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ACE Inhibitor Blood Pressure Pill Causes Cough

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Q. You ran a story about lisinopril causing cough. I had the same experience.

My regular doctor referred me to an audiologist who diagnosed acid reflux. I then went to an ENT doctor who had no suggestions. Finally I saw an allergist who immediately took me off lisinopril and replaced it with Cozaar. Cough gone!

A. Lisinopril is an ACE inhibitor. Although this type of blood pressure medicine works well, it can cause a relentless cough that does not respond to cough medicine. Cozaar is a different type of blood pressure pill called an ARB (angiotensin-renin blocker). ARBs are much less likely to cause chronic cough.

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51 Comments

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I had a similar experience with Lisinopril. However, rather than a cough, I would experience sinus drainage that would wake me up at night with gasping, choking fits. I've been symptom-free after switching to Cozaar.

I have a cough from taking lisinopril, but this drug is the only one, so far, that keeps my blood pressure regulated. I take it at night since I do feel bad on it if I take it during the day. I just recently added Source Natural's Essential Enzymes; 2 at breakfast, 2 at lunch and 2 at dinner. My cough seems to have improved, especially at night. I drink a glass of chardonnay wine also most nights with my dinner. I hope this improvement keeps helping me and maybe you too.

Thank you for publishing the problem of cough related to lisinipril. I have taken this drug for years and did not realize the bothersome cough was related to lisinipril. I told my doctor and he changed the prescription to Cozar. It took about 2 weeks but the cough is gone!

my aunt 75..her doc took her off lisinopril..put her on diovan which is fine for her bp but dry strangling cough still driving her crazy..I'm worried about her she is so healthy otherwise..but this getting to her..she needs some relief..any suggestions for her cough? thanks

One point I haven't seen addressed is Lisinopril only costs me $4 a month but Cozaar is $70! I thought I'd just try to live with the cough, but it's really bad. What do people do who can't afford to switch?

I showed hypertension for several weeks seemingly related to stress and a terrible cold. My doctor finally prescribed an ace inhibitor and the blood pressure became normal to even low-normal. However, the cough is definitely annoying. It costs $4 a month and there is no way I can afford $70 per month. Are there other options?

I only took Lisinopril for 10 days until I got this pesky cough. My doc took me off of it 7 days ago, but still have the cough! How long will it take to go away? Can hardly take it anymore!

I have just been taken off the med lisinipril, because of the bad coughing, is there please anything I can take so I can sleep again?

I was on lisinopril after cardiac ablation and in 3 weeks got the cough-Switched to Cozaar and STILL have the cough-only much worse. DR took me off that also- it took 3 weeks for the lisinoprol cough to stop- I hope I can last until this cough stops. cough med with codine does not even stop the cough. Laying down to sleep makes it much worse

My cardiologist prescribed me Lisinopril 5 mg,for two moths everything was perfect suddenly one night I woke up with a tremendous attack of cough; I went to see an OTRl who said:"it's a sore throat." Even my primary doctor put me under antibiotic and Mucinex DM. Finally an allergist said :the cough is due to lisinpril." My cardiologist changed to another product but I'm coughing still.

Can any one tell me if LOTREL is the same as the cough producing drugs>??? I have had this dry cough for several months, but never thought that my BP Meds could cause it!!

TO:Y R F: Lotrel is not the same drug as the one in the article that causes coughs. However, a side effect of Lotrel is a cough. You can speak with your Dr. about this, or if you have a pharmacist you trust, you might tell him or her about the cough and ask what others have switched to in this case. Then when you speak with your Dr. you could mention the one or two drugs the pharmacist suggested. Good luck, and be sure not to stop your blood pressure medication until you speak with the Dr.

TO:sue: If your aunt still has a cough after changing medication, she should probably go back to her Dr. with the problem. She may need to look into another cause for her cough. Her Dr. may send her to an ENT doctor (ear,nose and throat) or have swallowing studies done. Yes, they have swallowing studies, I would have never thought such a thing, until my Mom had to have them done. I was in Medical Asst. school at the time and the speech therapist doing the study let me go into the lab with them to watch. It is an un-invasive test that consists of the patient drinking barium while a Radiologist watches and takes ex-rays. I hope she can find the cause and put a stop to the cough.

Can anyone tell me what their cough felt like? Or even sounded like, also where you producing anything when you did cough?

The cough is not a productive cough -- it is just a dry, nagging cough that by most reports only gets worse the longer you take the drug. Mine feels like an itch in my throat and then the "need" to cough. It also seems to increase when lying down. The only "cure" is to stop taking Lisinopril. It can take a couple of weeks for the cough to stop, but it will.

