slow, irregular heartbeats, or fainting may be signs of a high blood potassium

Allergic reactions are concerning as they may be life-threatening. Fortunately,  life-threatening allergic reactions are rare. Those with severe allergic reactions should call emergency services for assistance. Symptoms can include:

  • Swelling of the face, lips, mouth, and throat
  • Difficulty breathing, wheezing, or chest tightness
  • Allergic skin rash

Do not ignore professional medical consultation in seeking treatment. If you need a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or ambulance service.