Lisinopril Side Effects: Common And Rare Adverse Effects of Prinivil

Last Updated: May 24, 2024

Ahmed Zayed, MD Authored by Dr. Ahmed Zayed
0 sources cited

Lisinopril, under the brand names Prinivil and Zestril, belongs to the drug class of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or ACE inhibitors. In the year 2018, around 20 million patients in the United States used Prinivil as a treatment for heart problems such as high blood pressure. Moreover, it has certain side effects that can be mild or severe. For this reason, it is important to understand what these effects can do to the body in order to protect and save the health of the patient.

In this article, information about the common and severe side effects of Lisinopril, including long-term side effects of Lisinopril, and the Lisinopril warnings and contraindications before using it will be provided. Additionally, Lisinopril overdose, the pregnancy category to which Zestril belongs and the lawsuits associated with Zestrl will also be discussed.

Lisinopril Side Effects

Common Side Effects Of Lisinopril

Talking about the mechanism of action of Prinivil, this drug works by widening or dilating the blood vessels in the body which, in turn, lowers the blood pressure. In addition to these effects, it can cause certain adverse effects as well. According to a study, the most common side effect of Prinivil is a dry cough, with a prevalence rate of 61.3%. Moreover, below is information about the other Lisinopril side effects:

Cardiovascular Problems

  • High potassium levels
  • Muscle cramps
  • Low blood pressure

Gastrointestinal Disorders

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Belching
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn

Central and Peripheral Nervous System

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sweating
  • Weight gain

Urogenital Disorder

  • Decreased sexual drive
  • Problem in urination
  • Cloudy urine

Neurological Problems

  • Blurry vision

Allergic Reaction

  • Itchy skin
  • Skin rash
  • Joint pain
  • Body pain
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Ear pain and congestion

Cardiovascular adverse effects happen only when the drug has excreted high levels of potassium in the blood. Moreover, although those listed above may be considered common, it is always recommended to tell the doctor if any of these occur.

What Are the Side Effects of Long-Term Use Of Zestril?

Generally, long-term use of any drug causes adverse effects. With regards to Prinivil, using it for a long period of time primarily affects the heart causing the arteries to not function properly, leading to a heart disease. In this section, information about the long-term side effects of Lisinopril will be provided.

Lisinopril Cough

Also known as a chronic, hacking cough, this side effect of Zestril occurs when the drug is used longer than prescribed. According to a study, this side effect occurs in up to 20% of women and 10% of men. This adverse reaction is rare but when it appears, it is severe enough to cause the patients to stop using the medication.

Damaged Blood Vessels

In compliance with a study, hypertensive drugs, including ACE inhibitors, increase the risk for stroke when they are used for a long period of time. Being said, long-term side effects of Lisinopril can damage the brain, heart, and kidney. This will eventually lead to stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease.


Angioedema or swelling of the area beneath the skin is a rare adverse effect to patients using Zestril for a long period of time. The research shows that its prevalence rate is only 0.1% and most cases are mild. This condition is characterized by swelling in the face, throat, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs.

What Are the Side Effects of Long-Term Use Of Zestril.

Lisinopril Side Effects Weight Gain

An unexpected increase in weight may be concerning to anyone but it is important to understand that drugs may be one of the causes of this occurrence. According to a study, weight gain is a known side effect of hypertensive agents such as ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers and the average weight gain is about 1.2 kilograms. Additionally, Lisinopril side effects weight gain is seen after a few months and it tends to stop gradually.

Possible Causes of Weight Gain Associated with Lisinopril Use

It is important to understand that weight gain does not only happen to those who take appetite-stimulating medication. Weight gain also occurs as a side effect. Moreover, Lisinopril side effects weight gain is common and it occurs because of different reasons such as the following:

  • Fluid build-up – there is fluid buildup in the legs, abdomen, or chest. However, this weight gain must be taken seriously as this may be a sign of heart or kidney disease.
  • Appetite stimulation –  another reason why Lisinopril side effects weight gain occurs is that Prinivil stimulates the appetite of the patient causing the patient to eat more.
  • Altered metabolism – As the body weight increases, the metabolism of a patient changes and this may cause the body to burn fats and calories at a slower rate.

One sign of weight gain is shortness of breath. For this reason, when weight gain is being noticed, immediately sharing it with a medical professional is a must in order to find suitable alternatives for the patient.

