Similar to most prescription drugs, combining lisinopril and alcohol is not recommended, and even dangerous, as there are potential interactions. As it is commonly prescribed, lisinopril treats various heart conditions and hypertension and increases the success of individuals recovering from a heart attack. Through a process of the relaxation of blood vessel muscles, lisinopril lowers blood pressure. It can also be prescribed to treat kidney disease in people with diabetes as it can reduce protein loss through the kidneys.
So, can you drink alcohol with lisinopril? This drug can be an effective medication when used as indicated. However, many people have been prescribed lisinopril for blood pressure problems related to drinking—and many of those same people may continue to drink while taking the drug. Taking lisinopril and alcohol together, however, can be a dangerous combination.
What is lisinopril?
Lisinopril is a medicine to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. It’s also prescribed after a heart attack and for diabetic kidney disease. Lisinopril helps prevent future strokes and heart attacks. It also improves your survival if you’re taking it after a recent heart attack or for heart failure. And it also slows down diabetic kidney disease.
This medicine is only available on prescription. It comes as tablets. It also comes as a liquid for people who find it hard to swallow tablets, but this has to be ordered specially by your doctor. Lisinopril is also available combined with another blood pressure medicine called hydrochlorothiazide.
Can you drink alcohol with Lisinopril?
Also known as Qbrelis, Zestril, or Prinivil, lisinopril is classified as an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (often known as an ACE inhibitor) and is a generic medicine. Although lisinopril has many redeeming properties, there are some negative side effects related to this medication that patients should be aware of, such as dizziness, chills, rash, weakness, runny nose, lowered sex drive, blurred vision, and confusion. It can also cause harm to an unborn baby and, thus, is not prescribed to women who are trying to become pregnant or who are currently pregnant, as it creates a potential risk for complications.
Can you drink alcohol with Lisinopril? In rare occurrences, severe side effects may include the following:
- Allergic Reaction (Swelling of the face, tongue, throat, lips, hands, feet, or legs)
- Severe Stomach Pain
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Fever or sore throat
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Difficulty breathing
- Ear congestion
Those with diabetes, kidney, or liver disease should be extra careful and ensure they talk to a doctor about these conditions before using lisinopril. Consideration of medical history is always important. This prescription drug can affect blood sugar levels as well as increase blood potassium levels to a dangerous degree.
Although lisinopril can be extremely effective, it’s safe only when taken according to medical advice, which should include a warning about the possible adverse effects of combining lisinopril and alcohol. Drinking while taking lisinopril can add to or even exacerbate the side effects listed above, which in itself can create a dangerous situation. The common side effects of alcohol drinking and lisinopril get stacked and amplified. However, even for individuals who experience none of these side effects, there is another reason not to mix the two.
How to cope with side effects
What to do about:
- A dry tickly cough: cough medicines do not usually help for coughs caused by lisinopril, and sometimes the cough gets better on its own. Talk to your doctor if it bothers you or stops you from sleeping, as another medicine may be better. Even if you stop taking lisinopril, the cough may take up to a month to go away.
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded: if lisinopril makes you feel dizzy when you stand up, try getting up very slowly or stay sitting down until you feel better. If you begin to feel dizzy, lie down so you do not faint, then sit until you feel better.
- Headaches: make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink too much alcohol. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a painkiller. Talk to your doctor if they last longer than a week or are severe.
- Diarrhea or being sick (vomiting): drink plenty of fluids, such as water or squash, to prevent dehydration. If you’re being sick, take small, frequent sips of fluid. Speak to a pharmacist if you have signs of dehydration, such as peeing less than usual or having dark, strong-smelling pee. Do not take any other medicines to treat diarrhea or vomiting without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor first. If you get diarrhea or vomiting from a stomach bug or illness, tell your doctor. You may need to temporarily stop taking lisinopril until you feel better.
- Itching or a mild rash: it may help to take an antihistamine, which you can buy from a pharmacy. Check with the pharmacist to see what type is suitable for you.
- Blurred vision: avoid driving or using tools or machines while this is happening. If it lasts for more than a day or two, speak to your doctor as they may need to change your treatment.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Lisinopril is not normally recommended in pregnancy or when breastfeeding. But it may be prescribed if your doctor thinks the benefits of the medicine outweigh the risks. If you’re trying to get pregnant or are already pregnant, talk to your doctor about the benefits and possible harms of taking lisinopril. These will depend on how many weeks pregnant you are and the reason why you’re taking it. There may be other safer treatments.