I was so happy with how well lisinopril worked, plus the low cost, but I can't handle the cough. It only gets worse the longer you take it. I switched to Benicar but I'm concerned about the side effects which seem much worse. Also no generic for it, so cost goes way up. Just started on it, so I'll see how it goes.

Has anyone had the same experience (cough) w/ Altace?

I too had a cough. I was sent to an ENT and he prescribed meds to soothe my throat. doctor bill. Then I went to a Allergists and went through all the test. More bills. Still coughing. Then they did a scan of my lungs. Absolutely nothing wrong. More bills. This cough had been going on for over a year by this time. I decided to take myself off Atacand.

The coughing stopped. Doctor put me on Diovan. The cough was horrible. Now I am taking 5 mg of Atacand. I still cough but not as bad. I know this medication protects your kidneys, but the quality of life isn't very good without sleep.
My big question is: Why don't doctors check your blood pressure medication first? All these tests are very pricey.

In some cases you can contact the drug company for a reduced price.

Has anyone had the same cough experience with Verapamil? I am going crazy!!!!

I have the Lisinopril cough, but my eyes sometimes water and I cough up some clear phlegm... it is very bothersome when sleeping the most... I have been on 30mg. of this stuff for 52 days now and the Dr. doesn't want to take me off of it and denies that the cough is caused by Lisinopril (Like it's in my head or something).... it is driving me up a wall too... do not know what to do... my B/P is always normal... I just want to stay off of all meds and/or use them when my B/P goes up like before I was on them... I am a 66 year old housewife.

Joyce

Joyce-I too have the watery eyes and productive cough-especially at night. I have been taking lisinopril for 4 mos. now. Prior to that I was on Diovan and had no problems whatsoever. My insurance co at the time refused to pay for Diovan, so my Dr. changed my prescription. I had previously been on an ace inhibitor and experienced a less severe-but equally as bothersome-dry cough. My new insurance goes into effect in 3 weeks, at which point I hope to change prescriptions. I am also trying the McDougall Plan to try and get off the meds entirely.

Verapamil is a calcium channel blocker and primarily works on cardiac rhythm problems. The Vasotec is a ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) which prevents the arteries from constricting and the blood pressure from elevating.

ACE inhibitors are used for controlling blood pressure, treating heart failure, preventing strokes, and preventing kidney damage in people with hypertension. Its side effect is to causes Cough?? if it is true, it is really bad message.

My cough was so bad that I could not sleep very long at night. I went to my Dr. and was changed to Losartan-hctz 50-12.5 mg. It is generic for Hyzaar 50-12.5. I have only been taking it for a week but I can already tell the difference. I was coughing so hard that my stomach and ribs would hurt. The other nice thing is that it is a 4 dollar drug.

My Dr. said better in 7 days but it could take a month to 6 weeks for all the meds. to get out of your system

I have been taking lisinopril for years, all of a sudden started getting a terrible sore throat, I went to 5 different doctors, one a throat specialist, none of them had any advice to cure my throat and finally the last one said to stop taking lisinopril for 2 weeks, if it didn't stop by then he would follow up with lung and chest X-rays.

I want to know WHAT CAUSES the cough... I understand the meds cause it, but what is BP medicine doing to a person's body to cause the cough?? My husband has had a strangling cough ever since he's been on his.

I can tell you exactly How I feel when I cough. I cough so hard that my tonsils would have come out if i had not been removed. The cough is very harsh and deep. If you try to suppress the cough , you will end up coughing a lot more. Sometimes laughing or yawning would cause a uncontrollable cough. One night I coughed for 45 minutes straight (strangling cough not a small cough). I been off lisinopril for three days so far and still waiting to get better. My doctor thought it might have been whooping cough and gave me antibiotics. Also chest x rays was normal. Good luck to you, Awong

ACE Inhibitor-induced cough stems from laryngeal edema... the increased tissue size is swollen just enough to produce cough. It will usually not subside on its own...and changing drugs is the best solution.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: CHANGING DRUGS IS USUALLY THE BEST SOLUTION. THE EXPLANATION WE HAVE GENERALLY ENCOUNTERED IS PHARMACOLOGICAL AND HAS TO DO WITH THE ACTION OF BRADYKININ.

I also took lisinopril for about 3 or 4 months and suffered from a HORRIBLE strangling cough. I would cough so hard I would gag. My doctor changed my medication to the generic for Hyzaar but it took 2 - 3 weeks for the cough to go away although it did get noticeably better after about 4 days.

