Lisinopril and Alcohol: Interactions, Effects & Risks
Although lisinopril and alcohol do not have a drug interaction, mixing them can worsen the symptoms lisinopril is prescribed to treat.
Cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure are dangerous, causing heart attacks, strokes and kidney problems. Alcohol is one of the most common substances in the U.S., and you may wonder if it is safe to drink while taking a medication like lisinopril to treat these conditions. For this reason, it is crucial to understand the risks of drinking when you take lisinopril for an underlying medical condition.
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What Is Lisinopril?
Lisinopril (sold under the brand name Prinivil and Zestril) is a prescription medication that can lower your blood pressure and help your heart and kidneys. It is often prescribed to treat conditions like:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Heart disease
- Diabetic kidney disease
Lisinopril belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) and, like all ACE inhibitors, is also a renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (or RAAS) inhibitor. The RAAS system causes your blood vessels to constrict, so blocking the system dilates your blood vessels, helps lower blood pressure and protects your heart and kidneys.
Lisinopril Side Effects
Like all drugs, lisinopril has side effects, including:
- Dry cough
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Low blood pressure
- Lab abnormalities, including increased blood potassium levels
Angioedema is the most serious side effect of lisinopril and is swelling around the face, lips and tongue. If you have ever had swelling on lisinopril or any ACE inhibitor, you should not take any ACE inhibitors in the future and tell your doctor and pharmacy.
Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Lisinopril?
You should avoid alcohol if you have any cardiovascular condition that is being treated by lisinopril, including heart and kidney disease. This is because alcohol directly damages the cardiovascular system and raises your blood pressure, placing an extra burden on your heart. If you already have a cardiovascular medical condition for which your doctor has prescribed lisinopril, exacerbating it by drinking alcohol can worsen your health problems.
Lisinopril Interactions With Alcohol
Lisinopril has no drug interaction with alcohol and carries no warning about its use with alcohol. However, this doesn’t mean that drinking while taking lisinopril is a good idea because alcohol is toxic to the heart and can cause permanent damage if you drink alcohol over the long term.
Alcohol can also increase your blood pressure. Because lisinopril is prescribed to treat cardiovascular conditions, drinking while taking lisinopril is counterproductive. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the risks of alcohol that are specific to your medical history.
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How Long After Taking Lisinopril Can I Drink Alcohol?
Because lisinopril and alcohol have no drug interactions, you do not need to be concerned about the timing of your last lisinopril dose. However, because the underlying cardiovascular condition that lisinopril is prescribed to treat is permanent, you should still avoid alcohol because it is toxic to the heart and raises your blood pressure.
Help for Alcohol Addiction
If you struggle to quit alcohol despite having cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure, this may be a symptom of alcohol addiction. The Recovery Village at Baptist Health is here to help. With our medical detox program to wean you from alcohol and our rehab program to keep you sober, we are here for you every step of the way. Don’t wait: contact a Recovery Advocate today.
Drugs.com. “Lisinopril Monograph for Professionals.” October 26, 2022. Accessed April 9, 2023.
Drugs.com. “Drug Interaction Report: ethanol, lisinopril.” Accessed April 9, 2023.
Shaaban, Adnan; Gangwani, Manesh Kumar; Pendela, Venkata Satish; Vindhyal, Mohinder R. “Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy.” StatPearls, August 8, 2022. Accessed April 9, 2023.
Husain, Kazim; Ansari, Rais A.; Ferder, Leon. “Alcohol-induced hypertension: Mechanism and prevention.” World Journal of Cardiology, May 26, 2014. Accessed April 9, 2023.