Many medicines, including over-the-counter drugs, can work differently when interacting with even small amounts of alcohol and cause unwanted side symptoms such as drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, etc. But it is necessary to be especially careful when taking antibiotics, antidepressants, drugs for the treatment of epilepsy, allergies, cardiovascular disorders, antidiabetic drugs, sedatives, and sleeping pills. The article describes the interaction of the widely used drug Lisinopril with alcohol and some of the important consequences that this may lead to.
What is Lisinopril
Lisinopril is a drug belonging to the group of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It dilates peripheral vessels, which in turn facilitates heart work and causes a blood pressure decrease.
Mechanism of Action
The main action of the ACE inhibitor is aimed at reducing the production of angiotensin II from angiotensin I. A decrease in angiotensin II levels leads to a direct decrease in aldosterone release. Causes a reduction in the breakdown of bradykinin and an increase in the synthesis of prostaglandins. Lowers systemic vascular resistance (SVR), arterial pressure, and pulmonary capillary pressure (Pcap), causing a rise in the minute heart volume and myocardial exercise tolerance in patients with heart failure.
Long-term use of Lisinopril helps to reduce hypertrophy of the myocardium and the walls of resistive arteries, as well as improves blood supply to the ischemic myocardium. The onset of action is observed within 1 hour after oral administration. The maximum antihypertensive effect is usually achieved after 6-7 hours and persists for 24 hours. However, the duration of action largely depends on the dose taken.
- Arterial hypertension;
- Congestive heart failure (as part of complex therapy with cardiac glycosides and diuretics);
- Acute myocardial infarction (with stable hemodynamics for at least 6 weeks);
- Diabetes-related nephropathy (in people with type 2 diabetes and arterial hypertension).
Read more about the features of drug use in the paragraphs below.
Lisinopril is excellent both as monotherapy and in conjunction with other classes of antihypertensive agents. The recommended starting dose for people with hypertension is 10 mg. The usual effective daily maintenance dose is 20 mg.
After starting treatment, symptomatic hypotension condition may develop. This is more likely in patients taking concomitant diuretics. Therefore, such patients are advised to take the medicine with caution due to the likelihood of a decrease in the volume of interstitial fluid and an increase in the excretion of salts from the body. But it is best to stop diuretic treatment several days before starting Lisinopril therapy.
Patients suffering from heart failure should supplement Lisinopril with diuretics. In some cases, it is also appropriate to combine it with beta-blocker drugs. The dose is usually adjusted according to the clinical response of individual patients. But it should not exceed 35 mg 1 time per day.
Post-Heart Attack Management
Treatment with Lisinopril can be started within the first few hours after a heart attack. But if the systolic pressure is below 100 mm Hg, therapy should be postponed. The starting dose is 5 mg. After 24 hours, 5 mg of the drug is used again. After 48 hours, the dose is increased to 10 mg and maintained at this level throughout the entire treatment cycle.
Lisinopril can be effectively combined with transdermal or intravenous nitroglycerin. If necessary, the patient should also undergo standard therapy based on the use of acetylsalicylic acid, thrombolytics, and beta-blockers.
Lisinopril is also widely used in the treatment of diabetic nephropathy, chronic kidney disease, and left ventricular dysfunction. But self-medication is prohibited due to the high risk of side effects Lisinopril.
Lisinopril and Alcohol Interactions
It is strictly forbidden to combine Lisinopril with alcohol, as the medication enhances the manifestations of alcohol intoxication. There may be an increase in the hypotensive effect and the development of many other undesirable symptoms.
How Alcohol Consumption Can Affect Blood Pressure
Doctors say that drinking alcohol causes an increase in blood pressure. Thus, in the case of chronic alcohol addiction, hypertension usually takes place. But when a person is sober, arterial pressure can drop dramatically. Such drastic alcohol blood pressure changes adversely affect the general health of a person.
Effects of Alcohol on Lisinopril’s Efficacy
Lisinopril alcohol interaction has been studied quite well. Scientists confirm that alcohol can affect the efficacy of the medicament. It enhances its hypotensive effect, resulting in the possible development of a hypotensive crisis.
