Lisinopril | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

lisinopril, Oral tablet

Generic Name:
Prinivil,Zestril

lisinopril, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Prinivil
  • Zestril
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for lisinopril

Oral tablet
1

Lisinopril is an oral drug that’s used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart failure. It’s also used to improve your chance of survival after a heart attack. This drug may be taken alone or with other medications to treat your condition.

2

The standard starting dose for adults with high blood pressure is 10 mg taken by mouth once per day. Your doctor may increase your dose up to a maximum of 80 mg per day. The starting dose for adults with heart failure is 5 mg per day. Your doctor may increase your dose up to a maximum of 40 mg per day.

3

This drug may cause abrupt swelling of your face, arms, legs, lips, tongue, throat, and intestines (angioedema). This can be fatal.

4

You shouldn’t take lisinopril if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. This drug can harm or be fatal to your unborn baby.

5

Common side effects include headache, dizziness, persistent cough, low blood pressure, and chest pain.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to effects that may be dangerous.

Use during pregnancy warning. You shouldn’t take this drug if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. This drug can harm or be fatal to your unborn baby. If you get pregnant while taking this drug, tell your doctor right away. Talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your blood pressure during pregnancy.

Angioedema (swelling)

This drug can cause abrupt swelling of your face, arms, legs, lips, tongue, throat, and intestines. This can be fatal. Tell your doctor right away if you have swelling or abdominal pain. You’ll be taken off of this drug and possibly given medication to reduce your swelling. Swelling can happen at any time while you’re taking this drug. Your risk may be higher if you have a history of angioedema.

Hypotension (low blood pressure)

This drug can cause low blood pressure, especially during the first few days of taking it. Tell your doctor if you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or like you’re going to faint. You may be more likely to have low blood pressure if you:

  • aren’t drinking enough fluids
  • are sweating heavily
  • have diarrhea or are vomiting
  • have heart failure
  • are on dialysis
  • take diuretics

Persistent cough

This drug may cause a persistent cough. This cough will go away once you stop taking the medication.

What is lisinopril?

This drug is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

This drug is available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

This drug may be taken as part of a combination therapy with other drugs.

Why it's used

This drug is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. It’s also used to improve your chance of survival after a heart attack.

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

More Details

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

This drug relaxes the blood vessels in your body. This reduces stress on your heart and lowers your blood pressure.

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SECTION 2 of 5

lisinopril Side Effects

Oral tablet

More Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with lisinopril include:

  • headache

  • dizziness

  • persistent cough

  • low blood pressure

  • chest pain

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

  • hypersensitivity (allergic) reaction. Symptoms include:

    • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
    • trouble breathing
    • trouble swallowing
    • stomach (abdomen) pain with or without nausea or vomiting
  • kidney problems. Symptoms include:

    • tiredness
    • swelling, especially of your hands, feet, or ankles
    • shortness of breath
    • weight gain
  • liver failure. Symptoms include:

    • yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes
    • elevated liver enzymes
    • stomach pain
    • nausea and vomiting
  • high potassium levels. This drug can cause dangerously high potassium. This can lead to arrhythmia (heart rate or rhythm problems). Your risk may be higher if you have kidney disease or diabetes, or if you’re taking other drugs that increase potassium levels.

Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug does not cause drowsiness.

This drug may cause low blood pressure. This can make you feel faint or dizzy. You shouldn’t drive, use machinery, or do other activities that require alertness until you know how this drug affects you.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

lisinopril May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Lisinopril can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or cause the drugs that you take to not work as well.

To help prevent interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

The use of drinks that contain alcohol can increase the blood pressure-lowering effects of lisinopril. This may cause you to feel dizzy or faint. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Blood pressure drugs

Taking certain blood pressure drugs with lisinopril increases your risk for low blood pressure, high blood potassium, and kidney problems including kidney failure.

These drugs include:

  • angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB). Examples include:
    • candesartan (Atacand, Atacand HCT)
    • eprosartan (Teveten)
    • irbesartan (Avapro, Avalide)
    • losartan (Cozaar, Hyzaar)
    • olmesartan (Benicar, Benicar HCT, Tribenzor, Azor)
    • telmisartan (Micardis, Micardis HCT, Twynsta)
    • valsartan (Diovan, Diovan HCT, Exforge, Exforge HCT)
    • azilsartan (Edarbi, Edarbyclor)
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Examples include:
    • benazepril (Lotensin, Lotrel, Lotensin HCT)
    • captopril
    • enalapril (Vasotec, Epaned)
    • fosinopril (Monopril)
    • lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril, Prinzide, Zestoretic)
    • moexipril (Uniretic)
    • perindopril (Aceon)
    • quinapril (Accupril, Accuretic)
    • ramipril (Altace)
    • trandolapril (Mavik, Tarka)
  • renin inhibitors:
    • aliskiren (Tekturna, Tekturna HCT)

Water pills (diuretics)

Taking water pills with lisinopril can make your blood pressure too low.

These drugs include:

  • hydrochlorothiazide
  • chlorthalidone
  • furosemide
  • bumetanide

Potassium supplements and potassium-sparing diuretics

Taking potassium supplements or potassium-sparing diuretics with lisinopril can increase potassium in your body.

These drugs include:

  • spironolactone
  • amiloride
  • triamterene

Mood stabilizer drugs

Lisinopril can increase the effects of lithium. This means that you may have more side effects.

Pain drugs

Taking certain pain drugs with lisinopril can decrease your kidney function.

