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Lisinopril and Alcohol

Lisinopril and Alcohol

Lisinopril is an antihypertensive drug that is placed under the category of ACE inhibitors. Scroll down to find out how mixing of lisinopril and alcohol can affect one's blood pressure.
Smita Pandit
Lisinopril belongs to a class of drugs called ACE inhibitors. While lisinopril is the generic name, this drug is marketed under brand names such as Prinivil or Zestril. It is prescribed for those who have been diagnosed with hypertension or congestive heart failure. It may either be used alone or in combination with other drugs. Side effects associated with this drug include chills, body aches, nausea, drowsiness or digestion-related problems. The severity of side effects that may be caused by this drug could increase due to an overdose. Adverse drug interactions have also been noted with potassium supplements, diuretics and certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It's therefore, essential that one informs his/her doctor of the drugs one may be taking. One must also adhere to the guidelines regarding the dosage of this drug. Alcohol can interfere with the drug's ability to provide the desired results which is why doctors usually warn the patients against consumption of alcohol while they are taking lisinopril. In this article, we will find out more on the effects of mixing lisinopril and alcohol.
How Does Lisinopril Work?
Lisinopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. Angiotensin-converting enzyme is a proteolytic enzyme that converts the inactive angiotensin I into a vasoconstrictive agent called angiotensin II. The drugs that are categorized under ACE inhibitors act by blocking the angiotensin-converting enzyme. The vasoconstrictive agents cause narrowing of the blood vessels, thereby elevating the blood pressure. ACE inhibitors that inhibit the action of angiotensin-converting enzyme are therefore, prescribed for the treatment of hypertension. These drugs are also recommended for those diagnosed with congestive heart failure and may also be prescribed for those who have recently suffered from a heart attack. Congestive heart failure refers to the heart's inability to pump blood effectively whereas hypertension refers to a condition wherein blood exerts a lot of pressure on the walls of the blood vessels. It causes dilation of the blood vessels which in turn helps in lowering blood pressure. Thus, the supply of oxygenated blood that may have been limited due to formation of arterial plaque or any other condition, can be increased by taking this drug. Drugs such as lisinopril can help in averting medical emergencies such as acute congestive heart failure or a heart attack.
Effects of Mixing Lisinopril with Alcohol
How does consumption of alcohol undo the effects of this lisinopril? Well, various studies have established excessive consumption of alcohol as one of the common causes for hypertension. While moderate drinking may not cause harm, alcohol abuse is certainly associated with various serious ailments. Alcoholism is a risk factor for the liver, kidney and cardiovascular diseases. First of all, while one's calorie intake definitely shoots up due to drinking excessive amount of alcohol, the absorption of nutrients is adversely affected. Alcohol easily gets absorbed into the small intestine, and when it reaches the liver, the hepatic cells need to work hard to metabolize huge amounts of alcohol. Heavy drinkers are also at an increased risk of developing kidney disease. Kidneys play a vital role in regulation of blood pressure by way of excretion of sodium and water. When the kidneys are unable to do so, the blood volume may increase, which in turn, may elevate blood pressure.
Alcohol abuse is also a contributory factor for the formation of arterial plaque. When plaque accumulates inside the arterial walls, the arteries become constricted, and thus, the blood that flows through these arteries may put more pressure on the arterial walls. This makes one susceptible to high blood pressure. Thus, heavy drinkers are definitely at a higher risk of developing coronary artery disease. Since alcohol has an adverse effect on the working of organ systems of body, and has been revealed to be a risk factor for hypertension, the entire purpose of taking this drug to normalize the blood pressure would be defeated, if one indulges in heavy drinking at the same time. While drinking alcohol occasionally or in moderate amounts may not cause harm, that would again depend on one's overall health. So, the wise thing to do would be to consult your doctor regarding the precautions that you need to follow while taking this antihypertensive drug.
Lisinopril is one of the commonly prescribed antihypertensive drug that helps in relaxing the constricted blood vessels, thereby lowering the blood pressure. It's due to the adverse interactions between alcohol and lisinopril, that patients are asked not to indulge in heavy drinking while taking this drug. The whole exercise of lowering the blood pressure through the use of this antihypertensive drug would turn futile, if one doesn't cut down on one's intake of alcohol. Moreover, the dangers of alcohol abuse are known to all, and one must therefore, make the right lifestyle choice to prevent such health problems.