Lisinopril is an Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitor which is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart failure. It prescribed to patients at risk of heart attack or stroke and is also used as treatment following a heart attack and in diabetic kidney disease.
When blood pressure is too high, your heart and arteries are forced to work much harder to pump blood around the body, which can lead to damaged vessels in the brain, heart and kidneys, heart failure, stroke, or kidney failure. ACE inhibitors like Lisinopril work by blocking the function of a substance in the body which causes blood vessels to constrict. Relaxing the blood vessels helps to lower blood pressure and increase the supply of oxygen to the heart.
The active ingredient in Lisinopril is lisinopril dihydrate.
The inactive ingredients in Lisinopril are mannitol, calcium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate, maize starch, pregelatinised starch, magnesium stearate and colloidal anhydrous silica.
Please Note: Different generic brands of Lisinopril may contain different inactive ingredients than those stated above.
Never start taking Lisinopril without the instruction of a doctor. You will be prescribed a low dose to start with to reduce the risk of side effects. Your dose can then be increased gradually until your blood pressure is controlled. Take Lisinopril once a day at the same time each day. Tablets should be swallowed whole with water and should not be crushed or split.
Like all medications, Lisinopril can cause side effects in some people. Stop taking Lisinopril and see a doctor immediately if you experience any the following serious side effects:
Speak to a doctor if any of the following less serious side effects persist for longer than a few days. Common side effects (affecting up to 1 in 10 people) include:
Uncommon side effects can affect up to 1 in 100 people and include:
The following rare side effects can affect up to 1 in 1,000 people:
Very rarely (1 in 10,000), patients may experience:
The following side effects have been reported, although their frequency is unknown:
Do NOT take Lisinopril if:
Before taking Lisinopril, tell your doctor if any of the following applies to you:
Before taking Lisinopril, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including those purchased over the counter without a prescription. In particular, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
Lisinopril does not cause side effects in most patients. However, it can cause some dizziness, particularly at first, so your doctor will start you on a low dose so that your body can adjust. If you feel dizzy, stop what you are doing and find somewhere to lie down until the feeling passes. Do not try to drive, ride a bike or operate heavy machinery. Some people report experiencing a dry, tickly cough while taking Lisinopril. If your cough persists, speak to your doctor about the possibility of switching to a different ACE inhibitor. Likewise, if you experience severe or prolonged headaches which persist for longer than a week, consult your doctor. Mild headaches can be managed by drinking plenty of fluids and taking painkillers where necessary.
Lisinopril does not affect fertility in men or women. However, you should let your doctor know if you are female and trying to get pregnant, as they may choose to prescribe an alternative form of high blood pressure treatment.
Lisinopril does not affect any type of contraception. However, if you have high blood pressure, some type of hormonal contraceptives (such as the combined contraceptive pill and the contraceptive patch) may not be suitable for you, and you should speak to your doctor about alternative forms of contraception.
It is not advised to take Lisinopril while pregnant, and should not be taken at all after the third month of pregnancy. Before starting Lisinopril, you must tell your doctor if you are planning on becoming pregnant. Lisinopril is also not suitable for women who are breastfeeding.
Lisinopril itself does not require you to make any lifestyle changes, but altering your lifestyle can help to reduce blood pressure and improve your overall wellbeing. Too much salt in the diet is the main cause of high blood pressure, so try and limit your intake to around 6g per day. Cut back on fatty foods and try to include plenty of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and lean proteins in your diet. Exercise regularly to keep your heart and blood vessels in good condition and to help relieve stress, another leading cause of high blood pressure. Where possible, reduce the impact of stress in your life by spending time with family and friends, going for walks and finding the time to relax. Quit smoking if you haven’t already done so and try to limit the amount of alcohol you drink to less than the recommended limit of 14 units per week.
All ACE inhibitors work in the same way and have similar side effects. Lisinopril is more suitable for patients with kidney problems, as it is the only ACE inhibitor to be passively excreted by the kidneys.
If you need treatment for high blood pressure, there are a few different options available. If you are experiencing troublesome side effects with ACE inhibitors, or if you are over the age of 55 or of Afro-Caribbean descent, an alternative treatment may be better suited to you. Diuretics can be prescribed to relax the walls of blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily, and are sometimes taken in combination with the ACE inhibitor Enalapril. Another alternative is beta-blockers, which work by slowing your heart rate and blocking the hormone angiotensin II, which causes vasoconstriction (narrowing of the arteries). The angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) Losartan, Irbesartan, Candesartan and Valsartan also work by blocking angiotensin II. Finally, calcium-channel blocker such as Amlodipine, Felodipine and Lercanidipine work by preventing calcium from causing blood vessels to constrict.
A doctor will be able to help you decide which treatment is right for you.
The only way to diagnose the condition is by a blood pressure test from your doctor, which you should request if you are at risk of developing the condition. You are more likely to have high blood pressure if you are obese or overweight, consume too much salt or alcohol, don’t exercise enough or are of African-Caribbean or South-Asian origin. Lisinopril can help to reduce blood pressure by widening blood vessels and easing strain on the heart.
Lisinopril is intended for long-term use and is usually taken for life.
Lisinopril is not addictive.
Lisinopril can reduce your blood pressure when taken in combination with an anaesthetic, so you should tell your doctor if your scheduled to undergo surgery while taking this medication. They may advise you to stop taking it 24 hours before surgery.