Drug and Alcohol

Lisinopril: Uses, Addiction, Side Effects & Recovery

Can You Get Addicted To Lisinopril?

Is lisinopril addictive? This medication is very dangerous when combined with other addictive substances...including alcohol. Learn more in our blog.

Addiction is a complicated disorder.

It's driven by multiple factors: emotional, mental, and even environmental. One person's road to recovery is entirely different from another because drug addiction has signs, symptoms, and effects based on the individual's addiction habit and health condition. Some people are addicted to hard drugs or club drugs. This is most pertinent among teenagers and young adults.

Many people get addicted to prescription drugs. The age group of usage of any narcotic drugs is not restricted. This is why it is so challenging to stop addiction, causing millions of deaths worldwide. There are hundreds of varieties of drug substances, and the number of users is rising rapidly. These drugs can range from mental health treatment drugs like Klonopin and Xanax to even hypertension medication like lisinopril. 

By the Numbers:

Almost 16 million American people aged 12 or above abuse prescription drugs. Around 2 million, i.e., 12% of Americans, are addicted to prescription drugs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 67,000 deaths have taken place in the United States of America due to hypertension. Nearly 110 million people in the country have systolic blood pressure higher than 130 mmHg and are on medications like lisinopril.

Similarly, it is said that there has been a massive increase in lisinopril dosages. From 2008 to 2018, the usage of this FDA-approved hypertension-managing medication jumped by 10%. Now more than 98 million Americans are using lisinopril for their problem. But like many other prescribed medications, it can have severe health effects if taken frequently with more than the permitted dosage ... or when mixed with other drugs. Let's talk about the severe yet uncommon issues of lisinopril drug abuse and addiction. We will also discuss the common signs, symptoms, side effects, and treatment for lisinopril addiction. Read ahead!

What Is Lisinopril?

Lisinopril is a high-blood pressure medication. High blood pressure, or in diagnostic terms, hypertension, is known as a silent killer. Without any significant symptoms and signs, hypertension can cause a lot of damage to the body. There aren't many major physical issues until something as serious as a stroke or blood vessel damage happens. If a person has high blood pressure, there is a lot of pressure and workload on their heart. If this condition is left untreated or is overlooked by the patient, high blood pressure can lead to kidney failure, stroke, and an increased risk of a heart attack.

Many medications have been developed to manage the risks associated with high blood pressure. These prescription treatments help control the increase of blood pressure and reduce the impact of hypertension. One such medication is Lisinopril.

It is sold under the brand names like Qbrelis, Prinivil, and Zestril and is among the most commonly used medication for treating this condition. It is a generic medication that belongs to the drug class known as ACE inhibitors (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme). They help in reducing the blood pressure of an individual suffering from hypertension. Elevated blood pressure is among the most common diseases that nearly 30-40% of Americans suffer from.

One of the most frequently asked queries is what the drug lisinopril is used for.

What Is Lisinopril Used For?

Lisinopril is an ACE inhibitor often used as a first line of treatment. It can also be used in conjecture with other forms of meds to treat congestive heart failure and even after a heart attack. 

Lisinopril was first developed and patented in 1978 and finally became available for medical use in 1987 in the United States of America. It was developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck and is today approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for managing hypertension among patients aged 6 and above. It is considered a primary medication used for managing elevated blood pressure initially.

Apart from this, it also acts as a therapeutic agent in other conditions such as:

  • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

  • Proteinuric Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

  • ST-segment elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI)

  • Diabetic nephropathy

  • Acute Myocardial Infarction (MI)

By decreasing blood pressure, lisinopril prevents the risks of strikes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. This medication works by relaxing the blood vessels to smooth blood flow. Officially, lisinopril is to be taken orally, by mouth, with or without food. Lisinopril dosage depends on the doctor's direction and your medical condition, but it is usually taken once daily. There are chances that a patient may develop an addiction to lisinopril if they try to take more doses than what is prescribed to them.

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Is Lisinopril an Addictive Drug?

It is very rare to be addicted to Lisinopril or any ACE inhibitor medication. They do not have the potential to be addictive as they do not produce euphoria. Traditionally, addiction and the potential of abuse are directly related to those substances and prescribed medications that can generate sensations like euphoria.

These drugs share common pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic elements that promote dependence and reward effects. Opioid drugs such as fentanyl, morphine, and OxyContin are good examples. These drugs mostly impact the central nervous system, mimic the natural receptors, and bind with them to produce euphoria, relaxation, and sedation.

Lisinopril doesn't have these effects. This is because this medication does not act upon the central nervous system and cannot cross the barrier between the brain and blood. On top of that, it cannot bind to the neurotransmitters and receptors to produce addictive effects. So, in that sense, lisinopril medications do not have an addictive nature. 

But does this mean lisinopril has the potential to be abused, misused, or overused? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Also, it sure can develop psychological dependence, especially in older adults.

For instance, if someone tries to discontinue or change the medication, there are chances that their hypertension conditions worsen as lisinopril can be abused and create psychological dependence. Apart from that, there are severe consequences if a patient tries to take more than the required and prescribed dose of lisinopril. Overuse and chronic misuse can easily lead to kidney damage and other side effects. Let's talk about this in detail.

What Is the Major Side Effects of Lisinopril?

First, if you are allergic to lisinopril or any other ACE inhibitors, it is crucial to impart this knowledge to your doctor. If you continue to take this medication with an allergy, it may cause serious side effects like swelling and rashes on your face, tongue, lips, throat, etc. If you are unaware of the allergy, ask your doctor to check your medical history.

Apart from this, it is often recommended that it is not viable to operate heavy machinery or drive after consuming Lisinopril. This is especially the case with those who drink alcohol. Also, it is imperative to inform your doctor if you will use marijuana, as it can lead to excessive sweating, vomiting, and lightheadedness. Cannabis also has dangerous interactions with other prescriptions.

Some of the most common side effects of ingesting this hypertension medication are tiredness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and frequent headaches. There is also a possibility that the user may feel a dry cough too. Generally, it is sporadic to experience harsh side effects like fainting or high blood potassium levels. If someone is experiencing those effects, they must inform and update their doctor about it.

The initial signs of any side effects experienced due to this medication are sore throat, fever, and chills. It can also affect a person's white blood cell count and ultimately lead to infection. There are only a few cases in which a person has developed a high potassium level condition known as hyperkalemia. Here signs would be confusion, nausea, stomach pain, numbness, irregular heartbeat, heaviness, and difficulty breathing. In some cases, people have also experienced kidney-related problems with loss of appetite, darkened urine, yellow pallor, upper stomach ache, nausea, etc. 

Some significant side effects of Lisinopril:

  • Common side effects include weakness, dizziness, sneezing, cough, runny nose, headache, rash, diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, and other digestive issues.

  • Long-term side effects include chest pain, hoarseness, swelling, difficulty in breathing, lightheadedness, jaundice, etc. 

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Common Lisinopril Withdrawal Symptoms

An essential tip while using any prescribed medication is that an individual who consumes them should never practice the habit of suddenly discontinuing the drug. Without the doctor's instruction, one should never deviate from following the prescription timeline. This is not only applicable to high-powered medication but also over-the-counter generic ones.

So, if you take any medicines for more than two weeks, it is essential not to stop usage because these medications change our system suddenly. If suddenly discontinued, it can create withdrawal symptoms. If someone abruptly stops using lisinopril, there is a possibility that the person may experience rebound hypertension. As you may have understood, Lisinopril controls hypertension symptoms, but when discontinued suddenly, it can rapidly increase blood pressure. This is very rare, but there is a possibility that it can happen.

So, do not go cold turkey if you are considering discontinuing Lisinopril or switching it with some other ACE inhibitor. Instead, slowly and steadily reduce its dosage. One also reduces the usage along with making healthy lifestyle changes so that the reduction of the medication does not affect your body.

Lisinopril Overdose

After consuming too much ACE inhibitor medication, a person can experience overdose effects like dizziness, fainting, overall weakness, and even a sudden drop in blood pressure. Ultimately, all this can lead to severe mishaps. Generally, in the case of Lisinopril, the overdose effect can happen in conjunction with other prescribed medication. This can lead to further complications.

If it is the case, chronic consumption of Lisinopril can lead to long-term health effects like hypotension, renal failure, lethargy, mild confusion, dizziness, etc. In such a case, contacting your physician becomes essential. 

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Lisinopril Drug Treatment & Recovery

If you have any suspicion that you or someone close to you are abusing Lisinopril or any other prescribed medication, it is pertinent to contact and seek help from a drug rehab center. They are medical institutions that are developed to help patients who are suffering from the chronic health condition of substance use disorder (SUD). They help patients not only superficially with immediate effects but comprehensively too. With the help of both controlled prescribed medications and individualized therapies, the patient's addiction habit is tackled from its root.

Addiction is not a condition that can be treated with self-care or by withdrawing from it. It is a very complicated disorder that has to be treated with time, hard work, medical precision, and determination. 

The Edge Treatment Center: Proven, Evidence-Based Addiction Care

Addiction is less about particular substances and more about behaviors and outcomes. Many prescription drugs like lisinopril can become dangerous if they're used alongside alcohol and other addictive drugs.

The Edge Treatment Center will help you leave substance abuse behind. Our outpatient drug rehab is ideal for moving past addiction into a life worth living. Contact us today to learn more!

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

March 15, 2023