My boyfriend started coughing a lot and he thought it was his sinus. He went to see his doctor and many trips to the ER because the cough became so violent. I kept telling him to have the doctor to check his medications, because once I had a problem with an ACE-inhibitor that caused me to cough. Finally, after the trips to the doctor and ER, I evaluated all his medications and found that Lisinopril had the ACE-inhibior and had him to show this to his doctor and that is when she discontinue the Lisinopril. It took about two weeks before the cough completely stop.

Is it harmful to take Lisinophril and Lipotor at the same time? I also have a cough.

I got the cough too, been off for 4 days and still have the cough. How long did yours take to go away? I am scared it will last a long time, it's hard to take it. My doc tried to give me a nasal spray but I know it's my meds. please let me know, thanks.

I've been taking lisinopril for a few years now, only 10 mg, just recently (2 days), my dosage was increased to 20 mgs. The only side effect I have experienced so far is a metallic taste in the back of my throat. My blood pressure seems fine now, but haven't checked it in a few days. Before the dose change it was elevated for me at 160 over 101. Now it feels like it always had in the past. Does anyone know how long the side effects or the side effect like I"m experiencing lasts?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: TO TELL IF BLOOD PRESSURE IS IMPROVED, YOU CAN'T COUNT ON HOW YOU FEEL. YOU'LL NEED TO MEASURE IT WITH YOUR OWN MONITOR OR AT A DRUGSTORE OR CLINIC.

Lisinopril is a drug used to treat hypertension. However, the medication has side effects too. It is an ACE inhibitor group medication. The common side effect for all medications that belong to this group is dry cough. As long as you take the medicine, you will experience a dry cough. The dry cough is caused due to the functionality of the medicine.

Lisinopril works by restricting an enzyme called the angiotensin. This enzyme causes the blood vessels to narrow, and the medication stops the enzyme from doing that. The blood vessels, as a result, are relaxed, and it decreases the blood pressure conclusively.

Most of the heart failures caused due to congestion can be avoided with this drug. However, the enzyme that is being blocked by the drug has several other functionalities like breaking down some other enzymes in lungs. Since the angiotensin is not available in the lungs, these substances build up in the lungs. They cause the dry cough. As long as you are taking the medication, the dry cough will persist because the lungs are collecting the irritants. Once you stop taking the medication, the dry cough seems to go away.

You start dry cough within two hours after taking the first dosage. Once you stop the medication, it takes at least 14 days for the lungs to restore the enzyme breaking function and the dry cough to subside. Every medicine would take at least two weeks to completely lose its effects. However, not everyone who takes Lisinopril is susceptible to dry cough.

My Dr. gave me a prescription for LISINOPRIL 5mg for high blood pressure. I searched the internet and found a lot of unanswered questions, specifically the side effects. Startlingly comments.

My husband takes Fosinopril sodium 10 mg, once per day along with Atenolol 50 mg. once per day and zetia 10 mg once a day. He has developed a very harsh, strangling cough in the last several months. He had a chest x-ray and MRI recently, but nothing showed up. I think it is the fosinpril causing his cough, he doesn't think so because he's been on it so long. His doctor said that there is something he could put him on but it is very expensive, he didn't tell him what it was. Can the combination of all three cause his cough to be so harsh and strangling?

I've had this nagging cough for some time and decided to look it up on the internet. Saw all this stuff about lisinopil. My doctor has me on 5 mg a day. I've been thinking I was allergic to something but beginning to wonder. I had been back to the doctor for an infection and was on a strong antibiotic for about 10 days. Cough still did not go away. Now I'm wondering if it's the lisinopril. I have to constantly keep water or something cool to drink close by. Sometimes I cough so bad, it almost makes me gag. It's like a tickeling in the back of the throat but then I also have a lot of drainage. It's worrisome!

I have been Lisinopril for about six month, and the cough is really bad. I can't sleep at night and do my work during day. I went to see my doctor he gave me Losartan potassium. Everything I eat comes back up. This cough is very bad.

I also took this RX, I coughed so bad. I was switched to another medicine. I then got a sinus infection and coughed for 3 months. Some times the cough was so bad I would throw up. I was sent to a lung doctor who told me I have asthma. This was caused by the lisinopril. He said some people who take lisinopril and have a tendency for asthma will develop asthma after taking lisinopril. I am on Symbacort and am so much better!

I am taking Benicar 20mg and Atenolol 50mg. I have been taking them both for a few years. Lately I feel like my heart is skipping and then I start coughing like crazy and also much worse at night when I lay down. Does anyone else feel as if their heart is skipping a beat ?

The cough sounds horrible and it feels like it is coming from the depth of my toes !!!

I started taking Lisinopril pills for hypertension last December 2011 and I had been experiencing cough since then. Until now I still have this annoying itchy throat which causes my coughing and finally I found out that the Lisinopril is causing my chronic cough. Now, I have an appointment with my doctor next month to change this medication. Thank you for the information regarding this medicine.

