Frequently asked questions for Lisinopril
Q. What is Lisinopril? What is it used for?Lisinopril belongs to a group of medicines known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It relaxes and widens the blood vessels, making it easier for the blood to pass through the vessels. As a result of this, the heart does not have to work more to push the blood. Since the workload on the heart is reduced, it helps to lower the blood pressure and thus reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Q. What should I tell my doctor before taking Lisinopril?Before taking Lisinopril you must tell your doctor if you are allergic to Lisinopril or any of its ingredients. You must tell the doctor if you have any problems related to heart, liver, kidneys (if you are on dialysis) or blood, such as a low white blood cell count (neutropenia or agranulocytosis). Inform your doctor if you have diabetes, irregular blood pressure or if you have recently had diarrhea or vomiting. Let your doctor know about all the other medicines you are taking because they may affect, or be affected by, this medicine. Consult your doctor before taking Lisinopril if you are planning to conceive, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding to avoid any harmful effects on the baby.
Q. After starting Lisinopril, I have developed dry cough which is very irritating and is not getting better with any medicine. What should I do now?Lisinopril may cause dry cough, as a side effect in some people. This can be persistent and may not be relieved by any medicine. Talk to your doctor if it bothers you or if you have trouble sleeping. Your doctor may suggest ways of managing the cough or may prescribe another medicine. Remember, do not stop taking Lisinopril without consulting your doctor as it may increase your blood pressure and put you at a risk of developing a heart attack or stroke. Even if you stop taking Lisinopril, the cough may take a few days to a month to resolve completely.
Q. What time of the day should I take Lisinopril?Lisinopril should be taken at the same time each day to reduce the chances of a missed dose. Take it in the dose and duration prescribed by the doctor. Your doctor may advise you to take your first dose before bedtime, because it can make you dizzy. After the first dose, if you do not feel dizzy, you may take Lisinopril at any time of the day. Your dose will depend on the condition you are being treated for and therefore, it will vary from person to person. If you experience any side effects while taking Lisinopril, please consult your doctor.
Q. I feel better after taking Lisinopril, can I stop taking it?No, continue taking Lisinopril even if you feel better and your blood pressure is under control. Stopping Lisinopril suddenly may cause your blood pressure to increase and your chances of stroke or heart attack may rise. Usually once you start taking any medicine for controlling blood pressure, you have to continue taking it life long unless you cannot tolerate it.
Q. Can Lisinopril affect my fertility?There is no evidence that Lisinopril has any effect on fertility in both men and women. However, if you are planning to get pregnant, consult your doctor first. This is because Lisinopril is not recommended in pregnancy.
Q. Will Lisinopril make me feel dizzy? What should I do about it?Yes, Lisinopril may make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. If Lisinopril makes you feel dizzy when you stand up, try getting up very slowly or stay seated until you feel better. If you begin to feel dizzy, lie down so that you don't faint, then sit until you feel better. Don’t drive, do not use tools or machines and avoid anything requiring concentration while you're feeling dizzy or shaky.
Q. I have diabetes. Does Lisinopril have any effect on blood sugar levels?Yes, Lisinopril may have some effect on antidiabetic medicines or insulin and may lower your blood sugar levels. Therefore, you need to check your blood sugar levels regularly.
Q. What other lifestyle changes should I make while taking Lisinopril?Lifestyle changes play a major role in keeping you healthy if you are taking Lisinopril. Avoid taking excess salt in your diet and find ways to reduce or manage stress in your life. Practice yoga or meditation or take up a hobby. Ensure that you have a sound sleep every night as this also helps to reduce stress levels and helps to keep your blood pressure normal. Stop smoking and alcohol consumption as this helps in lowering your blood pressure and preventing heart problems. Exercise regularly and take a balanced diet that includes whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables and fat-free products. Consult your doctor if you need any further guidance to get the maximum benefit of Lisinopril and to keep yourself healthy.
Q. Can Lisinopril increase potassium levels? If so, what should be done?Lisinopril may increase potassium levels in the blood, especially if you have uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, kidney problems and dehydration. Also, potassium levels may increase in patients who are using potassium salts or medicines or are aged more than 70 years of age. Therefore, if you have any of these conditions and are using Lisinopril, be careful and get regular blood tests done to monitor potassium levels.