What Is Lisinopril Used For?

doctor
Lisinopril is a first-line treatment drug recommended for hypertension, but it also has other less well-known uses.

Share This Post

A routine part of every visit to the doctor’s office is getting your blood pressure checked. Why is it so important to measure this body function? 

Blood is the carrier of oxygen and nutrients that are vital to the proper functioning of our organs. Proper flow of blood throughout our circulatory system ensures that our tissues and organs remain healthy.

While blood delivers nutrients like hormones and cells important for immunity to the right locations, it also collects toxic waste that is taken to the kidneys and liver for excretion. 

Blood helps expel the toxic carbon dioxide that is emitted every time we exhale too. Overall, our bodies cannot function normally without the essential role that blood plays in our circulatory system. 

What keeps blood flowing normally throughout our veins and arteries? 

When the heart pumps out blood it creates a pressure that forces blood to move down the arteries. This pressure is maintained by the elastic walls of our arteries that can constrict and expand. 

Blood pressure is measured by two numbers- systolic pressure that measures pressure caused by the heart contraction, and diastolic pressure that measures the pressure in the arteries. In a healthy individual, normal blood pressure is in the range of <120 mm Hg systolic and <80 mm Hg diastolic. 

When these numbers are higher or lower than the healthy range, this is called hypertension (high blood pressure) or hypotension (low blood pressure).

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in every three Americans has hypertension. Among this population, it is also estimated that only half have their blood pressure under control. Both adults and children can develop hypertension and it can often be symptomless.  

Bringing blood pressure down is important to lower the risk for more serious complications like stroke, heart attack or heart failure.

Currently, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, so managing hypertension is important to reduce the risk of heart failure.

Certain lifestyle habits like getting regular exercise, finding ways to manage stress, and a healthy diet are recommended for maintaining normal blood pressure.

But, if you are diagnosed with hypertension, it is likely that your doctor might put you on a medication, like lisinopril, to treat the condition.

After a certain range, even small increases in blood pressure put you at higher risk for a heart attack or stroke, so moderate reductions in blood pressure could have a very significant effect. 

What is Lisinopril? Lisinopril is a first-line treatment drug recommended for hypertension, but it also has other less well-known uses. Here are the main reasons lisinopril is used for: 

1. Hypertension 

Lisinopril, also known as Prinivil or Zestril, is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States, and it is recommended to treat hypertension in adults and children above the age of six.

It belongs to the class of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitor drugs. How does lisinopril work? The ACE inhibitors treat high blood pressure by inhibiting the production of a protein that causes blood vessels to tighten.

Instead, by relaxing blood vessels, it allows blood to flow more freely.  Among the ACE inhibitor class of drugs, lisinopril is considered to be relatively well tolerated.

This medication is a long-acting drug, meaning that once taken, it is absorbed slowly and its effects last over a long period of time due to the slow release of the active ingredients in the drug. It is also a long-term drug, which means that individuals diagnosed with hypertension may have to take lisinopril for the rest of their lives.

Lisinopril can be used alone but sometimes it is used together with other drugs to treat hypertension.  

2. Heart Attack

Lisinopril is prescribed for patients recovering after a heart attack.

A heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart is blocked by a buildup of substances like fat deposits, and cholesterol.

Due to this buildup of plaques, the arteries supplying oxygenated blood to the heart can narrow and eventually a blood clot can form from the plaques causing a heart attack. When the heart does not receive oxygen and nutrients, its tissue becomes damaged and can die.

Lisinopril is administered to patients within 24 hours of a heart attack to increase survival rates by promoting blood flow through the arteries so the weakened heart does not have as much strain to pump out blood on its own.

Lisinopril is usually used together with other classes of cardiovascular drugs that include aspirin, beta-blockers and thrombolytics after a heart attack. 

3. Congestive Heart Failure

Another use of lisinopril is in the treatment of congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure is a chronic condition in which the heart cannot pump blood efficiently.

This can be due to many symptoms like high blood pressure or narrowed arteries that prevent normal blood flow. In this condition, the heart muscle becomes weak. 

Lisinopril is prescribed for patients with congestive heart failure to help blood flow due to a weakened heart.

The Assessment of Treatment with Lisinopril and Survival (ATLAS) study found that high doses of lisinopril significantly reduced mortality rates due to congestive heart failure and was tolerated well by patients.

