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Lisinopril & Alcohol – Side Effects and Dangers

Lisinopril & Alcohol - Side Effects and Dangers

About 462 drugs interact with alcohol and 365 cause interactions with lisinopril, but there are no direct interactions between these drugs. However, some of the effects of alcohol may counteract how lisinopril works. 

If you take lisinopril, you can drink alcohol. But you should only drink in moderation. Here is what you need to know to protect yourself. 

How Lisinopril Works

Typically prescribed for high blood pressure, lisinopril also helps to improve survival rates after heart attacks and to treat heart failure. High blood pressure causes your heart to work over time. Your heart has to beat harder to move the blood through your arteries. This extra strain damages your body, potentially leading to heart attacks, strokes, or kidney failure. 

This medicine blocks the substances that cause your blood vessels to tighten. As a result, your blood pressure goes down. The supply of blood and oxygen to the heart increases. And your risk of health issues decreases. The extra oxygen to your heart also helps with healing after a heart attack or to prevent heart failure. 

Overlapping Effects of Alcohol and Lisinopril

The side effects of alcohol and lisinopril can overlap. If you’re experiencing the same side effects from both drugs, the results may worsen. Here are the biggest potential issues:

Lowered Blood Pressure

Some research indicates that alcohol can lower your blood pressure. If this happens when you’re taking lisinopril, you may feel extra side effects. Potential side effects include the following:

  • Light-headed feeling
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased urination
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • High potassium
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver issues

High Blood Pressure

Note that alcohol only lowers your blood pressure if you take it in extreme moderation. But drinking high amounts of alcohol raises your blood pressure. You can also raise your blood pressure with a one-time binge. A binge refers to drinking more than 6 drinks in a 6 hour period. 

If you take heart pressure medication, you should drink sensibly. That means you should only drink 2 to 3 drinks per day. You should not drink more than 14 units per alcohol a week. 

Drowsiness

On top of that, when lisinopril lowers your blood pressure, you may feel drowsy. You don’t feel drowsy from the drug per se. You simply feel drowsy from the lowered blood pressure. As you know, alcohol is a depressant, and it can also make you feel drowsy. In certain situations, this feeling may be worse when you combine these drugs. 

Dehydration

In addition, alcohol can dehydrate you. If you are already dehydrated due to lisinopril, that can exacerbate the situation. You also need to pay extra attention if you are exercising or spending time in hot weather. Lisinopril can decrease sweating. This increases the risk of heat stroke. These risks are worse if you have been drinking. 

Liver Issues

Similarly, alcohol causes your liver to work extra hard filtering toxins out of your system. If you have liver issues from lisinopril as well, this can put extra strain on your liver. 

Weight Gain

Alcohol also has a lot of calories. Drinking is heavily associated with weight gain. Extra weight increases your blood pressure. If you drink heavily, you may be undoing the efforts made by lisinopril. 

What If You Mix Alcohol and Lisinopril?

As indicated above, you usually don’t have to worry about interactions between alcohol and lisinopril. However, there are exceptions. If you drink in moderation, your blood pressure may go down. Pay close attention to ensure that you are not experiencing any side effects related to excessively low blood pressure. 

You should not drink heavily with lisinopril. Even if you don’t take lisinopril, heavy drinking can lead to a number of health issues. Drinking is linked to weight gain, heart issues, liver failure, cancers, and death. If you drink heavily while on heart pressure medication, you are putting your health at risk. Ideally, you should cut back. If you cannot stop on your own, you should consider addiction treatment. 

Addiction Treatment for Lisinopril and Alcohol

Prescription drug addiction treatment includes individual and group therapy. It helps you learn why you are turning to alcohol and guides you toward better decision making processes. Do not hurt your body by over drinking, especially if you are already struggling with high blood pressure. 

Keep in mind, however, that heavy drinkers may not be able to stop on their own. If you are physically addicted to alcohol, quitting can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms including seizures and death.

In addition, if you stop suddenly and you are a heavy drinker, you may develop very high blood pressure for several days. Talk with your doctor before quitting on your own. 

To get help, contact a treatment center in your local area. They can help you figure out which steps to take. You are not alone. You can pick up the phone and get help today. 

Sources

  1. Alcohol (contained in alcoholic beverages) and lisinopril Drug Interactions. (n.d.)
  2. Blood Pressure : Q. Am I going to have to give up drinking alcohol because I have high blood pressure? (n.d.)
  3. How alcohol affects blood pressure. (2019, January 9)
  4. Lisinopril (Oral Route) Precautions. (n.d.)
  5. lisinopril. (n.d.)

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