Lisinopril is prescribed to patients with high blood pressure. Lowering a person’s blood pressure will help to prevent heart attacks and strokes in addition to kidney issues. It can also be used for patients who have a history of heart attacks as a way to improve their survival rate. Classified as an ACE inhibitor, this medication is designed to relax the blood vessels so that the blood can flow more freely. The side effects of Lisinopril can range from mild to severe. It’s important that you speak with both your physician and pharmacist regarding what side effects to expect and to also inform them of any other types of medication you are taking in order to prevent any adverse effects from occurring.
So, what are the common side effects associated with Lisinopril use? What type of side effects will warrant a call to your doctor?
Read on to learn more about Lisinopril use, drug interactions, and the dangers of alcohol use while taking this medication.
Side Effects of Lisinopril
Your physician may want to meet with you one week after you have begun taking Lisinopril, in order to run tests and determine how Lisinopril is affecting you. You may also be asked to keep track of your blood pressure, which will help the physician to see if your dosage needs to be adjusted.
While Lisinopril and side effects are not common, you should speak with your physician immediately if you experience any of these side effects while taking this drug:
• Unusual weakness
• Increased fatigue
• Faintness when standing or sitting
• Cloudy urine
• Blurred vision
• Excessive sweating
• A decrease in urine output.
Less common side effects that have been associated with this drug include:
• Chest pain
• Body aches
• Abdominal pain
• Difficulty breathing
• Ear congestion
• Loss of voice
• Runny nose
• Nasal congestion
• Sore throat
Rare side effects for Lisinopril include:
• Chest discomfort
• Back or arm pain
• Heaviness or tightness in the jaw
• Loss of appetite
• Irregular heartbeat
• A general feeling of illness or discomfort
• Joint pain
• Muscle pain
• Trouble sleeping
Some of the side effects that occur with this medication may not require medical attention. As a person’s body adjusts to Lisinopril during treatment, many of these side effects will go away on their own. Your doctor can also tell you how you can prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Should any of the following side effects continue, check with your doctor regarding a change of medication:
• Decreased libido
• Loss or lack of strength
Why Your Physician May Have You Continue with Lisinopril Despite Side Effects
Often, if minor side effects persist after the first one to two weeks of use, your physician may prescribe an additional medication to treat those specific side effects. As an example, if a patient is suffering from diarrhea, your physician will prescribe medication to treat these episodes. Despite the occurrence of certain side effects your physician may require you to continue taking this medication if the benefits outweigh the risks for side effects or adverse effects.
The Effects of Lisinopril and Alcohol
As we mentioned earlier, Lisinopril belongs to a group of medications known as ACE inhibitors. This medication is used to treat hypertension and congestive heart failure. It can also be prescribed to patients with a history of heart attacks. If you have been prescribed this medication your physician will explain how to take it and why you need to avoid mixing Lisinopril and alcohol.
What Happens When You Mix Lisinopril and Alcohol?
Aside from causing unwanted side effects, the use of alcohol while you’re taking Lisinopril can also negatively impact the drug’s effectiveness.
Another reason why you should never mix alcohol with Lisinopril is the fact that it can cause your blood pressure to skyrocket, while others may experience a significant drop in blood pressure.
When your blood pressure drops as a result of consuming alcohol, you may experience extreme dizziness.
You should seek medical attention if you experience any of the following signs of adverse effects of Lisinopril and alcohol:
• Facial swelling
• Difficulty breathing
• Severe abdominal pain
Call your physician at once if you experience severe side effects such as:
• Feeling faint
• Body aches
• Chest pain
• Rapid weight gain
Less severe side effects you may experience when mixing alcohol with Lisinopril include:
• Mild rash
• Depressed mood
The Dangers of Alcohol Use During Treatment
Lisinopril and alcohol together can further lower a person’s blood pressure and can also increase certain side effects for this drug. You should not use salt substitutes or a potassium supplement while taking this drug, unless your physician has instructed you to do so. Vomiting diarrhea and excessive sweating can cause dehydration, which can also affect your blood pressure.
Studies have shown that Lisinopril and alcohol can increase the effects of hypertension. While moderate consumption of alcohol may not cause harm, alcohol abuse has been associated with liver and kidney damage.
When drinking alcohol, it is easily absorbed into the small intestine and once it reaches the liver, the hepatic cells will have to work much harder to metabolize large amounts of alcohol. A heavy drinker will also be at risk for developing kidney disease.
Arterial Plaque Formation
Drinking alcohol while taking Lisinopril can also affect the formation of arterial plaque. When this plaque accumulates the arteries will become constricted, which can affect blood flow. This will result in more pressure being placed on the arterial walls. Since alcohol affects the function of the organ systems it also increases a person’s risk factor for hypertension. This results in the decreased effectiveness of the drug. Alcohol can also affect how efficiently the medication is absorbed and metabolized.
While consuming alcohol occasionally may not cause harm, it will ultimately depend on a person’s overall health, how much they drink, and how often.
How Your Doctor Can Help
Lisinopril is currently one of the most commonly prescribed medications for hypertension. The popularity of this drug is due to its low risk of side effects and adverse effects when taken with other medications. If you have a drinking problem, discuss this with your physician, who may need to prescribe a different medication to treat your condition or they can provide you with resources that can help you to stop drinking.