The Combined Effect of Lisinopril and Alcohol On Blood Pressure
Those who frequently drink alcohol (and especially those who binge drink) often experience high blood pressure. When blood pressure is raised by a significant amount, lisinopril can no longer bring the levels down, causing the medication to become ineffective. In some cases, alcohol has the opposite effect by lowering a drinker’s blood pressure. If alcohol is in the system alongside lisinopril, blood pressure may drop drastically, leading to extreme dizziness or fainting.
While extreme dizziness and possible fainting may not seem serious to some, when combined with unfavorable circumstances and an already inebriated state, severe injury or even death may occur as a result. As such, you or your loved one should use extreme caution with alcohol intake while using lisinopril, even if you only intend on drinking a small amount. Drug interactions can cause serious harm.
Who can and cannot take lisinopril?
Lisinopril can be taken by adults and children aged 6 years and over. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar (glucose) more often, particularly in the first few weeks. This is because lisinopril can lower the sugar level in your blood. Lisinopril is not suitable for everyone.
Can you drink alcohol with Lisinopril? To make sure lisinopril is safe for you, tell your doctor if you:
- have had an allergic reaction to lisinopril or any other medicine in the past
- are trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant, or breastfeeding
- are having dialysis or any other type of blood filtration
- have heart, liver, or kidney problems
- have unstable or low blood pressure
- have diabetes
- are going to have a major operation (surgery) or general anesthetic to put you to sleep
- have recently had diarrhea or vomiting
- are on a low-salt diet
- are going to have desensitization treatment to reduce your allergy to insect stings
- have a blood problem, such as a low white blood cell count (neutropenia or agranulocytosis)
Can you drink alcohol with Lisinopril? Some medicines may interfere with the way lisinopril works. Tell your doctor if you’re taking:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, indomethacin, or aspirin for pain relief (low-dose aspirin – 75mg a day, is safe to take with lisinopril)
- Medicines to treat low blood pressure, heart failure, asthma, or allergies, such as ephedrine, noradrenaline, or adrenaline
- Medicines to treat high blood pressure, such as aliskiren
- Other medicines that can lower your blood pressure, such as some antidepressants, nitrates (for chest pain), baclofen (a muscle relaxant), anesthetics, or medicines for an enlarged prostate gland
- Medicines that damp down your immune systems, such as ciclosporin or tacrolimus
- Medicines that can increase the amount of potassium in your blood, such as spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride, potassium supplements, trimethoprim (for infections), and heparin (for thinning the blood)
- Steroid medicines such as prednisolone
- Allopurinol (for gout)
- Procainamide (for heart rhythm problems)
- Medicines for diabetes
- Racecadotril (for diarrhoea)
- Lithium (for mental health problems)
- Tablets that make you pee more (diuretics), such as furosemide
Mixing lisinopril with herbal remedies or supplements
There’s very little information about taking herbal remedies and supplements with lisinopril. For safety, speak to your pharmacist or doctor before taking any herbal or alternative remedies with lisinopril.
What to Do If You Can’t Stop Drinking While on Lisinopril?
For some individuals, taking lisinopril safely is simply a matter of limiting or abstaining from alcohol while on the medication. For others, however, this may not be simple at all. If you or your loved one find it difficult or even impossible to moderate or refrain from drinking while on lisinopril—even despite earnest attempts to do so—it may be time to seek professional help with addiction recovery. Addiction specialists can help you discover and address the root causes of your alcohol abuse, allowing you or your loved one to replace drinking with other healthier coping mechanisms while continuing to safely take lisinopril.
It is especially important to seek addiction treatment if you or your loved one is experiencing any of the side effects previously mentioned—continuing to drink, or drinking heavily, even in the face of risks to your health and wellbeing is perhaps the most significant indicator of when alcohol has become a problem that requires professional help.
Reclaim Your Life From Alcohol Dependence and Addiction
Drinking alcohol while taking lisinopril can add to or even exacerbate the side effects of the medication, which in itself can create a dangerous situation. We Level Up California Rehab Institute can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from addiction and abuse with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please understand that each call is private and confidential.
 Sadat-Ebrahimi, S. R., Parnianfard, N., Vahed, N., Babaei, H., Ghojazadeh, M., Tang, S., & Azarpazhooh, A. (2018). An evidence-based systematic review of the off-label uses of lisinopril. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 84(11), 2502–2521.