Lisinopril Side Effects: Common And Rare Adverse Effects of Prinivil

Last Updated: March 11, 2020

Lisinopril (Zestril) is a medicine that is used for the treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure. It has certain side effects that can be mild or severe. Read along further to find about all the common and severe side effects of Lisinopril and its warnings. The pregnancy category to which Zestril belongs to and the lawsuits associated with Lisinopril will also be discussed.

Common Side Effects Of Lisinopril

Lisinopril classification falls within ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors. It 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 side effects as well. Some of the most common Lisinopril side effects are listed below:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry cough
  • Itchy skin
  • Skin rash
  • Problem in urination
  • Constipation
  • Runny nose
  • Weight gain
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Ear congestion
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Cloudy urine
  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint pain
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Decreased sexual drive
  • Belching
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Low potassium levels

Some of the Lisinopril common side effects are further discussed in the following sections:

Lisinopril Cough

There are several Lisinopril cough remedies that patients can utilize to relieve the dry cough. Natural options include the use of a humidifier and taking honey, soup, broth, tea, and other hot beverages.
black girl coughs

Does Lisinopril Cause Hair Loss?

Hair Loss is one of Lisinopril side effects. Blood pressure medications 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.

Lisinopril Anxiety

In some cases, this medicine can cause anxiety in patients. This may be accompanied by headaches and insomnia. It is not a serious side effect but if someone finds it troublesome, they can consult their doctor about adjusting Lisinopril dosing to avoid these unpleasant effects.

Lisinopril Diarrhea

Diarrhea is one of the common Lisinopril adverse effects. However, some patients might experience severe diarrhea accompanied by vomiting. Immediate medical help should be sought in such a case as it can lead to dehydration and dangerously low blood pressure.

Lisinopril Fatigue

Since it works by slowing down the patient’s heart rate that can lead to fatigue and a general feeling of tiredness. Patients may experience Lisinopril fatigue when they first start taking the drug or after an increase in the dosage. However, with time, the body gets adjusted to the dosage and the feeling of fatigue may go away.
Fatigued woman lying at bedstead

Lisinopril Swelling Of Feet

This drug can cause water retention in the feet and ankles which can manifest in the form of swelling. This swelling can also be an indication of a rapid weight gain which needs to be evaluated by a doctor.

Lisinopril Dizziness

Dizziness is one of the most common side effects of Zestril. It is recommended to take Lisinopril at bedtime so as not to be affected by the dizziness. This feeling of dizziness is also experienced when getting up suddenly from a sitting or lying down position. It can be avoided by taking one’s time to sit up slowly from these positions.

Lisinopril Post Nasal Drip

Prinivil has been shown to cause postnasal discharge, rhinitis, and nasal blockage. Based on this study about ACE inhibitors and the upper respiratory symptoms that they cause, it was established that ACE inhibitor-induced post nasal drip and nasal blockage were also common among patients along with a cough.

Lisinopril Constipation

Constipation is also in the list of common side effects. It can be accompanied by heartburn, flatulence, and gastrointestinal cramps. Lisinopril dry mouth is also prevalent as a side effect with constipation.

Lisinopril Leg Cramps

Zestril can cause muscle cramps in some individuals as a side effect especially leg cramps. These may be experienced during sleep or any part of the day. This is primarily experienced because of low levels of potassium in the body. Improving one’s intake of potassium through natural resources or by taking potassium supplements can help with the leg and muscle cramps.
woman suffering from pain

Severe Side Effects Of Lisinopril

This medicine can also cause some serious side effects. Although they might be rare, their onset could threaten the patient’s life. Therefore, immediate medical help is required in the case of such serious side effects. These serious side effects of Zestril are listed below:

  • Chest pain
  • Chest tightness or heaviness
  • Yellow skin or yellow eyes indicating a liver problem
  • Irregular or slow heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, or a tight feeling in the chest.
  • Fainting
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Inability to pass urine
  • Kidney problems
  • Serious allergic reaction
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat (angioedema)
  • Weight gain

Some of these serious Lisinopril side effects are further discussed in the upcoming sections:

Lisinopril And Angioedema

Angioedema can be a rare but serious side effect of taking ACE inhibitors. It can cause a noninflammatory and localized swelling in the body, most commonly in the lips, throat, tongue, and face. According to the study on ACE inhibitors and angioedema, this swelling can cause severe respiratory distress and can even be fatal if laryngeal edema occurs.

