Lisinopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme, which helps to clean chemicals that cause tightening of the blood vessels out of your system. This will allow your blood to flow smoothly and put less pressure on the heart so that your heart can pump more efficiently. This medication is often prescribed to those with high blood pressure or recovering from heart failure and heart attack. These medications will help you manage your symptoms, but it will not cure them. You will need to talk with your doctor about what long term care will be necessary in order to manage your condition.
Indications and Usage
Lisinopril is prescribed to help treat high blood pressure. This is often prescribed along with other medication and care to help prevent heart failure. In some cases this medication will be prescribed to aid in recovery after a heart attack. This medication comes in a tablet which is to be swallowed whole.
- In most cases, you will be started on a lower dose of lisinopril which will be increased as necessary to help manage your condition. Do not adjust your dosage without instructions from your doctor to do so. Lisinopril may not work properly if it is not taken the way it has been prescribed.
- You may take lisinopril with or without food, but you should take your medication with a full glass of water. Try to take your dose around the same time every day to help ensure that there is a consistent amount of the drug in your system.
- If you miss a dose, you should not double up to make up for those that you have missed. Take your missed doses as soon as you remember, unless it is close to the time when you should be taking your next dose.
- Most adults using lisinopril to treat congestive heart failure will be started on 5 mg per day in addition to dioxin or diuretics. Your condition should be monitored to ensure that these drugs are reacting the way they should be to manage your condition. If your condition has progressed as it should for two weeks, your dosage will be increased by up to 10 mg, determined by your progress.
Adults treating heart failure will be started on a dose of 2.5 mg per day, which will be increased as necessary.
Adults who have suffered a heart attack may be given a high stabilizing dose within 24 hours of the event to help ensure survival. These doses are often 5 mg, and may be increased to 10 mg for the next 48 hours. In the case of a serious reaction, you may be required to take 10 mg of lisinopril daily for up to six weeks after your heart attack.
Children ages 6 and older should be limited to 5 mg per day. Those under the age of 6 should not be given lisinopril.
Elderly patients run an increased risk of extreme low blood pressure and renal dysfunction. Those already suffering from renal dysfunction are especially at risk. Talk with your doctor about these risks before starting your prescription. You may be required to use a lower dose to avoid this risk.
Those using peroral antidiabetic medication or insulin may be at an increased risk of developing hypoglycemia while using lisinopril.
Lisinopril Side Effects
- The most common side effects of lisinopril include cough, headache, dizziness, diarrhea, tiredness, and extreme low blood pressure. In most cases these side effects are not signs of a serious condition, but they should be reported to your doctor to ensure that you do not require any additional care or an alteration to your prescription sizing. If your low blood pressure is causing severe dizziness, light-headedness or fainting contact emergency medical services to get assistance. Ask a medical professional if you should continue taking your medication as directed. Do not stop taking lisinopril suddenly without being told to do so.
- Patients using lisinopril may also experience fatigue, nausea, palpitations, fluid overload, decreased urination, dyspenea, sneezing, runny nose, unexplained rash, upper respiratory infections, decrease in sexual desire, impotence, vomiting, increased salivation, heartburn, constipation, jaundice, swelling, insomnia or muscle cramps. These side effects are not common, but should be reported to your doctor to ensure that your condition is progressing the way it should be. If your side effects do not lessen over time, let your doctor know so that you can adjust your prescription as necessary.
If you begin to suffer from tightness in the chest, hives, itching, rash, swelling of the hands or face, or hoarseness that comes on suddenly, you may be having an allergic reaction to lisinopril. Contact emergency medical services immediately to determine how to proceed.
- Medications known to interact with lisinopril include other blood pressure medications, gold injections, lithium, salt substitutes, insulin or other diabetes medication, aspirin, NSAIDs, and diuretics. Let your doctor know about any medications that you are currently taking to avoid a potentially dangerous interaction which could make your condition worse.
- In many cases, your doctor will tell you to avoid salt substitutes that include potassium while using lisinopril to ensure that there is not too much of this element in your system. You may also be placed on a low-sodium diet to help manage your heart condition. Do not make any drastic changes to your diet or lifestyle without informing your doctor. Some physical conditions may not be safe to perform shortly after a heart attack.
- You may feel dizzy if you get up from a lying position quickly while using this medication. Make a point to get up slowly and take time to steady yourself to avoid falling. You should not drink alcohol while using lisinopril as it can make your heart condition worse or increase your risk for side effects. Dizziness while standing from a lying position also becomes worse when using alcohol with lisinopril.