Like all medicines, lisinopril may cause some side effects. Not everybody gets them, and some people only get mild side effects. Side effects from taking lisinopril will usually go away on their own after a few weeks. If they don’t, or you have any concerns about the side effects, you should speak to your doctor.
Common side effects include:
- a cough that will not go away
- feeling dizzy – this is very likely when you first start taking lisinopril or when you change dose
- being sick and/or diarrhoea
- skin rashes and itching
- blurring of your vision
These side effects are the ones that many people get when they first start to take lisinopril, but they should go away after some time.
Rare side effects include:
- skin or whites of the eyes turning yellow (jaundice) meaning that your liver is not functioning properly
- feeling tired, dizzy, or fainting
- paleness, bleeding, particularly from the gums, or bruising more easily
- sore throat, fever, getting infections more easily - this means there could be a problem with your blood cells
- a fast heart rate or tightness in your chest
- breathing difficulties including wheezing and shortness of breath
- very bad tummy pains
- difficulty peeing, blood in pee, or swelling around your ankles
- slurred speech or problems speaking, weakness in your arms and legs
Most people do not get rare or serious side effects from taking lisinopril. You should contact a doctor straight away if you get any of them. Feeling weak in your arms, legs, or having speech problems can be a sign of a stroke. You should call 999 for an ambulance right away.
Lisinopril can occasionally be linked to an allergic reaction called angioedema. This can cause swelling that may appear to be unexplained weight gain. You should call 999 or go to A&E straight away if you have this or any other signs of an allergic reaction.
What are the long-term side effects of lisinopril?
Lisinopril is normally prescribed for the long-term. It works best in this way to manage heart conditions and to keep blood pressure low. Lisinopril is considered safe to take for a long time and has few side effects when taken this way. As lisinopril has some effects on your kidneys, your doctor should check your kidney function regularly to make sure that they are working well.
Lisinopril and erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (difficulty in getting or keeping an erection) is not normally a side effect of taking lisinopril. However, high blood pressure itself may cause erectile dysfunction in some men. Treatment with ACE inhibitors has not been found to affect erectile dysfunction.
Does lisinopril cause weight gain?
Lisinopril is not known to cause weight gain in patients with high blood pressure, but having a high BMI can be a reason that some people develop problems with blood pressure.
Lisinopril can be affected by other medicines that you might take. You should always tell your doctor about other medications you use including:
- over the counter medicines that you don’t need a prescription for
- herbal medicines
- any other prescription medicine you are taking
Lisinopril and Viagra
Viagra contains sildenafil which can lower your blood pressure. This can make it unsafe to take both Viagra and lisinopril together. If you experience problems getting or maintaining an erection and take lisinopril you should speak to a doctor about alternatives to Viagra.
Lisinopril and ibuprofen
Anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen can interfere with lisinopril. You should speak to your doctor before using ibuprofen whilst taking lisinopril. Other painkillers like paracetamol should be fine to take with lisinopril.
What painkillers can I take with lisinopril?
Check with a doctor which painkillers are safe for you to use when taking lisinopril. Paracetamol and low doses of aspirin (no more than 75mg a day) are normally safe to take with lisinopril.
Before taking lisinopril you should tell your doctor if you are taking:
- low blood pressure medication
- other medicines for high blood pressure
- any other medication that can lower your blood pressure, including antidepressants, nitrates, baclofen, anaesthetics, and medicine to treat an enlarged prostate gland
- immunosuppressant drugs, such as ciclosporin or tacrolimus
- diuretics, tablets to make you pee more often
- medicines that raise the amount of potassium in your blood including spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride, potassium supplements, trimethoprim, and heparin)
- a steroid medication called prednisolone
- medicine for gout called allopurinol
- any medication for diabetes
- diarrhoea medicines like racecadotril
Foods to avoid when taking lisinopril
You should avoid alcohol when you first start to take lisinopril or change dose. This is because alcohol can increase the effects of lisinopril and cause dizziness. If lisinopril makes you feel dizzy you should avoid alcohol.
Some foods contain high levels of potassium which can affect lisinopril. You should aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet if you have high blood pressure but avoid too much of the following food types:
- dark leafy vegetables
- salt substitutes
Lisinopril and grapefruit
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can affect the way some medicines work but it has not been shown to affect ACE inhibitors like lisinopril.
Coronavirus and lisinopril
NHS advice is to continue to take lisinopril if it is prescribed for you. It is not believed that lisinopril or other ACE inhibitors increase your risk of getting COVID-19. Research so far suggests that lisinopril is safe to use and will not put you at risk of getting severe complications from COVID-19. If you stop taking lisinopril your blood pressure could rise, and this increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
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