Lisinopril Side Effects Weight Gain

Another serious side effect of Prinivil is weight gain in patients. This could indicate a problem with the kidneys and needs to be evaluated by a healthcare professional. Weight gain may be accompanied by tiredness, swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles, and shortness of breath as symptoms of a kidney problem.
lisinopril weight gain concept

Does Lisinopril Cause Cancer?

Lisinopril and lung cancer have been associated together especially as one of the long term side effects of Lisinopril. According to this study on ACE inhibitors and the risk of lung cancer, it was concluded that the use of ACE inhibitors can increase the risk of lung cancer particularly in patients who have been using this drug for more than 5 years.

Does Lisinopril Lower Heart Rate?

Yes, it can. A rare and rather serious side effect of Lisinopril 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.

Lisinopril Hyperkalemia

This ACE inhibitor can cause dangerously high levels of potassium in the body (hyperkalemia). This can cause an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and affect the normal functions of the nervous system. This is a serious condition that needs to be evaluated by a doctor immediately.

Lisinopril Chest Pain

Prinivil can, on rare occasions, cause chest pain or a feeling of a “pounding heart”. This may also be accompanied by chest tightness and heaviness, and an uneven heartbeat. This can be a serious situation and immediate medical help should be sought.

Does Lisinopril Cause ED (Erectile Dysfunction)?

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

Lisinopril And Pregnancy

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.
pregnant woman visiting doctor
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.

Lisinopril Lawsuits

ACE inhibitors can sometimes cause acute liver injury. This is even more common for Prinivil as compared to the other types of ACE inhibitors. It is also associated with an increased risk of renal failure. Patients who take Zestril are also at an increased risk of developing diabetes and pancreatic issues.
These dangers have caused individuals and families to file various lawsuits from serious side effects of taking Lisinopril. Lisinopril kidney failure lawsuit and Lisinopril diabetes lawsuit are also part of these cases.

Lisinopril Warnings

This ACE inhibitor can cause serious and severe side effects for some individuals. All the necessary precautions and warnings of Prinivil must be studied before taking the medicine. This can help individuals avoid unpleasant and dangerous side effects. Some of the Lisinopril warnings are listed 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 with this medicine.
  • Patients taking Prinivil should not drive or operate heavy machinery as it can cause lightheadedness and dizziness.
  • Taking this drug with alcohol or cannabis can increase the side effect 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.

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 and fatal side effects for some individuals. Patients should inform their doctors about any kind of allergies and other medications that they might be taking to enable the doctors to evaluate various drug interactions and side effects of Lisinopril. The doctors can then suggest Lisinopril alternatives which 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 Lisinopril 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 increased blood pressure and the risk of a heart attack or stroke can be avoided.

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.

Page Sources

  1. Blanaid M Hicks, Kristian B Filion, Hui Yin, Lama Sakr, Jacob A Udell, and Laurent Azoulay, “Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors and the Risk of Lung Cancer: a population-based cohort study”, Oct 2018,
  2. Michele B Kaufman, PharmD, RPH, “ACE Inhibitor-Related Angioedema, Are Your Patients At Risk?”, Mar 2013,
  3. Paulette Pinargote, Denisse Guillen, and Juan C Guarderas, “ACE Inhibitors: Upper Respiratory Symptoms”, July 2014,

Published on: March 11th, 2020

Updated on: March 11th, 2020


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