The People's Perspective on Medicine

Pill Triggered Cough from Hell

Q. My insurance company refused the blood pressure drug my doctor prescribed (Hyzaar) and had me take lisinopril instead. After one month I got a cough from hell!

I’ve had allergies, so my doctor and I thought nothing of the cough. Two months later I couldn’t lie down to sleep without gagging.

Despite three trips to the doctor, prescriptions for antibiotics, bottles of cough syrup and bags of Halls cough drops, nothing helped. Thinking I had TB or cancer, I got a chest x-ray and was ready to see a specialist. Then the nurse suggested my symptoms might be caused by lisinopril. I was changed to Benicar and am slowly getting over the cough.

A. It astonishes us how many people are not warned about cough due to lisinopril or other ACE inhibitors (benazepril, enalapril, quinapril, ramipril). Up to one-third of patients taking such blood pressure medications may experience chronic cough (Chest suppl., Jan. 2006).

Benicar, like Avapro, Cozaar, Diovan and Hyzaar, is a different kind of blood pressure medicine and far less likely to cause a persistent cough. We are sending you our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment with more information about such medications and non-drug approaches to hypertension.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Black seed oil capsules lower blood pressure. It is over the counter and non-Rx. I haven’t experienced any side effects except lower bp. I hope it helps someone out there suffering with a miserable cough brought on by a drug.

It is wonderful you’ve had such good results. We don’t know if others will have the same benefits. The research is equivocal, with some studies more or less neutral (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27512971), some positive (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28151458) and some negative (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29348380).

I, too, have been suffering with a horrible cough and wondering if I have COPD or cancer. And voila, I see the connection to Lisinopril which I have been taking for more than 3 years. The coughing is so bad I am losing sleep and having to call in sick to work the next day.

So I am taking myself off of it, splitting my pills in half for a week or two and then in half again. Will see what stress relief and healthy eating can do. I have a check up in a couple of months and will see how my numbers are then and discuss with my doctor if my bp is up. Thank you, Joe and Terry for the information on Lisinopril. It has been a Godsend for me.

I went through the nightmare known as the ACE cough. It basically disabled me because it happened so often and with such ferocity that I couldn’t go in public because with the continual cough, people looked at me like I was spreading the plague. My cough started as a fairly dry cough, but ended up producing copious amounts of clear mucus.

I stopped Lisinopril on my own, and the cough was gone within a day or two. I was on it for 18 months. My bp was up at my last cardiologist visit, so I had to confess to stopping my Lisinopril. She put me on Losartan HCTZ. That was 3 months ago. Now I have again developed a cough, and I am so tired of the sore throat and sore chest from coughing, as well as the sleepless nights. Just as with the Lisinopril, I have coughing fits so bad that I feel like I am going to lose consciousness, and have to literally breath hard, stand up, yell out, something to stop me from passing out. Same as others have said, you also lose control of your bladder during these frequent episodes.

I think the side effects outweigh the benefits of these meds. The Losartan HCTZ is not an ACE inhibitor, but a cough is listed as a side effect. I do not understand why so many doctors ignore the obvious, and continue to deny the side effects of medications. My doctor still believes I overreacted when stopping Lisinopril. She doesn’t believe it causes a cough.

On top of the new medication, I have been on Metoprolol for two years. That’s another bp med that feels like it can kill one. In me, it causes shortness of breath, swelling legs, and wheezing. My legs are worn out just walking to the car. I have always been active, and these things have never been a problem before. I am about ready to stop all those meds, and just live with high blood pressure. Then I get scared because doctors say that since I had a heart attack and got a stent two years ago, that the meds are necessary.

I was on no meds at all before March 2016. I feel worse overall than I have EVER felt. Zero energy, plus the other things I listed. Then there’s the weight gain…read up on that too!,Too short of breath and wheezy to walk miles like I have done for 45 years. Scarily enough, I read an article saying that Metoprolol can actually cause CHF.

