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Lisinopril and Alcohol Interactions

What is Lisinopril?

Lisinopril is a prescription medication that treats high blood pressure and heart failure. It has been shown to increase survival following a heart attack. 

Brand names for lisinopril include Qbrelis, Zestril, and Prinivil

Lisinopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. ACE inhibitors work by decreasing chemicals that tighten blood vessels so blood flows easier. 

Treatment with lisinopril is usually long-term. You may take it for the rest of your life. You will have to have your blood pressure checked regularly, and your doctor may take blood tests as well.

Side Effects of Lisinopril

Lisinopril can cause the following side effects:

  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea 
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • A decrease in sexual ability
  • Rash

Lisinopril may cause severe side effects in some people.

Call your doctor right away if you experience:

  • Swelling of the face, lips, or throat
  • Angioedema or rapid swelling under the skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hoarseness
  • Faster heart rate or irregular heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Severe dizziness
  • Severe stomach pain 
  • Sore throat
  • Yellowing skin or eyes
  • Chest pain

These side effects may indicate serious conditions such as an allergic reaction, kidney problems, liver problems, or stroke. If you experience any of them, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.

Drug interactions may occur when lisinopril is combined with other medications.

For example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen, diclofenac, and indomethacin can decrease lisinopril’s ability to lower blood pressure. They can also negatively affect kidney function. 

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications, like ibuprofen, can also interact with lisinopril. Avoid salt substitutes and potassium supplements while taking lisinopril because they can cause high blood potassium levels.

Lisinopril is also not recommended for pregnant women because it can have adverse effects on an unborn baby. 

Before combining alcohol with any other prescription drug, medication, or supplement, speak to a doctor first to determine if it's safe.

Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Lisinopril?

It may be safe to drink alcohol while taking lisinopril. The FDA currently does not warn against combining alcohol with lisinopril.

However, lisinopril can cause dizziness and lightheadedness. These effects may be worsened when combined with alcohol.

Before taking lisinopril, speak with a doctor about your medical history to discuss whether or not drinking alcohol is safe.

How Does Lisinopril Interact With Alcohol?

When alcohol and lisinopril are combined, you may experience added lightheadedness and dizziness. If you feel dizzy on lisinopril without alcohol, avoid consuming alcohol as these symptoms may worsen.

For some, combining alcohol and lisinopril can raise blood pressure.

Side Effects & Risks of Mixing Lisinopril and Alcohol

Mixing lisinopril and alcohol may cause side effects like:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting

Never drive or operate machinery while drinking alcohol. Alcohol and lisinopril both cause dizziness, and these symptoms may be amplified when the two substances are combined.

Excessive alcohol consumption may also cause some people to neglect personal care, including a medication regimen. 

An occasional missed dose of lisinopril is usually OK. The next dose should be taken at the scheduled time. However, if doses are missed consistently, lisinopril may not work effectively.

Other Precautions of Lisinopril

Before taking lisinopril, let your doctor know if you’re allergic to other ACE inhibitors like benazepril or have any other allergies. 

You should also speak to your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history before taking lisinopril. This is especially important if you have a history of an allergic reaction that caused swelling in your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Lisinopril can make you feel dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana use may worsen this effect. Be sure not to drive, operate machinery, or do anything that requires alertness until you can do so safely. 

If you’re going to have surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about any prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, herbal products, or supplements you take. 

Lisinopril may also increase potassium levels. Before taking potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

Older people are typically more sensitive to the side effects of lisinopril, especially dizziness and increases in potassium levels.

Lastly, don’t use lisinopril during pregnancy. It’s unknown if lisinopril passes into breast milk. Speak with your doctor before breastfeeding.

Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking any blood pressure medication?

It may or may not be safe to drink alcohol while taking blood pressure medication. The effects of alcohol depend on the type of drugs the patient is taking.

ACE inhibitors, including lisinopril, enalapril, and captopril, can cause dizziness or lightheadedness when combined with alcohol.

Excessive alcohol use can lead to high blood pressure, diseases of the heart muscle, arrhythmias, or death. It’s important to talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of drinking alcohol in moderation when taking lisinopril. 

Can I have a glass of wine while taking lisinopril?

For some, it may be okay to have a glass of wine while taking lisinopril. Many people associate drinking red wine with heart health because red wine is a part of the Mediterranean diet, which lowers blood pressure. 

There is limited evidence on the effects of red wine on the heart, and it is unclear whether red wine is responsible for the health benefits described in some studies.

The American Heart Association does not recommend drinking wine or alcohol to gain health benefits.

Before combining lisinopril with wine, always seek professional medical advice from a doctor.

Should I drink more water when taking lisinopril?

Drink plenty of water while taking lisinopril, especially if you’re also drinking alcohol. Alcohol is dehydrating and can cause headaches, a side effect of lisinopril.

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Updated on January 10, 2022
8 sources cited
  1. Cosmi, Franco, et al. “Regular Wine Consumption in Chronic Heart Failure Impact on Outcomes, Quality of Life, and Circulating Biomarkers.” AHA Journals, Journal of the American Heart Association, May 2015
  2. Droste, Dirk W et al. “A daily glass of red wine and lifestyle changes do not affect arterial blood pressure and heart rate in patients with carotid arteriosclerosis after 4 and 20 weeks.” Cerebrovascular diseases extra vol. 3,1 121-9. 5 Oct. 2013
  3. “Harmful Interactions.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 5 June 2019
  4. “High Blood Pressure - Medicines to Help You.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, 2019
  5. “Lisinopril 20 mg tablet” Kaiser Permanente, Cerner Multum, Inc. , Oct. 2019
  6. “Lisinopril.” NHS Choices, NHS, 13 Dec. 2018
  7. Lisinopril: MedlinePlus Drug Information, MedlinePlus
  8. “ZESTRIL (Lisinopril).” FDA.gov, Paddock Laboratories, Inc.

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