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Lisinopril Side Effects

Some people will experience lisinopril side effects. Lisinopril is a drug that lowers blood pressure. It belongs to a group of medications, called ACE (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme) inhibitors. ACE inhibitors prevent blood vessels from constricting or tightening and this results in a decrease in blood pressure. Lisinopril is prescribed for people with hypertension (high blood pressure), for patients with heart failure, patients with diabetes, or for patients after a heart attack when the heart is weakened and damaged. Although lisinopril is a relatively safe drug and is widely prescribed, it can have minor or major side effects in some patients.

Minor Lisinopril Side Effects

Some minor lisinopril side effects may occur when patients first start taking lisinopril, and will go away after a short period. If symptoms disappear, patients do not need medical attention.

  • Cough: A cough is a common complaint with lisinopril. If it is persistent and becomes severe, tell your doctor.
  • Headache: Headache is another common side effect of lisinopril. It may disappear in a few days after starting on lisinopril.
  • Light-headedness and dizziness: Light-headedness and dizziness may be caused by low blood pressure. If you faint, stop taking lisinopril and call your doctor.
  • Low blood sugar: If you have diabetes, lisinopril may decrease your blood sugar. (This is not true. Perhaps the writer was confused with beta-blockers, which can mask hypoglycemia).

Major Lisinopril Side Effects

Minor side effects of lisinopril, if persistent, may indicate a serious problem. Taking lisinopril with other medications or alcohol may also cause serious side effects. Tell your doctor about all medications and supplements that you are taking. Your health status may also affect the development of lisinopril side effects.

  • Effect on pregnancy: Lisinopril and other ACE inhibitors can cause birth defects or death of the fetus.
  • Angioedema: In angioedema, your face, arms, legs, lips, tongue, or eyes swell. You may also have difficulty swallowing, breathing; and you may experience severe stomach pain. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms after taking lisinopril. Angiodema is a rare, but serious side effect of lisinopril. African-Americans are several times more likely to experience angioedema than the general population.
  • Flu-like symptoms: Call your doctor, if you have flu-like symptoms, such as chills and fever, sore throat, and extreme tiredness, after taking lisinopril. You may have an immune disorder such as neutropenia or leukopenia.
  • Kidney problems: Lisinopril may affect kidney function. Patients with kidney disease may progress to kidney failure when taking lisinopril or other ACE inhibitors.

Reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Monti, MD, MPH

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