And about those statins…I give up. I think medicine may be trying to kill me.

Thanks for letting me vent. Good luck to all of you.

My husband coughs all the time..I’ve been trying to figure out what’s causing..cuz it drives me crazy… so I decided to Google some of his meds.

Lisinopril was the fist one I looked up. Sure enough that’s the one that’s causing the cough!! I’m just glad I figured out where it came from …

OMG. I am sitting here weeping. All this time not knowing what was causing this horrific cough. I would say it was allergies. For years, so many embarassing moments. I just refilled and read the med description to see if anything new was added. I am beyond words. “Dry cough” doesn’t even describe what happens.

I have just been taken off of Lisinopril 3 days ago.
Reason being a terrible cough.
Started with a dry cough in Nov. now it is a cough with clear flem
I never know when it will start but have not been able to sleep. Coughing all night. I have taken every cough drop that is made for coughing. Nothing has helped.
Have been on Lisinopril for a few years. Happy to know from reading here that it will take some time for cough to stop.
I was thinking that it would stop right away.

My BP elevated to approx. 140-145/90-95 My doctor prescribed Lisinopril 10mg daily…………..about 7 hours after taking the first pill, my BP lowered to about 115/75…………….pretty scary stuff……….no noticeable side effects after first pill………………will be watching for effects described here……………also if my BP goes any lower, I will stop this medication immediately. How long before the coughing starts?

I’ve been taking Coversyl for 2weeks, and my B.P.has gone from 170/90 to 120/ 80. I have the choking cough,the watery eyes,sniffing … like you other guys

For me, the coughing came on gradually, and I attributed it to allergies. But the severity and frequency increased so much, that by July, 4 mos after starting Lisinopril, I was having horrible episodes of coughing. I often felt that I was going to pass out, which was pretty scary when coughing while driving.

I have had a chronic cough for a few years; sometimes it sounded almost like whooping cough, and the coughing bouts went on for a few minutes. So embarrassing in meetings, as it came on without warning. I was coughing up small quantities of clear sputum, accompanied or immediately followed by sneezing/sniffles and watering eyes. One GP thought I had an allergy, while another thought I had asthma and prescribed inhalers. Chest x-rays were clear.

A few days ago a doctor changed my BP medication from Perindopril to Losartan, so I hope that does the trick (though it seems I’ll have to wait a bit). I was heartened by one comment that mentioned a productive cough not the usual dry cough, which could have delayed the change in medication.

I started having coughing about a month after starting 5mg lisinopril. It was just as others have described. Incessant coughing spasmodic impossible to stop and very very intense. I was given inhalors on the theory it was an adult onset asthma cough. They did not work. Fortunately I had a very responsive physician who called me at six in the morning and said stop taking lisinopril. Unfortunately it was too late for me to take the trip to Europe I had had to cancel.

I was put on benazepril 3 months ago & the constant cough from hell started . Day & all night long , no matter what medicine I took to combat the cough . Dry cough , tickle in my throat 24/7. I forgot to take my pills for a week & noticed the cough stopped . I started benazepril again & started coughing right after . No more for me . I’m requesting a totally different pill . I’m exhausted from coughing , my back , stomach & throats are killing me from the violent coughing . Thanks for these posts . I would have never guessed this pill was the cause

I’m so mad reading all of these comments. My doctor actually warned me about the cough, but did not share how bad it was going to be. The first comments from Anne summarize my thoughts perfectly. I have a job where I have to public speak a lot and I literally became anxious to speak in public with the thought that my cough were rear its ugly head and totally humiliate me.

Once I remembered what my doctor told me about the cough and that it was the Lisinopril blood pressure medication I quit it cold turkey. I could literally feel the difference within a day. Still coughing, but not so much and violent. IT MAKES NO SENSE WHY ANY DOCTOR warning or not WOULD PRESCRIBE THIS MEDICATION. I’m with Anne, it is sad to say, but I would literally rather die then take this stuff any more.

