lisinopril, Zestril, Prinivil (cont.)

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ACE is important because it is an enzyme responsible for producing the chemical, angiotensin II. Angiotensin II causes muscles in most arteries, including the arteries of the heart, to contract, thereby narrowing the arteries and elevating blood pressure. ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril lower blood pressure by reducing the production of angiotensin II, thereby relaxing arterial muscle and enlarging arteries. When the blood pressure is lower, the heart - including the failing heart - does not have to work as hard to pump blood. The arteries supplying the heart with blood also enlarge during treatment with ACE inhibitors. This increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart, further improving the ability of the heart to pump blood.

The effects of ACE inhibitors are particularly beneficial to people with congestive heart failure. In the kidneys, the narrowing of the arteries by angiotensin II decreases blood flow and damages the kidneys. ACE inhibitors enlarge and reduce the blood pressure in the arteries going to the kidney. This reduces damage to the kidneys caused by the high blood pressure. The FDA approved lisinopril in December 1987.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Lisinopril is used to treat elevated blood pressure, heart failure and to improve survival after a heart attack (myocardial infarction). Like other ACE inhibitors it is also used for preventing kidney failure due to high blood pressure or diabetes even though it is not FDA approved for this use.

SIDE EFFECTS: First doses of lisinopril can cause dizziness due to a drop in blood pressure.

Lisinopril also can cause:

Like all ACE inhibitors, lisinopril may cause a nonproductive cough that resolves when the drug is discontinued.

Lisinopril should be stopped if there are symptoms or signs of an allergic reaction including feelings of swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat. Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) and hives occasionally occur.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/18/2014


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