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Lisinopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor that's used to treat hypertension in adults. It's also effective for high blood pressure in children who are at least six years old.
Besides using it to treat hypertension, doctors prescribe the medication for heart failure or for patients recovering from a heart attack. Its main function is to relax the blood vessels, causing a better flow of blood.
Important Things to Note Before Taking Lisinopril
During your diagnosis or appointment, tell your medical examiner everything related to your health. That's because you should not use the medication if you fall into the following categories:
- Allergy to any ACE inhibitor like quinapril, ramipril, benazepril, captopril, and the like
- Suffered from angioedema
- You recently took sacubitril, a neprilysin inhibitor that helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular death.
Do not take lisinopril with drugs like Tekturna or Tekamlo, which contain aliskiren. Also, avoid the medication if you have kidney or liver disease. Inform your doctor if your blood contains high potassium levels.
Avoid using lisinopril if you're expecting a child. Taking this medication during the second or third trimester of pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects or stillbirth.
Stop taking this medication and consult your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while using it. To be on the safe side, take precautions to prevent pregnancy when using this medication.
The safety of lisinopril for nursing mothers and their infants is unknown. So, you should not breastfeed when using this medication.
How to Take Lisinopril
Follow your doctor's instructions when taking lisinopril. Shake the bottle vigorously just before each dose if you're using the suspension form of this medication. You should not use this medication for a shorter or longer period of time than prescribed. While you're taking it, ensure you stay hydrated.
Use the accompanying dosing syringe, a special dose-measuring spoon, or a medicine cup to accurately measure the liquid form. If you don't have a measuring spoon or cup, ask your pharmacist for one. Do not try to measure out the correct dosage with a regular spoon, as you could overdose or underdose.
Your health state and reaction to treatment will settle the appropriate dosage your doctor will recommend. Weight is also used to determine the appropriate dose for children. Your medical practitioner may suggest you start with a low dosage and step-by-step raise it. This is to minimize the likelihood of unpleasant side effects.
Maintain a consistent schedule when taking this medication for the best results. One of the best ways to do this is to take it at the same time every day. Don't stop taking the drug just because you feel okay. Remember that many people with high blood pressure have no symptoms.
It could take two to four weeks for this medicine to work for hypertensive patients. If it’s heart failure, it could be weeks or months before you feel the full benefit of the medication. The severity of the heart failure might also cause it to take longer before being fully effective. If your symptoms persist or worsen, you should seek medical attention.
What to Avoid When Taking Lisinopril
Consuming alcohol lowers your blood pressure and may amplify the effects of lisinopril on your body. So stay away from it.
Stay cool and hydrated during exercise and hot weather by drinking enough water. That's because lisinopril lowers your sweat rate, increasing the risk of a heat stroke.
If you've been sitting or lying down, don't get up too quickly, as this can cause dizziness. Avoid taking potassium supplements or salt substitutes unless your doctor tells you to.
Like most medications, lisinopril has side effects. Some of the most common ones are as follows:
- Chest Pain
However, there are more serious effects, which include
- Sore throat
- A light-headed feeling that might cause you to pass out
- Swollen feet
- Shortness of breath
- Liver problems like dark urine and upper stomach pain
If you notice any strange symptoms when using the medication, alert your doctor. You might get a different dosage or a new medication based on your body’s reaction to lisinopril.
Lisinopril and Other Medications
Other medications might interact with lisinopril, which could cause adverse effects. That said, tell your doctor about your current treatment or drugs you just stopped using. Some medications that might interact with lisinopril include:
- Potassium supplements
- Insulin or medicine for diabetes
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin
Conclusion: Other Details to Note
If you missed a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if you remembered this close to the time of your next dosage, skip the medication. Avoid taking two doses in a short span, as it could cause adverse effects. Keep in mind that lisinopril is not suitable for children younger than 6 years old.