Zestril (Lisinopril) can be used for the following conditions:

  • To treat high blood pressure (hypertension).
  • To treat heart failure.
  • If you have recently had a heart attack (myocardial infarction).
  • To treat kidney problems caused by Type II diabetes in people with high blood pressure.

Why have I been prescribed Zestril?

Zestril (Lisinopril) can be used for the following conditions:

How does it work?

  • Zestril belongs to the group of medicines called Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors. ACE inhibitors work by helping to widen your blood vessels, which then make it easier for your heart to pump blood through them.

When and how do I take it?

  • Swallow the tablet with a drink of water. Try to take your tablets at the same time each day. It does not matter if you take Zestril before or after food.
  • Keep taking Zestril for as long as your doctor tells you to, it is a long term treatment. It is important to keep taking Zestril every day.

Taking your first dose:

Take special care when you have your first dose of Zestril or if your dose is increased. It may cause a greater fall in blood pressure than later doses. This may make you feel dizzy or light-headed. If this happens, it may help to lie down. If you are concerned, please talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

What’s the dose?

Your dose depends on your medical condition and whether you are taking any other medicines. Your doctor will tell you how many tablets to take each day. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure.

For high blood pressure:

  • The usual starting dose is 10 mg once a day.
  • The usual long-term dose is 20 mg once a day.

For heart failure:

  • The usual starting dose is 2.5 mg once a day.
  • The long-term dose is 5 to 35 mg once a day.

After a heart attack:

  • The usual starting dose is 5 mg within 24 hours of your attack and 5 mg one day later.
  • The usual long-term dose is 10 mg once a day.

For kidney problems caused by diabetes:

  • The usual dose is either 10 mg or 20 mg once a day.

If you are elderly, have kidney problems or are taking diuretic medicines your doctor may give you a lower dose than the usual dose.

Could it interact with other tablets?

Tell your doctor if you are taking, or have recently taken, any other medicines. This includes medicines that you buy without a prescription. This is because Zestril can affect the way some medicines work and some medicines can have an effect on Zestril.

In particular, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • Other medicines to help lower your blood pressure.
  • Water tablets (diuretic medicines).
  • Medicines to break up blood clots (usually given in hospital).
  • Beta-blocker medicines, such as atenolol and propranolol.
  • Nitrate medicines (for heart problems).
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used to treat pain and arthritis.
  • Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic acid), if you are taking more than 3 grams each day.
  • Medicines for depression and for mental problems, including lithium.
  • Potassium tablets or salt substitutes that have potassium in them.
  • Insulin or medicines that you take by mouth for diabetes.
  • Medicines used to treat asthma.
  • Medicines to treat nose or sinus congestion or other cold remedies (including those you can buy in the pharmacy).
  • Medicines to suppress the body’s immune response (immunosuppressants).
  • Allopurinol (for gout).
  • Procainamide (for heart beat problems).
  • Medicines that contain gold, such as sodium aurothiomalate, which may be given to you as an injection.

What are the possible risks or side-effects?

If you experience any of the following reactions, stop taking Zestril and see your doctor immediately:

Severe allergic reactions. The signs may include sudden onset of:

  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat. This may make it difficult to swallow.
  • Severe or sudden swelling of your hands, feet and ankles.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Severe itching of the skin (with raised lumps).

Severe skin disorders, like a sudden, unexpected rash or burning, red or peeling skin (very rare, affects less than 1 user in 10,000).
An infection with symptoms such as fever and serious deterioration of your general condition, or fever with local infection symptoms such as sore throat/pharynx/mouth or urinary problems (very rare, affects less than 1 user in 10,000).

Other possible side effects:

Common (affects 1 to 10 users in 100)

  • Headache.
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed, especially if you stand up quickly.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • A dry cough that does not go away.
  • Being sick (vomiting)
  • Kidney problems (shown in a blood test).

While taking Zestril, if you develop any of the following symptoms you should let you doctor know immediately:

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).
  • a dry cough which is persistent for a long time.

Can I drink alcohol while taking it?

If you drink alcohol while taking Zestril, it may cause your blood pressure to drop and you may experience dizziness, light-headedness or faintness. You should also keep your alcohol intake to a minimum.

What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?

  • The use of ACE inhibitors is not recommended during the first trimester of pregnancy. They cannot be used during the second and third trimester of pregnancy.
  • The use of Zestril is not recommended while breast feeding.

If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.

Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note: 
We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.