An angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activates the production of the vasoconstrictor angiotensin II, which causes the constriction of blood vessels. Lisinopril tablets work as ACE inhibitors, and dilate blood vessels. Some of the many uses of lisinopril tablets are to manage hypertension, or high blood pressure, prevent heart failure in high-risk patients, and to increase the chances of survival following an acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack.
Hypertension occurs when blood vessels shrink, making the heart work harder to force blood through the narrow blood vessels. If left untreated, hypertension can cause an irregular heartbeat, chest pain, and eventually congestive heart failure. The ACE inhibitor lisinopril prevents the narrowing of blood vessels by suppressing the angiotensin-converting enzyme. Lisinopril tablets are approved for use in children with hypertension as young as six years old.
Lisinopril tablets are typically used in conjunction with other drugs to help maintain the health of patents at high risk for heart failure when the usual course of treatment with diuretics and digitalis fails. Heart failure occurs when the heart is stressed by disease or defect. When employed to aid in the prevention of heart failure, lisinopril tablets opens the blood vessels, relieving some of the pressure on the ailing heart, and gives the patient and doctors time to address the problems which are contributing to the risk of heart failure.
Administering lisinopril tablets, along with blood thinners and beta blockers, approximately twenty-four hours after an acute myocardial infarction may promote survival by facilitating stable blood circulation. The improved success rate is most likely produced by reducing the stress on the damaged heart by opening blood vessels and by promoting healing from improved circulation. The benefits are not as pronounced in patients of African American descent. For this group of patients, another course of drugs may produce better results.
The initial dose of lisinopril tablets is usually fairly low and then the dose is gradually increased, while monitoring blood pressure, until the desired healthy pressure has been achieved. Side effects of lisinopril tablets are a dry cough, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, and fatigue. ACE inhibitors may interfere with the destruction of waste in the lungs, causing a persistent dry cough in about one third of its users. If dry cough develops and is interfering with daily life, it may be necessary to try a different ACE inhibitor. The side effects diarrhea, headache, dizziness, and fatigue usually only last until the body has adjusted to the lower blood pressure.