Lisinopril Weight Loss

ACE inhibitors like Prinivil may help in achieving weight loss. In compliance with a study, patients who are deficient in angiotensin-converting enzymes, key proteins needed in the balancing and regulation of blood pressure and fluid-electrolyte balance, are prone to break down fats faster in the liver, causing these patients to have Lisinopril weight loss. Moreover, these patients process blood sugar faster causing them to be less likely to develop diabetes. In the same study, it was reported that these ACE-deficient patients do not accumulate fat easily. However, since these patients lack ACE proteins, the tendency is that they are prone to have cardiovascular disease.

Coping Strategies: Managing Weight Change From Taking Lisinopril

According to a study, taking Prinivil requires weight maintenance especially for patients with hypertension or congestive heart failure. So what can a patient do? Even if the patient is experiencing Lisinopril weight loss or weight gain, it is important to always stay healthy and some ways to do these are the following:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Try to do some 30 minutes of light physical activity every day
  • Limit alcohol, if possible, quit alcohol use
  • Quit smoking
  • Always get regular checkups in order to keep your blood pressure in check as this is affected by weight changes

Maintaining a healthy habit is a great way to improve health and manage weight changes such as Lisinopril weight loss but remember that the best way to get the proper coping mechanism in relation to these changes is by reaching out to a medical professional, especially when the patient has pre-existing health conditions while taking Prinivil.

Sexual Dysfunction as a Side Effect of Prinivil Use

According to a study, sexual dysfunction is one of the side effects of Lisinopril. Since the drug belongs to the drug class that increases blood flow throughout the body, the onset of Lisinopril erectile dysfunction is very rare. Only 1% of patients may experience Prinivil ED as a side effect. This may also be experienced as a result of Prinivil interactions with certain other drugs such as antihistamines or antidepressants.

  • Lisinopril Side Effects in Men – Priapism, delayed ejaculation and orgasm, reduced libido, and reduced sexual satisfaction.
  • Lisinopril Side Effects in Women – Vaginal dryness, difficulty achieving arousal. reduced libido, and reduced sexual satisfaction.

Indeed, both men and women who use this medication may experience sexual dysfunction. Although these side effects may be bothersome, Prinivil only causes a temporary decline in sexual activity. Moreover, sexual activity interest will gradually recover after 4 weeks.

Coping Strategies: Managing Lisinopril Sexual Side Effects

The prevalence rate of Lisinopril erectile dysfunction is around 2-fold higher in hypertensive patients and the most important thing to do when managing Prinivil sexual side effects is by not forcing the body to do any sexual activity. If the body is telling the patient that it is tired or it is not yet the time to do sexual intercourse, it is a must to listen to it. Other strategies are the following:

  • Evaluation of the degree of sexual dysfunction
  • Lifestyle modification
  • Switching antihypertensive therapy under the supervision of a medical professional

Managing the sexual side effects of Lisinopril is tricky for both the patients and doctor. Some patients may have a hard time sharing their sexual emotions with a medical professional. However, remember that medical doctors have competent communication skills in order to help the patients recover and heal.

Prinivil And Pregnancy

For every pregnant patient using this drug, it is important to know the information about Prinivil and pregnancy. Prinivil belongs to the pregnancy category C for the first trimester and D for the second and third. This means that this medicine can cause severe and lethal harm to the embryo. This drug is extremely toxic in pregnancy. Therefore, its intake should be immediately discontinued if pregnancy is suspected. Based on various studies, Zestril can cause fetal cardiac abnormalities when taken during the first trimester. The exposure of Lisinopril side effects during the second and third trimesters has been associated with neonatal kidney failure and subsequent death. Therefore, it is contraindicated throughout pregnancy and also in women who plan to conceive. There are no effective studies to show whether it is excreted in breast milk or not. A doctor should be consulted before breastfeeding a baby on this drug.

Prinivil And Pregnancy.

Can You Overdose On Prinivil?

Remember that Lisinopril overdose may be intentional or unintentional and it happens when too much dose of Zestril or Prinivil is consumed. When it comes to this drug, Lisinopril overdose is considered rare. According to a report, children 6 years old and below who have ingested 2mg/kg of this drug remained asymptomatic, and most pediatric Lisinopril overdose or ingestions may be managed at home. However, the primary toxic effects of Lisinopril overdose include hypotension and hyperkalemia (high levels of potassium). For these reasons, monitoring of BUN and serum creatinine is important, particularly if significant hypotension is present or if the patient has preexisting renal disease or kidney problem, congestive heart failure, or hypovolemia.

