Lisinopril Side Effects

by on June 21, 2011


Common side effects of lisinopril include nausea, dizziness, cough, headache, fatigue, and skin rashes. More serious and less common lisinopril side effects include chest pain, difficulty breathing, fever, jaundice, swelling, and impairment or loss of taste. Lisinopril has also been known to cause a decrease in sexual desire in both women and men.

Common Lisinopril Side Effects

Lisinopril comes with a long list of potential side effects. The most commonly experienced of these adverse effects are:

  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash

Of these Lisinopril Side Effects, headache and dizziness are the most reported. Rashes may not initially indicate a serious problem, but should be monitored closely; if irritation increases, it may be a sign of a more severe problem.

Serious Lisinopril Side Effects

Lisinopril Lisinopril users are also at risk for more serious side effects, though these are less common. Still, should any of these complications arise, the patient should immediately contact his or her doctor:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Impairment or loss of taste
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Swelling of the throat, tongue, lips, feet, or lower leg area
  • Jaundiced skin
  • Fever

In very rare cases, patients may demonstrate an allergic reaction to lisinopril that resembles anaphylactic shock. This reaction can cause damage to the intestinal lining, and usually manifests itself in severe abdominal pain.

Side Effects in Men

Men most often experience one or more of the common side effects of lisinopril. In some cases, however, lisinopril has been shown to cause a decrease in sexual ability or impotence in men. Older men are at risk for a rare condition called hyperkalemia, in which the kidneys retain a higher concentration of potassium. This should be treated immediately, as it may result in irregular heartbeat and eventual cardiac arrest.

Side Effects in Women

Like men, women who experience side effects of lisinopril most often report one or more of the aforementioned common adverse effects. Studies show, however, that women generally report a symptomatic cough more often than men. Women taking lisinopril may also experience a decrease in sexual desire, or inability to achieve orgasm. Some of the rare but more serious side effects largely specific to women include urinary tract infections, constipation, insomnia, and depression.

Side Effects During Pregnancy

While researchers have not yet been able to draw firm conclusions regarding all side effects of lisinopril on pregnant women, the drug may cause serious birth defects and possible miscarriage, particularly if ingested anytime after the first trimester. If a woman becomes pregnant while on lisinopril, she should immediately discontinue use and see her physician for an alternative course of treatment.

Weight Side Effects of Lisinopril

Some individuals taking lisinopril have reported simultaneous weight gain. However, studies have been unable to conclude whether this weight gain is a result of the drug, or merely a combination of other lifestyle factors. Drastic weight gain over a short period of time may indicate impending heart failure, so individuals experiencing rapid weight fluctuations while on lisinopril should consult their doctors immediately. Gradual weight gain while on the drug, however, can best be managed by a change in diet or exercise routine.

There are a few categories of people for whom lisinopril is not safe to use, such as pregnant women beyond their first trimester, children under the age of six, and anyone (especially children) with a history of kidney disease. Aside from these conditions, however, lisinopril is safe to take, and is actually most recommended by physicians for the treatment of high blood pressure.