Q. In an earlier column, you told a reader not to be afraid of the blood pressure pill lisinopril. I believe you should have warned her about the side effect I experienced. My face and lips swelled severely. Apparently the throat can also close completely. I was on lisinopril several years before this episode.
The ER doctor who saw me checked my list of medications and said, “It’s the lisinopril. I see this all the time.”
A. This is a potentially life-threatening reaction called angioedema. Although people must be alert for this possibility, most patients taking lisinopril or similar ACE-inhibitor medicines will not experience it.
Angioedema may sometimes occur as a reaction to ARB blood pressure medications like olmesartan Benicar or losartan (Cozaar). Be sure to tell your regular doctor that you had this reaction. You can learn more about ways to control blood pressure in our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment.