Lisinopril Side Effects

Dr Kathryn Basford

Medically reviewed by

Dr Kathryn Basford

Last reviewed: 21 Mar 2022

What side effects does lisinopril cause?

Man sat in a leather chair in front of a window looks up side effects of Lisinopril on his laptop

Key takeaways

  • Lisinopril is a blood pressure medication, which can cause side effects in some patients

  • Some of the most common side effects of Lisinopril are a dry cough, headache and dizziness

  • Less common side effects include skin rash, muscle or joint pain, erectile dysfunction and insomnia

Lisinopril is a blood pressure medication, and it causes side effects in some patients. The most common side effect is a persistent cough. Most lisinopril side effects are harmless, but you should be aware of serious side effects, which can indicate an allergic reaction. If you experience any side effects, you should talk to your doctor.

You can order lisinopril online from one of our UK-registered ZAVA doctors, as long as you’ve been taking lisinopril for at least 3 months.

What is lisinopril ?

Lisinopril belongs to a group of medicines called ACE inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme). It works by stopping a chemical process in your body that increases the amount of salt and water in your body. Having less salt and water in your body decreases the amount of blood you have, which reduces your blood pressure.

ACE inhibitors like lisinopril also cause your blood vessels to relax, which lowers your blood pressure. This is important because too much pressure will damage your blood vessels over time and lead to cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, or kidney failure.

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Lisinopril side effects

One of the most common side effects of lisinopril is a dry cough, which affects 1 in 10 patients.

If your dry cough due to lisinopril gets severe, you could contact your doctor to ask whether there’s an alternative treatment you can take. Often, the cough stops after a while.

Other side effects of ACE inhibitors like lisinopril are uncommon and are sometimes related to low blood pressure (hypotension), especially at the beginning of the treatment.

Here’s a list of side effects which patients commonly encounter with lisinopril (between 1 and 10% of patients):

  • Dizziness when you stand or sit up. Try sitting back down, waiting a few moments, and then getting up slowly
  • Diarrhoea and possible stomach ache. This usually improves after the first few days of treatment
  • Headache. Some painkillers don’t interact with lisinopril – ask your doctor or pharmacist
  • Drowsiness

There are several other medications your doctor can prescribe to treat high blood pressure if lisinopril is not suitable for you.

Less common side effects of lisinopril

Around 1 in 1000 patients (between 0.1% and 1%) get these side effects:

  • Itching
  • Skin rash
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Palpitations (faster or irregular heartbeat) & difficulty breathing
  • Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Taste changes
  • Blocked or runny nose

If these symptoms are too painful or annoying, you should consult your doctor to discuss them.

If you get any of the following side effects, you must stop taking your treatment and get emergency medical care, for example at to your nearest A&E department:

  • Swelling of the tongue, throat, or face causing breathing difficulties
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Severe sore throat
  • Severe stomach ache and nausea
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Hoarse voice
  • Fever
  • Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)

It’s not completely clear whether lisinopril can cause weight gain. Research has not produced any firm conclusions, possibly because this side effect only affects a very small number of patients (less than 1 in 10,000 patients).

How to take lisinopril?

Always follow your doctor’s prescription as well as the instructions on the leaflet. Never take more than the prescribed dose of lisinopril. If there is an overdose, go to the closest A&E department immediately. Take your pack of lisinopril with you.

Never share lisinopril with anyone, even if they suffer from the same condition. Different people suffer from different side effects of lisinopril depending on the dosage and other factors like other treatments they take, or other health problems they have.

Do not forget to tell your doctor about any allergies you have before taking lisinopril.

Avoid excessive alcohol consumption while taking lisinopril, because this can increase the risk of low blood pressure, which causes symptoms like light-headedness.

If you suffer from diarrhoea or vomiting, make sure you drink enough fluids. If these symptoms persist, talk to your doctor.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Kathryn Basford Accreditations: MB, ChB, MPH

Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.

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Last reviewed: 21 Mar 2022

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