I am so glad I found this site. I have the same problem. I have been coughing for about seven months now. I have been given two inhalers, cough medicine, prednisone and an antibiotic. I have had a sinus CT scan and chest X-Ray. I have been to an allergist and I have an appointment with a pulmonary doctor at the suggestion of my primary doctor and allergist. I finally on my last visit address my blood pressure medication which was switched seven month ago and all my doctor said was, oh yeah it does cause coughing but I am trying to protect your kidneys.

There has to be something else I can take that wouldn’t cause damage to my kidneys. I am losing sleep, feel like I am coughing up a lung, gagging, sweating, have dry mouth and throat and tired of being prescribed medicine that has nothing to do with this cough. I feel like I am keeping the cough drop industry going I eat so many of them. I don’t feel like my doctor thinks it is a serious problem for me and I will be looking for a new one.

I am a type 1 diabetic mother of three. Over a year ago my doctor prescribed Lisynopril to me.

A few weeks later a started getting this persistent cough. I figured I just caught a cold and took some OTC meds. When that didn’t work I went to see my doc and he prescribed antibiotics, and a nasal spray.

My cough than became a harsh hacking cough. I went in to the ER and was given every test, x-rays, blood work and they found nothing. I was given tessalon pills and antibiotics. The tessalon pills helped to ease my cough so felt I was getting better. The cough was still there six months later and the tessalon wasn’t working anymore.

My cough became violent and I couldn’t keep any food down. My chest hurt horribly and my throat was in severe pain. I became incontinent. When I felt like I was dying my husband took me to the ER once again and once again they could not find anything.

I have listed the meds I took so many times, every single time mentioning I took Lisinopril and yet no one doctor could put it together. They gave me antacid with a pain numbing medicine, tessalon pills and Azithromycin. I went home very depressed, very sick.

It has been over a year. My depression got so bad and I was suffering so much I felt like living a life like this was unbearable and I wanted to die.

I finally decided to go see a new doctor and within minutes of me talking and telling her what meds I took she asked me if I was on blood pressure meds and I said yes. I told her it was Lisynopril and she told me that was the cause of all of my pain and suffering. I was flooded with emotions and began to cry. I had contemplated suicide because of the side effects of this medicine.

It has only been a few days since I’ve stopped the Lisynopril but the coughing is still there as persistent as ever. I hope to spread this message so that no one else has to suffer like I did. How many other people are out there that are going through the same things?

I felt like I was tortured fora year and I fought a war. I am so tired and I’m only 44. Please when is someone going to do something? This drug needs to be taken off the market now! There are other meds that work just as well. Why isn’t it caught sooner? Sometimes I just sit here and cry thinking about what I and so many other people have had to go through because of this horrific drug.

They don’t take the drug off the market because it causes cough for only 5% to 35% of the patients. For 65% it doesn’t cause cough and is effective. I have the cough, but this is also the 4th med I have tried for my B/P. I’d rather have the cough (which admittedly is not as horrible as some) than have a stroke and be paralyzed. But when prescribing it the doc needs to warn of the side effects. Mine did.

After reading the comments of others. I’m happy I’m not alone. I have lots of health issues going on and trying to pin point what might be causing this dreadful scary cough is hard to do. My heart consultant has suggested I stop taking the Ramipril for few a days to see what happens with my cough. I’ve been taking this medication about five months now. As much as I think it’s helping me I find this may be the cause of this tickley annoying cough. I was waking up during the night with a dry throat coughing. Nothing concerning then. As the weeks have gone I’m finding it hard now to control this. Will see what happens now I have to stop taking it. ?

What happens if your doctor refuses to listen and choose to ignore your comments? Is there any single proof that I could show the doctor and request serious consideration once again?

I hear so many issues on this cough, however, not much solutions.
What should one do, if it happens. Bring this up to the doctor and insist to have symptoms re-diagnosed?

