Lisinopril treats high blood pressure. This medication should not be used during pregnancy. Avoid salt substitutes containing potassium

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Pharmacist Trey Robinson, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Lisinopril
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Pharmacist Trey Robinson, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Lisinopril
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Lisinopril Overview

Reviewed: July 23, 2012

Lisinopril is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and to improve survival after a heart attack. Lisinopril belongs to a group of drugs called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which relax blood vessels to lower blood pressure and make the heart pump more efficiently.

This medication comes in tablet form and is usually taken once a day, with or without food.
Common side effects of lisinopril include cough, headache, and nausea. This medication can cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how it affects you.

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  • Diabetic Nephropathies
  • Heart Failure
  • Hypertension
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left

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Lisinopril Cautionary Labels


Uses of Lisinopril

Lisinopril is a prescription medication used:

  • alone or with other medications for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • with other medications in the management of congestive heart failure
  • to improve survival following a heart attack

Lisinopril is not recommended in children less than 6 years of age.

Lisinopril Brand Names

Lisinopril may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Lisinopril Drug Class

Lisinopril is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Lisinopril

Lisinopril may cause serious side effects. See "Precautions".

The most common side effects include:

  • cough
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • headache
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • body weakness
  • upper respiratory infections (cold, flu)
  • decrease in sexual ability (impotence, erectile dysfunction)
  • rash
  • excessive tiredness
  • chest pain
  • stomach pain
  • extreme low blood pressure

This is not a complete list of lisinopril side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Lisinopril Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • potassium-sparing diuretics such as:
  • other diuretics such as:
  • aliskiren (Tekturna)
  • angiotensin receptor blockers such as candesartan (Atacand), losartan (Cozaar), and telmisartan (Micardis, Twynsta)
  • aspirin and other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as:
    • celecoxib (Celebrex)
    • diclofenac (Cambia, Cataflam, Flector, Voltaren, Zipsor and others)
    • etodolac (Lodine)
    • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin)
    • indomethacin (Indocin, Indocin SR)
    • ketoprofen (Orudis, Actron, Oruvail)
    • ketorolac (Toradol)
    • meloxicam (Mobic)
    • nabumetone (Relafen)
    • naproxen (Naprosyn)
    • naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan)
    • oxaprozin (Daypro)
    • piroxicam (Feldene)
  • lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)
  • potassium supplements
  • injectable gold (sodium aurothiomalate)

This is not a complete list of lisinopril drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Lisinopril Precautions

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby and may even cause death. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away. See "FDA Warning" and "Pregnancy Section".

This medicine may cause anaphylaxis and other serious types of allergic reactions. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, mouth, or throat while you are using this medicine.

Lisinopril may cause a serious side effect known as angioedema, a rapid swelling of deep layers of the skin. Stop taking lisinopril and call your doctor right away if you have symptoms suggesting angioedema (swelling of face, extremities, eyes, lips, tongue, difficulty in swallowing or breathing).

Lisinopril may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position. Make sure you know how you react to the medicine before you drive, use machines, or do other things that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or not alert. 

Excessive sweating and dehydration can lead to a serious drop in blood pressure. Be sure to drink plenty of water during exercise and hot weather. Check with your doctor right away if you become sick while taking this medicine, especially with severe or continuing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. These conditions may cause you to lose too much water or salt and may lead to low blood pressure. 

Check with your doctor if you have a fever, chills, or sore throat. These could be symptoms of an infection resulting from low white blood cells.

Hyperkalemia (high potassium in the blood) may occur while you are receiving lisinopril. Symptoms of hyperkalemia include: abdominal or stomach pain, confusion, difficulty with breathing, irregular heartbeat, nausea or vomiting, nervousness, numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips, shortness of breath, or weakness or heaviness of the legs. Call your doctor right away if you have these symptoms. Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium without first checking with your doctor.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests, or if you have any questions, check with your doctor.

Keep all medical and laboratory appointments while taking lisinopril. It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Lisinopril Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of lisinopril there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving lisinopril.

Follow dietary (food) recommendations made by your doctor and dietitian which should include a healthy diet. If your doctor prescribes a low-salt or low-sodium diet, avoid using salt substitutes containing potassium.

Inform MD

Before receiving lisinopril, tell your doctor:

  • if you are allergic to lisinopril or any other medication
  • if you have or have ever had heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, lupus, scleroderma, or angioedema
  • if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Lisinopril and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Lisinopril is usually not recommended during pregnancy. It may harm your unborn baby. If you become pregnant while taking lisinopril call your doctor right away. See "FDA Warning".

Lisinopril and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if lisinopril is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.

Lisinopril Usage

Lisinopril tablets are taken by mouth, with or without food, usually once a day.

Take this medication at around the same time each day.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose.

Continue to take lisinopril even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor.

Lisinopril Dosage

Take lisinopril exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Your doctor will determine the best dose for you based on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • other conditions you may have
  • other medications you are taking

The dose range is 2.5 mg to 40 mg taken once daily.


Lisinopril Overdose

If you take too much lisinopril, call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

Store this medication at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture. Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Lisinopril FDA Warning


When used in pregnancy during the second and third trimesters, ACE inhibitors can cause injury and even death to the developing fetus. When pregnancy is detected, lisinopril should be discontinued as soon as possible.