Lisinopril is a prescribed drug that belongs to the class of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, used to treat high blood pressure in adults and children over the age of six. Addressing high blood pressure is crucial in preventing heart attacks, strokes, and other health issues. To ensure the safety of this medication, it is vital to understand its administration, precautions, potential adverse effects, and additional details. In this piece, you will find valuable information concerning Lisinopril.

What it is and how to use it

The Lisinopril drug class functions by relaxing blood vessels in the body, ensuring smoother blood flow. This medication achieves this effect by inhibiting the angiotensin-converting enzyme involved in vasoconstriction and the release of aldosterone from the adrenal glands. As the enzyme is inhibited, the arteries can dilate appropriately, making it easier for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. Blood pressure is lowered as blood flows more efficiently, and the heart doesn’t need to work as hard.

To attain a stable reduction in blood pressure, it is crucial to take the medication for 2-4 weeks. The effect is maintained by continuing the medication. Abrupt discontinuation of Lisinopril does not cause a rapid or significant increase in blood pressure compared to levels before using the drug.

This medication is designed for once-daily intake and is typically recommended to be taken around the same time each day. Medical professionals often advise taking the first dose before bedtime in case of dizziness.

Consume a single dose of this medication with a glass of water. It can be taken with or without food, as this does not impact its absorption.

Dosages of Lisinopril (Zestril): 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg

Lisinopril dosages come in various options, such as 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg. Your physician should determine the precise dosage needed for your treatment, considering your condition, contraindications, blood potassium levels, and other factors.

For adults, the average starting dose of this medication ranges from 2.5 mg to 10 mg. The maximum daily dose, with a doctor’s approval, is 80 mg. Lisinopril should be gradually increased, as consuming large doses suddenly may cause adverse reactions.

The typical maintenance dosage for high blood pressure is 20 mg of Lisinopril per day, while a recent heart attack typically requires a daily dosage of 10 mg. Regardless of the prescribed amount, do not increase the dosage without consulting a healthcare professional first.

The treatment duration is dependent on your condition. After a heart attack, the drug is often prescribed for an average of 6 weeks. For heart failure and chronic high blood pressure, the treatment may be long-term or even lifelong.

What are the side effects of Lisinopril?

In most cases, Lisinopril side effects can be prevented when you follow your doctor’s instructions and take only the recommended dosage. The majority of people who take this drug under supervision don’t experience serious adverse reactions.

When your body is still adjusting to the drug, it’s possible to get the following reactions:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dry cough

A cough associated with generic Lisinopril is among the most frequently reported side effects by patients. Traditional cough medicine is ineffective for this type of cough, so if it persists and causes discomfort, you may need to switch to a different hypertension medication.

It is essential to notify your doctor about any side effects, particularly if they worsen, as a dosage adjustment may be necessary. If you experience dizziness, remember to move cautiously and avoid standing up too quickly.

Serious side effects of Lisinopril that require immediate medical attention include:

  • Increased potassium levels (irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness)
  • Fainting
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems (nausea, dark urine, stomach pain)
  • Yellowing of the skin of eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightening of the chest
  • Any sign of bleeding

While allergic reactions to this drug are not common, you should pay attention to any suspicious symptoms. If you get a rash, difficulty breathing, swelling in the tongue/face/throat, you should get emergency medical help and stop taking the drug.

Lisinopril and erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a prevalent sexual health issue affecting men, particularly as they age. Various studies have shown that certain hypertension medications can impact sexual function in some men, leading to ED. However, with Lisinopril, this side effect is relatively uncommon, affecting only about 3% of men who take the drug on average.

Additionally, the positive news is that for men who do not typically experience ED, this side effect is usually temporary and occurs only during the initial months of treatment. The American Journal of Hypertension published a study conducted on a group of men aged 40 to 50, which found that as these men continued taking Lisinopril, their sexual function returned to normal over time.

If you have recently started taking Lisinopril and notice ED symptoms, it is highly likely that this issue will resolve itself. Nonetheless, it is important to inform your doctor so they are aware of your reaction to the medication.

Which precautions are important?

Ensuring that this medication is safe for you before initiating treatment is a crucial step. First, examine the list of ingredients to determine if you may have an allergy to any components in the medication. Both active and inactive ingredients can cause allergic reactions, so be attentive to both. If you have experienced side effects from taking other ACE inhibitors, inform your doctor.

Many people are curious about the compatibility of Lisinopril and alcohol. Since Lisinopril is known to cause dizziness in some patients, it is essential to avoid alcohol consumption at the beginning of the treatment. Throughout the treatment, alcohol intake should be limited, and it is necessary to consult your doctor about the permissible amount in your specific situation.

Are there any contraindications?

You should always consider your contraindications before taking any drug, including Lisinopril. During your doctor’s appointment, you should provide detailed information on your medical history and any surgeries you may have had.

In the case of Lisinopril, you should tell a medical advisor if you suffer from any allergies or undergo blood filtering procedures, such as dialysis or LDL apheresis.

The health problems that are considered contraindications to taking Lisinopril include the following:

  • Increased levels of potassium in the blood
  • Dehydration as a result of vomiting or diarrhea
  • Severe dizziness

The medication should not be used by pregnant women. If you are breastfeeding, you should tell your doctor so that they can decide whether you can take Lisinopril.

Drug interactions

Another important precaution is drug interactions. Some medications should not be taken concurrently or even on the same day, as their combination may lead to side effects or reduce each other’s potency.

To avoid interactions, inform your doctor about all over-the-counter and prescription medications, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. The list of drugs that interact with Lisinopril is quite extensive, so always consult your doctor before taking any other medications while using Lisinopril.

Some of the medications that interact with Lisinopril include the following:

  • Medications that increase potassium levels in the blood (some birth control pills, ARBs)
  • Sacubitril
  • Aliskiren
  • Medications that affect the immune system (sirolimus, everolimus, and more)
  • Injections for wasp or bee sting allergy
  • Amifostine
  • Allopurinol
  • Amphetamines
  • Lithium
  • Diuretics
  • Antipsychotic rugs
  • Levodopa

This is not a comprehensive list of drugs that may interact with Lisinopril, which is why adhering to the approved list of products and drugs is so important. In addition to contraindications, there are drugs that can increase your blood pressure and you should be aware of them. There are a number of dietary supplements, NSAIDs, and also drugs to treat colds that may interfere with your treatment because of their hypertensive influence. You should consult your doctor and avoid consuming them to keep your blood pressure levels stable.

Storage recommendations

It is important to carefully store this medication to ensure that it doesn’t get damaged or spoiled before its expiration date. The drug should be kept in a cool dark place away from the sources of heat and moisture. It is best to keep it in its original packaging and it’s also important to store it out of the reach of children and pets.

If you notice any changes in the appearance of the tablets (change of texture, color, shape, etc.), you should not hesitate to throw them away. Never consume tablets after the expiration date stated on the packaging.


It is crucial to acknowledge that this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. We cannot be held responsible for the accuracy or relevance of the information provided regarding Lisinopril. Only a doctor can determine if the medication is appropriate for you. It is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication, including Lisinopril. The information presented in this article is general in nature and may not apply to every patient. Self-medication can be harmful to your health as you may not be aware of all necessary precautions. For this reason, it is important to seek the guidance of a professional before making any decisions regarding treatment.