medication side effects

ACE Inhibitors Side Effects: Everything You Need to Know

Eli Ben-yehuda

Written by Eli Ben-yehuda

On March 13, 2019
What is an ace inhibitor?

Being newly diagnosed with high blood pressure your physician may decide to start you on medication to lower your high blood pressure, depending on the severity. Your physician may decide to start you on an ACE inhibitor. One such ACE Inhibitor is “Lisinopril”.

A study published in the medical journal Toxicology International found that Lisinopril has a number of side-effects, all of which contribute to feelings of weakness and tiredness.

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In fact, most blood pressure medications suppress the nervous system and drain the body of valuable and necessary nutrients reducing energy and causing fatigue. According to online resource The People’s Pharmacy®, at least 100 million prescriptions are filled for ACE inhibitors each year. A press release by the biotech company, polyDNA, says that this means that “there are over 100 million people in the United States that may experience extreme fatigue as a side effect of their blood pressure medications.”

This article has been written so that you, the client, may be better educated to work in co-operation with your PCP (Primary Care Physician). This will help provide you with information that along with your physician will ensure the best possible outcomes.

It is by no means written so that you may bypass your PCP and come to your own self-diagnosis. All information in this article can be found on the world wide web, the FDA website or other websites such as drugs.com.

In America, many people have more than one doctor. They have there PCP, a cardiologist, endocrinologist, an internal medicine physician. Many of these physicians will prescribe you medication for what they are treating. It is very important that you inform your PCP of any medication changes or additions they make. You want to avoid drug to drug interactions.

In today’s article, we are going to learn about one of the most popular anti-hypertensives prescribed. Lisinopril.

What is Lisinopril?

In the early 1990s, Lisinopril was the third ACE inhibitor to hit the market after Captopril and Enalapril. Its differential properties from other ACE inhibitors are that it is hydrophilic has a long half-life and tissue penetration, and is not metabolized by the liver.

ACE stands for angiotensin converting enzyme. Lisinopril is used to treat high blood pressure(hypertension) in adults and children who are at least 6 years old. Lisinopril is also used to treat congestive heart failure in adults or to improve survival after a heart attack.



Watch for these known side effects so you can inform your doctor. Finding the right drug combination to get your high blood pressure under control is not simple. In many cases, it’s really a trial and error process to find what is effective for you and that you can tolerate. In many cases, it means multiple drugs which can also have drug-to-drug interaction. It’s important that you know the possible side effects of the specific drug your physician has prescribed to you so you can work with him or her to find a combination which is right for you.

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Important information about Lisinopril
  • If you become pregnant while using Lisinopril inform your physician immediately. Your PCP may want to change your medications to provide the best possible outcomes for your baby and you.
  • You should not use this medicine if you have Hereditary Angioedema. Angioedema is a form of severe swelling beneath the skin’s surface. In some cases, the swelling occurs along with the appearance of hives. This is why angioedema is sometimes referred to as “giant hives.” Hives are itchy, red welts that develop on the surface of the skin.
  • If you endocrinologist has diagnosed you with diabetes, inform your PCP. Using Lisinopril together with any medication that contains aliskiren (such as Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo). The FDA has issued new warnings about anti-hypertensive drugs containing the direct renin inhibitor aliskiren (including Tekturna, Amturnide, Takamio,) when used in combination with ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).
  • The FDA now states that these drug combinations are contraindicated in patients with diabetes, and it is a new warning to avoid the use of this combination in patients with moderate to severe renal impairment. Please notify your PCP of any new diagnosis you may have received. (GFR <60 mL/min).
Before taking ACE inhibitors

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to Lisinopril or to any other ACE inhibitor, such as benazepril captopril, fosinopril, enalapril, moexipril, perindopril, quinapril, ramipril, or trandolapril. This is especially important when you have moved and have a new PCP. He or she may not have the information readily available to them. So when filling out your health history please provide all your history.

Lisinopril side effects

You should contact your PCP immediately if you experience signs of an allergic reaction to Lisinopril:

  • hives
  • severe stomach pain,
  • difficult breathing
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

Your PCP may direct you to go to an emergency room.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of the Lisinopril Side Effects below:
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out
  • little or no urinating
  • fever, sore throat
  • high potassium – nausea, slow or unusual heart rate, weakness, loss of movement;
  • kidney problems – little or no urinating, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath
  • liver problems – nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common Lisinopril side effects may include:
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • cough
  • chest pain

More Reading about Lisinopril Side Effects

This is not a complete list of Lisinopril side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. As always, educate yourself. When I was a practicing Registered Nurse, we knew to check and re-check with a patient before giving them medication. Once a medication is taken, it is taken.

According to the National Council for Patient Information and Education, about 50% of the 2 – 3 billion prescriptions filled each year are not taken correctly. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, educating patients before they leave the hospital reduces readmissions, emergency department visits and saves money. Medication non-compliance is a very serious problem.

So please if you do not understand your medication instructions please speak with your PCP or your pharmacist. Also, it is very important that you inform them if you are taking any herbal remedies. Although herbal remedies in themselves are many times harmless, you need to be aware of the drug to drug interactions.

This post is not intended to provide medical advice nor by any means suggest that you stop taking or reduce your prescribed medications. On the contrary, high blood pressure is a dangerous condition and It is very important that you work with your doctor to get it under control.

Click here for FDA med watch.

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