Thank you so much for that, "laryngeal edema" describes exactly how my cough feels, it is exactly in my voicebox and I couldn't figure out why. Of course, everyone at my job thinks I have a serious illness.

I have been on lisinopril for 10 years after going through so many other hbp drugs it is the only one that straightened by blood pressure and kept it on track. I have had a cough/sore throat/shortness of breath for the last 2 years. So far I have been to my primary care doctor who sent me to an allergist, an ear nose throat specialist, gastrologist who did an upper gi and said he could find nothing but went ahead and stretched my esophagus to see if it would help the symptoms.

I have had chest x-rays and every other test you can think of all to no avail. I woke up one morning and my back and neck were hurting and the pain wouldn't go away. My boyfriend kept telling me to go to a chiropractor. I have never been to one before because I have always been scared of having somebody pop parts of my body but the pain was so bad I agreed.

I went last week and I had a coughing attack in his office. Turns out I have blown a vertebrae in my neck from guess what "coughing." Now after all this the chiropractor looks at the list of meds I provided and said I can help your neck and back but what you have is called ace cough and it is caused by lisinopril.

First of all it is ridiculous that I have spent this much money on all these specialists (who by the way had a list of my medications) and nobody even thought to tell me this until I have to go to a chiropractor. He says it will take a while for the cough to go away because I have been on meds so long but it will eventually fade away. I have been off of lisinopril for 3 days and so far I cannot tell if it has helped but at least there is hope because I have took this cough and gagging as long as I can. I hope this helps someone else with the same problem and I will keep you all posted as to how it goes.

I am having the same problem. I have been on Altace 2.5mg for over 10 years and have been experiencing the cough since August, 2012. Can't believe it appeared after that long on the drug. I stopped taking the Altace 3 days ago and have not seen a difference yet. How long did it finally take to go away.

Thank goodness for the Internet is all I can say. Without it, I don't think I would ever have found the root cause of my coughing. My two doctors certainly didn't realize that lisinopril was causing my out of the blue/every two hour fits of dry coughing that would lead to gagging, dry heaving and vomiting. I was on lisinopril for a month before the cough really kicked in. I went on the Internet and soon found a lot of evidence pointing toward the ace inhibitor: lisinopril.

I stopped my meds and went to the doctor, and he switched the meds, but also told me its probably allergies. I started Flonase and Zyrtec, but it didn't help. I stopped taking lisinopril 5 days ago and while I still do have the cough attacks every 1.5 to 2 hours and haven't slept in 5 days, the attacks are less severe, and I can tell I'm healing! So there is hope. Just wanted to share my story!

I had a series of sinus infection from August to January and was treated 3 times with antibiotics but could not get rid of that annoying tickle in my throat . The last time I saw a doc in my docs practice, he suggested that it was the ACE inhibitor I was taking for kidney protection for my diabetes. I knew ACE inhibitors sometimes caused a cough but I thought the doc was crazy because I had been taking it for over 10 years. I stopped it and in 2weeks my cough was gone. I plan to start taking it again just to see if the cough comes back. If it doesn't, I will know it was the sinusitis. If it does, I will be sure it was the ACE inhibitor.

I've been on Tekturna for a couple of years, it's in another class of meds. Just recently needed to have my doc call to renew my RX and lo and behold the drug has been taken off the market because (I looked this up on the Internet) it has caused non life threatening strokes, and extreme low BP. So she wants me to take nothing unless my BP goes up and it will, of course. I have coughed non stop on this drug as I did on diovan and others. I have had pelvic repairs because of the strain of coughing constantly. I don't know what drug to try next.

Dee, I had a RN the other day tell me, while I had my Mom at the hospital, that anything that ends in pril, will cause this horrible cough. I have been off lisinopril, for 1 week, & the cough is still very bad.

It can take weeks sometimes for the cough to go away from Lisinopril. I've known a few people they had the hacking cough for weeks then it went away after switching to an ARB.

LOSARTAN is on the formulary and you can get a month supply for about $3 or $4 a month.

One symptom of Lotrel I had besides the dry cough was horrible sinus congestion & pressure and some difficulty with swallowing. I stopped taking Lotrel almost two weeks ago and I still cannot breath through my nose no matter what I do. I was in the ER a week ago & was given cortisone shots which helped for a day or two. Upon going back to my doctor, he put me on nasal steroids, but those can take days to work & I haven't noticed an improvement so far. The coughing is almost gone, but this congestion is hard to bear. I wish I had known about the ACE inhibitor part of Lotrel before and its side effects.

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