Background: I’m an insulin-dependent T1.5 diabetic, age 65, and except for the usual aches and pains, otherwise healthy as a horse. My T 1.5 diabetes was “discovered” about 2001, by accident. I have normal blood pressure (generally in the 110/75 range) was Rx’d Lisinopril, which I resisted, but caved in on, and Lipitor, which I similarly resisted, but caved, and which blamed near incapacitated me. I had to stop that three weeks in.

About the end of May, I either had a bad allergy attack, or maybe some bug, and then started coughing. It got so bad I felt like I was going to cough up a lung. About the only thing that helped was Pseudofed. When I got home, the doctor at first said there was nothing wrong with me (clearly untrue). She did Rx Bactrim, but it didn’t help, and told me to tough it out. Three weeks later, my husband had to DRIVE me back, because I was coughing so badly I would vomit. She prescribed another antibiotic, much stronger, (and it made me sick), which also didn’t work much less help. There’s a pattern here, incidentally, of prescribing things that (A) don’t work (B) require a couple of other things to counteract the side effects and (C) make life miserable.

I’ve forgotten the name of the second antibiotic, but it usually is given if you’re exposed to anthrax, Teva Pearls, Diabetic tussin. Nothing helps. She warned me off Pseudofed, even though it was the ONLY thing that actually worked. Robitussin helps a little. I essentially choke whenever I lie down, which is really cutting into my sleep.

She had a head and chest X-ray, but all negative. She concluded I probably had pertussis, despite the fact that I haven’t been exposed to kids and have been vaccinated. What we’re talking about here is a series of really bad, wrong guesses.

I just read this and as all the other professional, bad, wrong guesses have (1) not worked (2) been incorrect, I’m thinking it must be the Lisinopril. I sent her an email, set up a cough chart so I could rate it from ZERO (no problems) to 4 (cough until I gag, vomit, or it wakes me up at night.)

I was dismayed to read it could take months for this to go away. If this is correct, and she had taken me off this stuff the first week of June, I’d be done.

I am so glad to read others had and are having the same coughing problem that I’m having. Thanks so much for sharing, I thought I was going to die!!! I’m hoping that there is a BP pill that I can take. I also take Coumadin for A-fib and worry about getting the wrong pills to go along with that!! I take synthyroid too. Has anyone found a BP pill that will work that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg??

I stopped taking Lisinopril 2 weeks ago and STILL have this violence cough that wakes me up at night and ruins my days. I spoke to the nurse practitioner because my Dr was not in. She INSISTED that it was NOT because of the medicine. She said it was a cause & effect.–meaning Stop the meds, the cough will stop. I insisted that it was! She prescribed a different med. I said “No thank you!” Why are medical personnel refusing to admit this is a problem?!!

I have had a constant cough since I have been on Enalapril, I have several coughing fits a day. It seems every time I eat or drink it can trigger mucous and coughing. I had suspected the BP med but thought that only produced a dry cough. Now after reading these posts I realize that my cough is indeed drug produced.
I am going to stop the meds as of tomorrow and keep an eye on my BP. Should it rise I will go to doctor and see if I can be prescribed one that doesn’t cause this side effect though it seems all these medications produce unwanted side effects.

How are your symptoms now? I hope you are feeling better!

I was told today after my third trip to the er that I have Ace cough never heard of this before but I can tell you its the worse ever. Just like many I was treated for everything allergies asthma sinusitis etc. Today I go cause this cough is getting worse. So I was placed on a new med. My question is would a detoxification tea help me clear this out?

I have been taking Ramipril for 6 months. Shortly after beginning this (2.5mg)! daily dose I started with the cough, choking, eyes watering… and much worse at night.
I saw various specialists who diagnosed allergic asthma and various other things and I ended up using nasal sprays, inhalers and even antibiotics!!!
Fortunately while visiting my sister in the UK I found out about the side effects of this med. I stopped taking them and I’m still waiting for the cough to go.

