Lisinopril is a drug used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart failure.
It is also prescribed after a heart attack, as it aids in preventing future strokes and heart attacks.
However, persistent coughing is a common side effect of lisinopril.
This article will help you understand what lisinopril is and all about lisinopril cough, including why it occurs and how common it is.
I’ll also detail the other side effects of lisinopril, precautions and risks of the drug, and when to see a medical provider about a persistent cough while taking lisinopril.
What Is Lisinopril?
Lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil, and Qbrelis) is a type of blood pressure medication called an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, or ACE inhibitor.
The medication lowers blood pressure by helping your blood vessels to relax.
Some people develop a dry, tickly, and persistent cough when taking lisinopril.
The severity ranges from a scratchy throat to a hacking cough.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor coughs
For some people, a cough may begin almost as soon as they start using an ACE inhibitor.
These medications can also exacerbate underlying reasons for cough or chronic cough issues.
ACE inhibitor coughs can continue for several months after discontinuing the medication.
Why do coughs occur?
The exact reason for Lisinopril or ACE inhibitor coughs is unclear, and several factors may be at play.
The drug may cause the body to produce very little or no mucus, resulting in a dry throat and scratchy cough.
Lisinopril may also increase bradykinin levels in the body, causing non-vascular muscles in the bronchus and gut to contract, resulting in tight, dry coughs.
How Common Is the Cough?
Up to 35% of patients who use an ACE inhibitor such as lisinopril develop a cough.
The cough is more prevalent in older patients but can affect anyone.
Lisinopril Side Effects
Side effects of lisinopril include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Reduction in libido
- Skin rash
- Muscle and joint pains
- Stomach ache, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Changes in appetite
- Blurry vision
- Low blood pressure
- Kidney problems
- Light sensitivity
- Allergic reactions
- Swelling of the face, tongue, lips, throat, legs, or arms
Mild side effects can last for a few days until your body adjusts to the medication.
If any serious symptoms last longer, consult a healthcare professional immediately.
Precautions and Risks
Follow your medical provider’s prescription as well as the directions on the leaflet when taking lisinopril.
Visit the emergency department immediately if you have taken an extra dosage.
Keep alcohol and tobacco consumption to a minimum when taking Lisinopril.
Do not take ACE inhibitors if you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding.
If you have idiopathic or hereditary angioedema, you may not be able to take an ACE inhibitor.
Talk to your medical provider.
Certain hypertension drugs like ACE inhibitors can be given to children but should only be done under the guidance of a medical professional.
When to See a Medical Provider
If your cough is extremely bothersome, does not improve, causes pain, or comes with other side effects, consult a healthcare professional.
Do not stop taking lisinopril unless your medical provider tells you to.
Go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately if:
- You have trouble breathing
- You feel tightness in your chest
- Your heartbeat is irregular
- You feel weak or have vision trouble
- You have trouble speaking or concentrating
- You notice a skin rash
How K Health Can Help
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Frequently Asked Questions
K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
ACE Inhibitor-Induced Cough and Bronchospasm. Incidence, Mechanisms and Management. (1996).
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors Induce Cough. (2019).
Anti-Hypertensive Drugs in Children and Adolescents. (2014).
Distribution of Chronic Cough Phenotypes in the General Population: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the LEAD Cohort in Austria. (2021).
Estimated Hypertension Prevalence, Treatment, and Control Among U.S. Adults. (2021).
Facts About Hypertension. (2021).