What is Lisinopril?

Mary McMahon

Lisinopril is a medication used in the management of high blood pressure, and also sometimes in cases of congestive heart failure. This medication is provided by prescription only and patients may need to be checked during the course of the drug therapy to make sure the dosage is appropriate. It can be used in combination therapy with other drugs for some cases of hypertension, and a doctor will discuss the plans for combination therapy with the patient.

For patients who have had recent heart attacks, lisinopril may help prevent further heart attacks.
For patients who have had recent heart attacks, lisinopril may help prevent further heart attacks.

This drug is in a class of hypertension medications called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. These medications work by reducing levels of a chemical used to signal tightening of the blood vessels. With lower levels of the chemical in the body, the blood vessels stay relaxed and open, keeping blood pressure low. One potential risk is having blood pressure drop too low, as seen when patients become dehydrated or if patients combine other drugs known to reduce blood pressure with lisinopril. It is important to drink lots of fluids while on this drug to keep blood pressure levels stable.

A doctor can offer consultation on the use of lisinopril.
A doctor can offer consultation on the use of lisinopril.

This medication can cause gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea and vomiting. Some patients develop fatigue, dizziness, swelling, coughs, or rashes. Some lisinopril side effects can be signs of a serious complication, like kidney damage or injury to the stomach. If patients faint, develop yellowish skin or eyes, or experience extremely severe side effects, they should discuss them with a doctor. The dosage may need to be adjusted, or the medication may need to be discontinued.

Patients on lisinopril should make sure the drug is listed in their charts and at the pharmacies where they fill prescriptions. This will allow medical care providers to identify potentially hazardous drug interactions before they occur, avoiding administration of a drug that will interact poorly with lisinopril. It is advisable to consult doctors about over-the-counter drugs in case they could pose a problem. Patients managing their blood pressure through dietary means should also discuss the amount of salt and potassium in their diets while they are on this medication.

Studies on lisinopril have shown dangers to developing fetuses. This medication should not be taken by patients who are pregnant, and if a pregnancy develops while on the drug, its use should be discontinued immediately and an obstetrician should be consulted. It can cause fetal death or congenital problems, depending on when the fetus is exposed, the amount of drug being taken, and how long the exposure lasts.

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