4. Protecting kidneys in patients with Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease

ACE inhibitors such as Lisinopril tablets are also a first-line medication recommended for diabetic patients with hypertension by the American Diabetes Association.

Patients with insulin-dependent or non-insulin dependent type II Diabetes Mellitus have a higher risk of renal function complications.

The kidneys are a vital organ for eliminating waste from the body by filtering waste products from the bloodstream into the bladder that are then excreted through urine.

In diabetes, high glucose levels in combination with hypertension can damage the filtering units of the kidneys. This results in impaired kidney function.

In this condition, called diabetic nephropathy, there is increased excretion of albumin and proteins in the urine (‘proteinuria’) due to inefficient filtering by the kidneys.

Lisinopril is prescribed to patients to protect the kidneys from kidney disease or similar symptoms by reducing the number of proteins that are excreted with the urine. 

5. Migraines

Migraines are severe headaches that are often accompanied by nausea and light sensitivity.  Lisinopril has been indicated for the prevention and treatment of migraines at a low daily dose.

Clinical studies have reported that daily use of lisinopril tablets significantly reduced the frequency of migraine attacks.

However, patients reported undesirable side effects, limiting its potential use as a standard treatment measure for migraines. 

Other Health Benefits of Lisinopril

There are some interesting links to the long-term use of lisinopril and other potential health benefits.

The EUCLID controlled trial of lisinopril in Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (EURODIAB) clinical trial found a significant reduction in the progression of retinopathy in patients with insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus II, even without hypertension being present in some patients.

As diabetic retinopathy caused by damage of the blood vessels in the light-sensitive retina of the eyes is a serious concern for patients with diabetes, this unexpected effect of lisinopril indicates the possibility of its use to directly treat this condition.

It’s always best to check with your doctor on when to take lisinopril before moving forward. 

Possible Contraindications

Like all medications, the use of lisinopril can come with its share of possible complications. A common belief is that all inhibitors, like lisinopril, may cause kidney problems.

Once ingested, lisinopril is metabolized by the kidneys. This means that higher doses of lisinopril could have the possibility of causing kidney problems in certain individuals that are at a higher risk for this.

Your doctor is likely to recommend starting a lower dose and regularly monitoring kidney health to prevent kidney failure from occurring. 

There are also several conditions in which lisinopril should not be used. Pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant should not take lisinopril.

This medication is under the highest risk category for an unborn child. While mild to moderate side effects are not uncommon when taking lisinopril, individuals with a history of angioedema (swelling of the lower layer of skin, often seen in the facial area like the tongue) should not take lisinopril. Alternative options are available for these patients and can be discussed with your healthcare provider.

Your doctor will also decide whether lisinopril is right for you based on your individual background. Several studies have shown that inhibitors, like lisinopril, are not as effective in African American patients with hypertension. Instead, calcium blockers and diuretics are more effective in these populations. 

One reason for this is because ACE inhibitors work by inhibiting the production of an enzyme in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system that controls blood pressure.

African Americans already have lower levels of renins, so drugs like lisinopril that target this system are not as effective. Variation in individual response to lisinopril has been observed within this population too though, so your doctor will determine whether you could benefit from taking lisinopril.

Learn about the common side effects of lisinopril to avoid complications or an allergic reaction.

How to get Lisinopril

Remember when getting your prescription, that lisinopril is also known by the names Prinivil and Zestril. A prescription is necessary to purchase lisinopril for whichever condition it is needed for.

If you’ve been prescribed this medication, you can pick up lisinopril from almost any pharmacy with your prescription.

With a long-term drug like lisinopril, how to save on the cost of medication is something to consider. Even with insurance, co-pays for certain medications can be high.

References, Studies and Resources:

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a692051.html

https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/index.htm

medically reviewed and fact checked
Sesame Care

Find the best price for great doctors and specialists

  • Thousands of doctors and specialists
  • $13,000,000+ saved by patients
  • 95% patient satisfaction
  • 4.3 on TrustPilot
     

Popular Destinations

Health

Medication

Telehealth Reviews

Shop

Pharmacist Membership

About Us

Pharmacy Near Me

Recent Articles

Hypertensive Heart Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

High blood pressure is a common problem in the U.S. Hypertensive heart disease, or high blood pressure that affects the heart, is one of the most serious problems you can face. The condition impacts one in three U.S. adults and puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke. Find out more about hypertensive heart disease: what it is, what causes the condition, how it's treated, and the best methods for prevention. 

