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- What is lisinopril, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the side effects of lisinopril?
- Why does lisinpril cause a cough?
- What is the dosage of lisinopril, and how should I take it?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with medication?
- What brand names are available for lisinopril?
- Is lisinopril available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for this medication?
- Is this drug safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about this medicaiton?
What is lisinopril, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Lisinopril is an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor used for treating high blood pressure, heart failure and for preventing kidney failure due to high blood pressure and diabetes. Other ACE inhibitors include:
- enalapril (Vasotec)
- quinapril (Accupril)
- captopril (Capoten)
- fosinopril (Monopril)
- benazepril (Lotensin)
- ramipril (Altace)
- moexipril (Univasc)
- trandolapril (Mavik)
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.
What are the side effects of lisinopril?
First doses of lisinopril can cause dizziness due to a drop in blood pressure.
This drug 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.
What is the dosage of lisinopril, and how should I take it?
- The starting dose of lisinopril for treating heart failure is 5 mg daily, and the effective dose range for treating heart failure is 5-40 mg daily. The dose can be increased by 10 mg every 2 weeks to achieve the maximum effect.
- The starting dose of lisinopril for treating high blood pressure is 10 mg daily. The usual dose range is 20-40 mg daily. A dose of 80 mg is not much more effective than 40 mg.
- Treatment of heart attack is started with an initial dose of 5 mg followed by 5 mg after 24 hours, 10 mg after 48 hours, and then 10 mg daily. Treatment is continued for 6 weeks.
Which drugs or supplements interact with medication?
In general, lisinopril should not be taken with potassium supplements or diuretics that conserve potassium, for example, hydrochlorothiazide/triamterene (Dyazide), since blood potassium levels may rise to dangerous levels.
There have been reports that aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and many others), indomethacin (Indocin, Indocin-SR), and naproxen (Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve) may reduce the effects of ACE inhibitors.
Nitritoid reactions (symptoms of facial flushing, nausea, vomiting and hypotension) may occur when injectable gold sodium aurothiomalate used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, is combined with ACE inhibitors, including lisinopril.
What brand names are available for lisinopril?
Zestril, Prinivil, and Qbrelis are the brand names available for this drug.
Is this drug safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil, Qbrelis) is an ACE inhibitor prescribed for the treatment of:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Heart attack survival
- Preventing kidney failure due to high blood pressure
Side effects are, nasal congestion, anxiety, headaches, insomnia, drowsiness, and nausea. ACE inhibitors may cause a nonproductive cough that resolves once you stop taking the drug. Drug interactions include potassium supplements or derivatives of potassium, lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen), and symptoms of flushing; high blood pressure; nausea; and vomiting. Warnings and precautions, pregnancy information, and other safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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- ramipril (Altace)
- Congestive Heart Failure Medications
- captopril (Capoten)
- benazepril (Lotensin HTC)
- enalapril (Vasotec, Epaned)
- trandolapril, Mavik
- quinapril, Accupril
- lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide, Zestoretic, Prinzide
- fosinopril sodium, Monopril
- benazepril and hydrochlorothiazide, Lotensin HCT
- enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide, Vaseretic
- captopril and hydrochlorothiazide, Capozide
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.