Increased Risk of Side Effects
In addition to enhancing the antihypertensive effect of the medication, combining Lisinopril alcohol leads to an increased risk of side effects. So, if you abuse this combination, you should visit a medical center and get useful information about recovery.
Specific Risks and Side Effects
The specific risks and negative reactions of Lisinopril interactions with alcohol include dizziness, weakness, kidney dysfunction, gastrointestinal problems, etc. Let`s consider them in more detail.
Worsening of Hypertension
Combined Lisinopril and alcohol use may cause worsening of hypertension due to the fact that alcohol provokes a rise in blood pressure. At the same time, there is also a high risk of a sharp decrease in arterial pressure, since alcohol enhances the hypotensive effect of the drug.
Dizziness and Lightheadedness
Among Lisinopril warnings alcohol, lightheadedness and dizziness should be noted. These side effects from the nervous system occur quite often, especially when standing up. In addition, many people experience severe headaches and require immediate support from a doctor.
Impaired Kidney Function
A side symptom of taking Lisinopril may be the development of renal failure, especially if the drug is combined with alcohol. This is due to the fact that Lisinopril alcohol withdrawal is carried out through the kidneys. Renal dysfunction, in turn, reduces the elimination of Lisinopril. However, this decrease becomes clinically significant only if the glomerular filtration rate is less than 30 ml/min.
Gastrointestinal Issues and Stomach Bleeding
After oral administration, 25-60% of Lisinopril is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Only after that, it turns into active metabolites. Lisinopril alcohol combination adversely affects gastrointestinal function and can lead to stomach bleeding. In this case, bleeding can develop at any level (from the oral cavity to the anus) and proceed in an explicit and latent form.
Therefore, if you violate the doctor’s prescription even for one day, you should think carefully about the possible consequences. Feel free to contact the medical center with these questions.
Safer Alternatives and Precautions
If you are concerned about your physical and mental health, please take a look at safer alternatives and precautions. This will ensure effective treatment with Lisinopril and at the same time decrease the risk of developing negative reactions in the body.
Non-Alcoholic Beverage Alternatives
Given that the substance Lisinopril reacts with alcohol and can cause many adverse reactions in the human body, you can try non-alcoholic drinks as an alternative to alcoholic ones. Medicine does not prohibit them and experts note that Lisinopril blood pressure regulation does not worsen in this case.
Understanding Individual Tolerance Levels
You probably understand that individual tolerance levels and side effects Lisinopril alcohol vary from person to person. It is good if you do not notice any adverse symptoms after combining the drug with alcoholic beverages, but if there are at least any negative manifestations, immediately stop using and consult a specialist.
Alcohol can change the action and increase the side effects of Lisinopril. In certain cases, their simultaneous use can be life-threatening. Therefore, it is not worth experimenting with such combinations. It is better to strictly adhere to the doctor’s prescription in order to receive successful treatment.
Is having just 1 or 2 drinks fine?
According to the WHO recommendations, a person can drink up to 10 liters of pure alcohol per year without harm to health. As for the daily dose, this is no more than 40 g of pure alcohol for men (approximately 2 bottles of beer or 3 glasses of dry wine) and 30 g for women (1.5 bottles of beer or 2 glasses of dry wine).
What happens if you drink alcohol while taking lisinopril?
Your arterial pressure may drop dramatically. This reaction is due to the alcohol’s ability to enhance the hypotensive effect of the drug. In addition, you may experience other side symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, kidney failure, gastrointestinal problems, etc.
Is it OK to drink alcohol while taking blood pressure meds?
There are groups of drugs that enter into negative reactions with alcohol, and therefore its intake during treatment is prohibited. Blood pressure meds are included in this list. Thus, you’d better not drink alcohol while using these drugs.
How soon can you drink alcohol after taking blood pressure medicine?
If you are just starting to take blood pressure medicines, you should wait at least 2-3 days before drinking alcohol to assess how the body reacts to the active substance. Otherwise, combining blood pressure medication with alcohol can lead to various side effects and health problems. But if you have been taking blood pressure drugs for a long time and tolerate them well, then pause at least a few hours before drinking alcohol.