Lisinopril is a prescription drug known as an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. It is commonly prescribed to treat various cardiac conditions and hypertension. Lisinopril can be an effective remedy when used as directed. However, using lisinopril and alcohol together is risky and should be avoided at all costs as alcohol adversely affects blood pressure and can undermine the medication’s effectiveness.
What Is Lisinopril?
Lisinopril (e.g., Qbrelis, Zestril, or Prinivil) relaxes and widens blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, and can, therefore, help individuals recovering from a heart attack. It can also be prescribed to treat kidney disease in individuals with diabetes to mitigate protein loss through the kidneys.
Alcohol Exacerbates the Side Effects of Lisinopril
Many individuals are prescribed lisinopril for blood pressure issues related to drinking. Unfortunately, many of those same persons may continue to drink alcohol while taking the medication.
While lisinopril has many redeeming properties, some adverse effects are related to this medication. Individuals who have prescriptions should be informed of these, including dizziness, chills, rash, weakness, runny nose, lowered libido, blurry vision, and confusion. Other possible side effects of lisinopril include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and digestive issues.
Lisinopril also includes a black box warning about using it while pregnant. Doing so can cause harm to unborn babies, so it should not be prescribed to women attempting to conceive or who are currently pregnant.
In rare cases, severe side effects may occur that include the following:
- Swelling of the face, tongue, lips, throat, hands, feet, or legs
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Fever or sore throat
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), followed by liver damage
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Ear congestion
While lisinopril can be safe and effective when used according to a doctor’s directions, individuals should be concerned about the possible harmful effects of combining the medication with alcohol. Drinking alcohol while taking lisinopril can exacerbate the side effects listed above, which in and of itself can create a hazardous situation. However, even for persons who experience none of these side effects, there are other reasons not to combine the two substances.
Effects of Lisinopril and Alcohol on Blood Pressure
Research has been conducted to examine been done to investigate possible interactions between drinking alcohol and using lisinopril. Studies have confirmed that drinking too much alcohol is a common reason for high blood pressure and exacerbates problems that the medication is intended to treat.
Moreover, when drinking alcohol increases blood pressure, lisinopril can no longer work effectively. In some instances, alcohol has the opposite effect by decreasing a drinker’s blood pressure. If the two substances are used in conjunction, blood pressure may drop dramatically, leading to extreme dizziness or fainting.
If this occurs, severe injury or death may result, and for this reason, among others, individuals are strongly urged to avoid or stop consuming alcohol—not even in small amounts. Also, individuals should never drive a vehicle or operate machinery while drinking alcohol. This may be especially true for doing so while using lisinopril since both substances’ symptoms can be compounded they’re combined.
There are other potential interactions with lisinopril and other substances. Individuals should let their health provider know if they’re taking any other hypertension drugs currently because using them in addition to lisinopril increases the risk of low blood pressure, high blood potassium, and kidney problems. The individual’s doctor should also be aware of the use of diabetic drugs, diuretics, mood stabilizers, or painkillers.
What if You Can’t Stop Drinking While on Lisinopril?
For some people, using lisinopril safely is simply a matter of abstaining from alcohol while taking the medication. For others, however, this may not be so simple. If you or your loved one find it challenging or near impossible to refrain from drinking while on lisinopril despite multiple attempts to quit, it may be time to seek professional addiction treatment.
It is especially critical to seek an addiction treatment program if you or your loved one is experiencing any of the adverse effects previously noted, continuing to drink, or drinking excessively even in the face of risks to your health and well-being. These outcomes likely indicate that alcohol has become a problem that requires comprehensive, long-term treatment that includes evidence-based services such as psychotherapy, counseling, mindfulness therapy, and group support.
At Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery centers, addiction specialists are here to help you uncover and address the root causes of your alcohol use and to replace drinking with healthier coping mechanisms.