These drugs include:

  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as:
    • ibuprofen
    • naproxen
    • aspirin
    • diclofenac
    • indomethacin
    • ketoprofen
    • ketorolac
    • sulindac
    • flurbiprofen

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
kidney disease
People with kidney disease

If you have kidney disease or are on dialysis, you have a higher risk of getting certain serious side effects from this drug. Your doctor will monitor your kidney function and adjust your medication as needed. Your doctor should start you on a lower dose of this drug.

diabetes
People with diabetes

This drug can affect your blood sugar levels. Your doctor may need to change your dose of your diabetes medicines. Your doctor will tell you how often to test your blood sugar levels.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

This drug is a category D pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in humans has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. This drug should only be used during pregnancy in serious cases where it's needed to treat a dangerous condition in the mother.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Ask your doctor to tell you about the specific harm that may be done to the fetus. This drug should be only used if the potential risk to the fetus is acceptable given the drug’s potential benefit.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if this drug passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your baby. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

for seniors
For seniors

Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule.

for children
For children

This medicine hasn’t been studied and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 6 years.

allergies
Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room if you develop these symptoms.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take lisinopril (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your doctor will tell you what dosage is right for you. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Hypertension

Brand: Prinivil

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg

Brand: Zestril

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg

Generic: lisinopril

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • starting dose: 10 mg taken by mouth once per day
  • usual dose: 20–40 mg taken once per day
  • maximum dose: 80 mg taken once per day
Child dosage (ages 6–17 years)
  • starting dose: 0.07 mg/kg of body weight taken by mouth once per day
  • dose adjustments will be based on your blood pressure response.
  • maximum dose: 0.61 mg/kg taken once per day
Child dosage (ages 0–5 years)

This medicine hasn’t been studied and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 6 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

There are no specific recommendations for senior dosing. Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule.

Special considerations

For heart failure:

  • People with low blood sodium: If you have low blood sodium levels, your starting dose may be 2.5 mg taken once per day.

For improving survival after a heart attack:

  • People with low blood pressure: If you have low blood pressure, your starting dose may be 2.5 mg for the first 3 days after having a heart attack.

Heart failure

Brand: Prinivil

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg

Brand: Zestril

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg

Generic: lisinopril

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • starting dose: 5 mg taken by mouth once per day
  • maximum dose: 40 mg taken once per day
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medicine hasn’t been studied and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years for heart failure.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

There are no specific recommendations for senior dosing. Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule.

Special considerations

For heart failure:

  • People with low blood sodium: If you have low blood sodium levels, your starting dose may be 2.5 mg taken once per day.

For improving survival after a heart attack:

  • People with low blood pressure: If you have low blood pressure, your starting dose may be 2.5 mg for the first 3 days after having a heart attack.

Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack)

Brand: Prinivil

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg

Brand: Zestril

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg

Generic: lisinopril

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • starting dose: 5 mg taken by mouth within the first 24 hours of when symptoms of heart attack start. Your doctor will give you  another 5 mg after another 24 hours.
  • usual dose: 10 mg given 48 hours after heart attack. Then 10 mg taken once per day for at least 6 weeks.
Child dosage (ages 6–17 years)

This medicine hasn’t been studied and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years for improving survival after a heart attack.

Child dosage (ages 0–5 years)

This medicine hasn’t been studied and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 6 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

There are no specific recommendations for senior dosing. Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule.

Special considerations

For heart failure:

  • People with low blood sodium: If you have low blood sodium levels, your starting dose may be 2.5 mg taken once per day.

For improving survival after a heart attack:

  • People with low blood pressure: If you have low blood pressure, your starting dose may be 2.5 mg for the first 3 days after having a heart attack.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

If you don't take it at all

If you don’t take it at all, your blood pressure will stay high. This will raise your risk for a heart attack and stroke.

If you stop taking it suddenly

If you stop taking this drug suddenly, your blood pressure may spike. This can cause anxiety, sweating, and a fast heart rate.

If you don’t take it on schedule

You may not feel any different, but your blood pressure may not be controlled. This can put you at higher risk for heart attack and stroke.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s just a few hours until the time for your next dose, then wait and only take one dose at that time.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in toxic side effects. 

If you take too much

If you take too much of this drug, you may have a drop in blood pressure. This may cause you to faint.

If you think you’ve taken too much of the drug, act right away. Call your doctor or local Poison Control Center, or go to the nearest emergency room.

How to tell this drug is working

Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure and other symptoms of your condition to tell if this drug is working for you. You also may be able to tell this drug is working if you check your blood pressure and it’s lower.

This drug is used for long-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug
timing
This drug should be taken around the same time every day
can crush or cut
You can crush or cut the tablet
storage
Store this drug at room temperature
See Details
refillable
Prescription is refillable
travel
Travel
See Details
self-management
Self-management
See Details
clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
hidden costs
Hidden costs
See Details

Store this drug at room temperature

  • Keep it from 59°F (20°C) to 86°F (25°C).
  • Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport security staff the pharmacy prescription label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t leave this medicine in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.

Self-management

Your doctor may ask you to check your blood pressure at home. To do this, you’ll need to purchase a home blood pressure monitor. These are available at most pharmacies. You should keep a log with the date, time of day, and your blood pressure readings. Bring this diary with you to your doctor appointments.

Clinical monitoring

Before starting and during your treatment with this drug, your doctor may check the following to tell if this drug is working or is safe for you:

  • blood pressure
  • liver function
  • kidney function
  • blood potassium

Hidden costs

You may need to buy a blood pressure monitor to check your blood pressure at home.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other options that may work for you.

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How Much Does lisinopril Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for lisinopril

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for lisinopril on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on September 23, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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