Read More »
doctor

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

If you’re one of the one in two Americans struggling to keep their blood pressure at a manageable level, you may be looking for more ways to manage your condition. High blood pressure is sometimes called the “silent killer” because it produces few symptoms but is a major contributor to many of the leading causes of death, including heart disease and stroke. Before we can talk about how to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure, it’s important to understand what causes high blood pressure, what types of problems it can cause in our bodies, and what our blood pressure goals should be.

Read More »
image of pills

What Is Losartan Potassium?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimatesthat about 45 percent of American adults, or 108 million people, currently suffer from high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. High blood pressure is influenced by a number of factors, including diet, activity level, stress, medications, and medical conditions, and doctors generally advise hypertensive patients to make serious lifestyle changes, like eating right and exercising more. Lifestyle changes will be effective in reducing or eliminating high blood pressure for many people, but others might need additional treatment in the form of blood pressure medication to bring their condition under control. Regardless of how patients get their high blood pressure under control, doing so is critical; high blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” because it is the most common cause of cardiovascular disease-related deaths in the United States, and many people are unaware that they have high blood pressure until it is too late. If your doctor has recommended taking losartan potassium in conjunction with making lifestyle changes to control your high blood pressure, here’s what you need to know about the medication.

Read More »

Share On:

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Amlodipine side effects: What are they?

Over 108 million people, or 45 percent of American adults, are currently dealing with hypertension, or high blood pressure, whether they know it or

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

If you’re one of the one in two Americans struggling to keep their blood pressure at a manageable level, you may be looking for

What Is Losartan Potassium?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimatesthat about 45 percent of American adults, or 108 million people, currently suffer from high blood pressure, also

What is Normal Blood Pressure?

According to the American Heart Association, nearly one in two American adults, or about 103 million people, suffer from high blood pressure. This “silent

What Is Amlodipine?

Nearly half of American adults (108 million people, or 45 percent of the adult population) is currently struggling with hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Losartan Potassium Side Effects: What Are They?

If you’re one of the 108 million American adults (about 45 percent of the adult population) currently suffering from high blood pressure, you’re definitely

Can a Garlic Supplement Prevent Heart Disease?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America due to many different risk factors. The use of garlic supplementation may help reduce

What is Metoprolol tartrate?

If you’re one of the more than 100 million American adults struggling to manage your high blood pressure, your doctor may have spoken to

Lisinopril Side Effects: What Are They?

One hundred million American adults are struggling to manage their high blood pressure, and if you’re one of them, you’ve likely been told by

Does Aspirin Lower Blood Pressure?

Aspirin, a common medication that is known to reduce the risk of heart attack, has been studied to see whether or not it might

When To Take Lisinopril

Need to know when to take lisinopril? Learn why it’s important to take it at the right time of day.

Does Timing Matter for Blood Pressure Medications?

Uncontrolled blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major burden in the United States that contributes to high heart disease rates, heart attacks, and stroke.

Can Potassium Help Manage High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects about half of all adults living in the United States. Preventing and controlling blood pressure through healthy habits

What are Foods to Avoid with High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is heavily influenced by a number of lifestyle factors, which means there are lots of different ways to manage your condition.

What is Lisinopril?

Today, one of the first-line treatments for high blood pressure is lisinopril. Exactly what is lisinopril and what is it used for?

Losartan Potassium Side Effects: What Are They?

Losartan potassium is a commonly prescribed high blood pressure medication that can help lower high blood pressure in hypertensive patients when used in conjunction

How to lower your blood pressure?

Picture yourself and two coworkers. You’re all pretty healthy, right? Appearances can be deceiving. The American Heart Association estimates that about 103 million people,

How Does Lisinopril work?

Drugs within all of these classes are commonly prescribed for cardiovascular problems and some of these names might be familiar to you. Each of

What is Low Blood Pressure?

We often hear about the dangers of high blood pressure, but is it possible for your blood pressure to be too low? With high

What does Amlodipine do?

About 45 percent of the American adult population, or 108 million people, struggle with hypertension, or high blood pressure. This “silent killer” is so