What is lisinopril?
Lisinopril is a drug taken orally to lower high blood pressure. More specifically, lisinopril belongs to the ACE inhibitors type of drugs which works to relax blood, making the blood flow easily in the process. By preventing blood pressure to rise, the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney problems are also prevented. Thus, it is typical that conditions such as heart failure are treated using this medicine.
How is Lisinopril Used?
The medication is taken by mouth either with food or not, depending on what the doctor has instructed. Usually, the doctor advises taking it once a day only.
If you are given with lisinopril in a liquid form, shake well the bottle before taking it in. Use a measuring spoon as well to take the right dose.
The dosage of the medicine is, of course, based on the doctor’s prescription. But the doctor based it on your medical history as well as how your body reacts to medicine. Usually, children’s dosage will be based on their weight.
To avoid the harvesting of the negative side effect, or at least reduce it, follow your doctor’s instructions. He or she may gradually start on prescribing low dosage and increase it over time, so your body will adapt to it.
Most of the patient who has high blood pressure do not feel its symptoms. So, whether you are feeling well or not, make sure to still take the medicine. To make it easier for you to remember taking it, take it regularly at the same time of the day.
Two to 4 weeks is the usual span for this medication to take effect against high blood pressure. While heart failure, usually takes weeks to months. In cases such as your blood pressure does not reduce and you are feeling that your condition is not getting better, tell your doctor about it.
It is typical that medicines have side effects. But remember that your doctor prescribed it because he believes that you will gain its benefit and not the side effects. Nevertheless, some patients still experience side effects that are not serious. These side effects are:
- A dry cough
- A headache
- Feeling of tiredness
- Feeling of light-headedness
If you experience the last two side effects, try to decrease it by slowly getting up if you are lying or sitting.
Still, there are cases wherein patients got serious side effects which include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Muscle weakness
Irregular heartbeat and muscle weakness usually occur from having a high level of potassium blood which is also a serious side effect of taking lisinopril. If serious side effects occur, your doctor must know immediately of it.
It is common that your doctor will monitor your kidney function while taking lisinopril. Kidney problems are one of the few diseases that lisinopril is preventing. However, there are rare instances that lisinopril causes it instead of stopping it. Thus, if there is any sign of kidney problem, say you notice that there is a big difference with the amount of urine you are producing, inform your doctor about it.
Additionally, it may cause liver problems—but this is also rare. Check for the following symptoms:
- Allergic reaction such as swelling, itching, rash
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe dizziness
If you experience any of the above symptoms, chances are your liver is damaged. This case should also reach your doctor.
If other symptoms rather than the lists persist, inform your doctor about it.
Precautions When Taking Lisinopril
What Your Doctor Has to Know
It is important to listen carefully with your doctor as well as to respond honestly to him. Doctors do not prescribe medications without basis. They are meticulous about every little day of you to give the correct prescriptions.
Thus, during a check-up, make sure to provide the correct and most accurate medical history. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to lisinopril specifically. If not, tell him if you have taken other ACE inhibitor drugs and have an allergic reaction with it. Other allergic reaction that is not related to ACE inhibitor drugs may also be needed by your doctor.
Other medical histories including a high level of potassium blood and blood filtering procedures should be given to your doctor.
What to Avoid
If you have already been prescribed to treat with lisinopril, it is important to take precautions with your lifestyle. For instance, if you are a heavy alcohol drinker, or if you are taking marijuana, you will be advised to limit or totally stop using it for as long as you taking the medicine.
Lisinopril can make your head light-headed; so is marijuana and alcohol. Try to avoid any machinery including driving if you feel dizzy. Go back from this activity once you can do it safely.
Who Should Not Take It
Certain people need to consult their doctor first before using lisinopril. For instance, pregnant women. It is unknown, but there is a chance that the medication may harm the baby.
Women who are breastfeeding should also take precautions although it is still unknown if lisinopril can affect breast milk.
Older people are well-noted by experts to be more sensitive to the product. So, they are more prone to having an increase in potassium level, which is a known side effect.
Where to Store it?
There is a right storage for medicine. And, it is not a bathroom. It is also not good to store it in places where pets and children can reach it. If you have lisinopril in the form of suspension or tablet, store it in a room temperature where light and moisture can’t reach it. If you notice that a suspension exceed 4 weeks, discard it immediately.
To dispose of it, there is a proper way to do it. So, unless it is instructed from the cover of the medicine, do not pour it in the drain or flush it down in a toilet.