Lisinopril Warnings And Contraindications

This ACE inhibitor can cause serious and severe side effects for some individuals. All the necessary precautions and  Lisinopril warnings must be studied before taking the medicine. This can help individuals avoid unpleasant and dangerous side effects. Some of the Lisinopril warnings are listed in the information below:

  • It has been associated with an increased risk for heart failure and stroke in African Americans.
  • Women who are trying or planning to conceive should not take this medicine.
  • If anyone is allergic to Zestril or any of its ingredients, it should not be consumed
  • Patients who have allergies should inform their doctor about them before being prescribed this medicine
  • Patients taking Prinivil should not drive or operate heavy machinery as it can cause lightheadedness and dizziness. Moreover, taking a dose of this drug with alcohol or cannabis can increase the side effects of dizziness and should be avoided.
  • This ACE inhibitor can cause vomiting and diarrhea which needs to be monitored to prevent losing too much water to cause dehydration.
  • Its mechanism of action can cause high levels of potassium in the body. Therefore, a doctor should be consulted before taking any potassium supplements.

Zestril is contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to this product and in patients with a history of angioedema related to previous treatment with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and in patients with hereditary or idiopathic angioedema.

Minimizing Lisinopril Side Effects

Although it is one of those ACE inhibitors that are well-tolerated in the majority of the population, it can cause severe side effects for some individuals. Patients should inform their doctor about any kind of allergies and other drugs that they might be taking to enable the doctor to evaluate various drug interactions and side effects of Lisinopril. A doctor can then suggest alternatives that would not cause serious side effects or interactions.

In the case of unpleasant or bothersome side effects, the doctor may advise the patient to discontinue the drug. However, to avoid various withdrawal symptoms, the discontinuation should not be abrupt. Rather, the doctor may decrease the medicine’s dosage and frequency so that withdrawal symptoms such as high blood pressure and the risk of a heart attack or stroke can be avoided. It is also important to know the drug’s half-life, as this information provides a better understanding of the appropriate timing of the doses.

Also, patients should be aware of Prinivil abuse that may happen primarily with elder patients. To diagnose this condition, substance abuse specialists should be seen. If abuse takes place in a patient one should look for treatment options available in rehabs around the country.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Get Rid Of Zestril Cough?

A dry cough is the most common Zestril side effect. The cough continues to affect the person as long as they are taking the medicine. There are several Zestril cough remedies that patients can utilize to relieve the dry cough, after the consultation with a doctor. Natural options include the use of a humidifier and taking honey, soup, broth, tea, and other hot beverages.

Does Lisinopril Cause ED (Erectile Dysfunction)?

If patients are wondering, does Lisinopril cause ED? The answer is yes. Zestril causes ED in men. However, this condition happens rarely. Aside from this, it is important to understand that even the sexual interest of women is also affected. Women using Zestril may also feel reduced libido.

Does Zestril Cause Hair Loss?

Hair Loss is one of the Lisinopril side effects. Blood pressure drugs such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors can cause patients to experience hair loss as a side effect. This hair loss may be short-term and temporary. In some cases, it may stay for the long term that includes thinning of hair throughout the body, including eyebrows and eyelashes.

Does Zestril Lower Heart Rate?

Yes, it can. A rare and rather serious side effect of Zestril is a dangerously low heart rate. If the dose is taken in excess, it can cause hypotension and dangerously low blood pressure. Seek immediate medical help if such a condition is experienced.

Does Prinivil Make You Tired?

First-timers who use this medication may feel some common side effects such as feeling dizzy or tired and these symptoms may go away after some hours. However, increasing the dose of Zestril may cause these symptoms to come back. This time, then, an increased feeling of tiredness may be experienced.

Lisinopril Makes Me Feel Weird: Why Does It Happen?

Those who use Zestril may generally feel sick or unwell. This happens because the body is still coping up with the changes the medication gives especially when the patient is using this drug for the first time. Although this is common, if the feeling does not go away, immediately talk to a medical professional.

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Page Sources

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Published on: March 11th, 2020

Updated on: May 24th, 2024


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