Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, best known as ACE inhibitors, are a group of drugs that treat hypertension or high blood pressure. An ACE inhibitor works by relaxing and widening the body’s blood vessels. By doing so, it allows proper blood circulation or blood flow, reduces stress on the heart, and lowers blood pressure levels.
One widely used ACE inhibitor is Lisinopril. However, much like all the other prescription drugs, this comes with precautions and adverse reactions to take note of. Here are the Lisinopril side effects to watch out for.
What Is Lisinopril?
As mentioned, Lisinopril is one of the widely used ACE inhibitors in the treatment of high blood pressure. Zestril is the brand-name form of the drug. The drug is prescribed on its own or in combination with additional medications for the treatment of congestive heart failure. Lisinopril was first approved safe for use in 1987 by the Food and Drug Administration.
The drug is available in tablet form taken orally. It comes in 2.5 milligrams to 40 milligrams. Depending on the doctor’s order, a dose is taken once a day at a specific time. The dose taken may be increased over time.
- Individuals with Hypertension: A prescribed amount of the drug ranges from 20 to 40 milligrams daily.
- For the Treatment of Heart Failure: A prescribed amount of the drug ranges from 5 to 40 milligrams daily.
- Children Over 6 Years Old: The prescription amount usually starts at 5 milligrams daily
- For Individuals Who Survived a Heart Attack: The first prescription amount is 5 milligrams. Another 5 milligrams of the drug is given after 24 hours. Ten milligrams of Lisinopril is given daily for the next six weeks after 48 hours.
Even if one feels unwell or out of sorts, it is not advisable to skip a dose without first consulting with a licensed healthcare provider. Also, if a dose is missed, then one must take it as soon as possible. However, if the missed dose is close to the next prescription amount scheduled to be taken, then skip the dose missed. Take note not to consume twice the amount of a prescribed dose all at once just to make up for the neglected dose.
Other prescription drugs may affect the effectivity of Lisinopril. The drug may also affect how other prescription meds work. Always inform the doctor of all drugs one is taking. These include prescription medications and supplements. Some drugs that interact with this ACE inhibitor include the following.
- Diabetes Medications
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
- Potassium Supplements
The drug may also interact with alcohol; thus, it is advised that one avoid alcohol when taking this medication. Doctors may also recommend that an individual taking this ACE inhibitor follow a low-sodium diet.
For individuals who are diabetic or take insulin, one’s blood glucose levels must be closely monitored, especially during the first month of using Lisinopril. Diabetes drugs combined with Lisinopril may cause one’s blood glucose levels to drop.
Apart from individuals taking diabetic medications, those who have a surgery scheduled, dental surgery included, should inform their physicians prior to starting Lisinopril. Doctors also need to be informed firsthand if the individual has any of the following disorders.
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Disease
For breastfeeding or pregnant women, Lisinopril is ill-advised. If one plans to get pregnant, then inform the attending physician before Lisinopril is prescribed as treatment.
The common adverse reactions of the drug include persistent cough, low blood pressure, and angioedema. However, angioedema, which is manifested by a swelling of the tongue, lips, legs, arms, or face can be fatal. If one feels pain in the abdomen or swelling in any area of the body, then best inform the doctor immediately. The patient will be taken off the prescription drug, and another drug will be prescribed. Moreover, treatment for the swelling also includes additional prescription medication.
For the other common side effect which is hypotension, this occurs during the initial days of use. Inform the doctor if one feels faint, dizzy, or lightheaded. An individual is more prone to getting low blood pressure for the following reasons.
- Currently on Dialysis
- Currently Taking Diuretics
- Has History of Heart Failure
- Has Diarrhea
- Not Drinking Enough Water
- Sweating Heavily
Other known side effects of the drug also include the following
- Extreme Fatigue
- Low Sex Drive
- Runny Nose
Severe adverse reactions may also manifest
If an individual notice these signs, then discontinue use at once and inform the doctor immediately. The symptoms to take note of include the following.
- Chest Pain
- Feeling Faint or Lightheaded
- Signs of an Infection (Chills, Sore Throat, Fever)
- Swelling of Various Parts of the Body
- Trouble Swallowing or Breathing
- Yellowing of Eyes or Skin
Some of the rare side effects that one should also be on the lookout for include the following
- Abnormal Liver Function
- Acute Inflammation of the Pancreas
- Acute Kidney or Liver Failure
- Decreased Blood Platelets or White Blood Cells
- Hemolytic Anemia
- Hypotension When Upright
- Increased Eosinophils in Blood
- Low Sodium in Blood
For symptoms of acute kidney failure, the following signs and symptoms may manifest
- Shortness of Breath
- Swelling Specifically in Ankles, Feet, and Hands
- Weight Gain
For signs associated with acute liver failure, these include the following
- Elevated Liver Enzymes
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Stomach Pain
- Yellowing of the Whites of the Eyes and of the Skin
A life-threatening allergic reaction to Lisinopril may also occur
The symptoms associated with a hypersensitive reaction to the drug include the following.
- Trouble Swallowing or Breathing
- Swelling of Throat, Tongue, Lips, or Face
- Stomach Pain Unaccompanied by Nausea or Vomiting
If any of the Lisinopril side effects mentioned above whether common, severe, or rare are manifested, then stop taking the drug and get medical attention right away. For individuals experiencing life-threatening symptoms, it is best to call 911 or have someone take them to the nearest hospital.