a man in a shirt and tie coughing

Q. I started taking lisinopril for high blood pressure in December. Soon after, I developed a nagging dry cough that wouldn’t stop. I have thrown up because the coughing was so bad. I have also had blood tests and chest x-rays. They all came back negative.

In desperation, I went to an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist, who told me this kind of cough is common in people my age (50) due to post-nasal drip. He knew I was on lisinopril but gave me an antihistamine and cough suppressant. They didn’t help.

I learned on your Web site that lisinopril can cause a chronic cough. I have not gotten a good night’s sleep in five months and I am furious that none of the doctors I’ve seen suggested changing this drug. Can I control my blood pressure without medicine?

A. Don’t stop the lisinopril on your own, but do discuss this issue with your physician and request a different medication. ACE inhibitor hypertension drugs like lisinopril can cause a very persistent cough in susceptible people. Many non-drug approaches can help lower blood pressure. Adopting one or more may allow you to get by on a lower dose of medication or eventually to phase off it, with your doctor’s help. Weight loss, exercise, slower breathing, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (especially beets and spinach) can all be helpful. For more details on non-drug options as well as the pros and cons of prescription medicines, we are sending you our Guide to Blood Pressure Control.

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  1. Goutam
    VA Richmond
    Reply

    I have the same problem . I had BP issues .. Patient First Doctor prescribe me Lisinopril 10 MG. that is November 2014 since then I am having issue with breathless cough.. Throat irritation.. and that makes me horrible.. I was thinking all these are due to Polen allergies .. and started taking Allegra. But no improvement . Then started googling and found some notes. I changed my doctor just last week (1st May 2015) and doctor told me I am having all these problem due to Lisinopril .. doctor changed my medicine .. this is just 3 days.. I can feel bit better.. lets hope for the best.
    I had constant issue with Throat irritation and when it started I just coughed so badly.. I locked myself in toilets… my Eyes turned Red.. and sometime I cough blood due to High intensity .. my throat tear off …

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