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Lisinopril Patient Tips

Medically reviewed on Jul 24, 2017 by C. Fookes, BPharm.

How it works

  • Lisinopril inhibits an enzyme called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). This enzyme is involved in the production of angiotensin II, a powerful vasoconstrictor (narrows the arteries), which also stimulates the release of the hormone aldosterone from the adrenal glands (aldosterone increases blood pressure). By inhibiting this enzyme, lisinopril dilates (opens up) the arteries, reduces how hard the heart has to work to pump blood around the body, and lowers blood pressure.
  • Lisinopril belongs to a group of medicines known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.


  • May be used to treat high blood pressure in adults and in children over the age of six. Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of further fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events (such as strokes and heart attacks).
  • Effective at reducing the signs and symptoms of heart failure.
  • May increase survival odds when given within 24 hours of a heart attack (myocardial infarction).
  • Generic lisinopril is available.


If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • A headache and dizziness (the dizziness may be due to the blood pressure lowering effect of lisinopril and may be more apparent when going from a lying down to a sitting or standing position). Dizziness may also increase the risk of falls.
  • A dry, persistent cough is also commonly reported. Blurred vision, sweating, urine changes, and increases in creatinine and potassium may also occur.
  • Rarely, lisinopril may adversely affect kidney function. Monitoring of kidney function and potassium levels should occur periodically in those receiving lisinopril.
  • Allergic reactions, including angioedema (swelling of airways and facial areas), are rare, but possible after lisinopril administration. The risk may be increased in people who have already experienced angioedema unrelated to ACE inhibitor administration, and in people of African-American descent.
  • Dosages greater than 80mg may not be associated with a greater effect.
  • The dosage of lisinopril may need adjusting in people with moderate-to-severe kidney disease.
  • May interact with some other medications including other antihypertensives, medicines that also retain potassium, diuretics, NSAIDs, lithium, injectable sodium aurothiomalate and aliskiren.

Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects, click here.

Bottom Line

Lisinopril can be used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and to increase survival following a heart attack. However, development of a dry, hacking cough attributable to the drug may force discontinuation.


  • Can be taken without regard to meals.
  • Treatments that lower blood pressure, such as lisinopril, should always be part of a comprehensive cardiovascular risk reduction plan that also targets, if appropriate, cholesterol lowering, diabetes risk reduction, exercise, weight loss, and smoking cessation.
  • Ensure adequate hydration before starting lisinopril.
  • Lisinopril may make you feel dizzy, especially in the first few weeks of therapy and when going from a sitting or lying down position to standing. Always take your time when standing up. Talk with your doctor if this feeling persists.
  • Call emergency services if your throat, face or lips show signs of swelling.
  • Your doctor should monitor your kidney function and potassium levels regularly.
  • For high blood pressure, continue this medication even if you feel well. High blood pressure does not usually have symptoms.
  • Do not use salt substitutes or potassium supplements while taking lisinopril, unless recommended by your doctor.
  • If you also have diabetes, you may need to monitor your blood sugar levels more closely during the first few weeks of lisinopril therapy.
  • Do not use lisinopril if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

Response and Effectiveness

  • Starts to lower blood pressure within an hour of administration with peak effects seen within 6 hours.
  • Lower doses may be needed in kidney impairment.


Lisinopril [Package Insert]. Revised 06/2017. Aidarex Pharmaceuticals LLC

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use lisinopril only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. It is an informational resource designed as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of this information. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2018 Revision Date: 2017-11-07 23:16:29