I have been using amlodipine 10mg , Altace 10 mg, Atelonol 50mg and Atorvastatine 10 mg which is Lipitor, for almost 5 years now and suddenly I started to cough mainly at night: I went to a doctor and he made me some blood tests and a X Ray of the Thorax and everything turned out to be fine.
He told me it was an allergy, but it has been for 2 month now and I never suffered from any allergies. I finally talked to a Doctor who told me it could be an ACE cough and that how I ended up here.
My question is I am a diabetic Type I insulin dependent that takes Humalog 100Ul several times a day and Lantus at Night 15 Units. My blood pressure before was 125/80, but lately, this past six month, my blood pressure went down to 90/60: What should I do and which medicine can I take to replace the ACE ones. I am also taking Levothiroxyn 50mg for thyroid problem.
please help

About a week after beginning Lisinopril, I began to have the “ACE inhibitor cough.” My doctor had warned me about this side effect but said it probably wouldn’t be too bad. Well, that was an understatement.
This nasty cough is still persisting two weeks after changing to an ARB/Losartan. It is especially bad while trying to sleep and it comes on suddenly during the day.
My husband kids me and says I sound like Doc Holliday with TB. Not so funny since I am nurse taking care of patients. Sometimes during care, I suddenly burst into a coughing fit and have to excuse myself to gulp down some water, only to return and try to explain that I am not ‘sick’ but the coughing is a side effect of my blood pressure medicine. It’s embarrassing.
I read that it sometimes takes a few months to get over it and I cannot wait. Hindsight is a virtue and if I had known about how annoying this side effect could be, I never would have initiated the treatment.

I’ve taken hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ] and simvastatin for years along with cozaar, then lisinopril [cough, cough]and then doxazosin [good results].
Key events in cost control… I shared a list of Walgreen low cost generic drugs with my internist and she chose doxazosin. I now use Walmart to avoid annual fee and, with one exception, all are either $4/month or $10 for a larger quantity. One of my glaucoma drugs is expensive.

I am in a desperate measure here. Just went off of Atenelol. Was on it for 2+ years or so. I asked my doctor for the switch and from your website I asked him about Lisinopril. He said sure try that. ( I guess I could be my own doctor for how concerned he seemed) My blood pressure ran very high sometimes on Atenelol which I take 100/25 duretic part and also take Verapimil.
2 days on the 20 mg Lisinopril – I was crying like a baby yesterday – I had the worst side effects ever. I had terrible vertigo symptoms, had to leave work, and could not bend or do anything normal or my head would go into a spacey spinning feeling. I also am anxious and my blood pressure went extremely low for me – 111/67. I haven’t even had my lower number in the sixties since I was like 18. I am 48 and female. But yet my pulse is high and I feel tingles in my head sometimes and anxious.
HELP>my doctor said give it another week. Hello another week. I have a life to live. Vertigo is not something you can really do anything with. Can anyone advise if it is my Atenelol Withdraw (2 days only!) or should I go off this drug. I took 3/4 of the pill today instead of the whole and not as extreme, but still so spacey and unhappy. And I am at work . I still feel like crying. Anyone have any similar effects or advice would greatly be considered. Of course – I may have to change my doctor who does not seem to work well with my age group women anyway. :) help

I am 43 and have been taking Cozaar then Hyzaar for about 1 1/2 yrs now. I didn’t really notice the cough mentioned here. However, I have lost HUGE amounts of hair!!! So much in fact that I ordered a wig recently so as not to be embarrassed when going out. Now, I can understand loss like this in my 80’s but NOT at 43!! Can anyone out there suggest a different BP medication that doesn’t do this?? I am frantic!!

I was put on Toprol last year for heart palpitations. I was told to take 25 mg per day but only take half of that because it made me dizzy. About two months ago I developed a slight cough or rather a feeling that I constantly have to clear my throat. It is very annoying and sometimes irritates my throat to the point that I feel I am getting hoarse. I was told by my doctor that it was probably acid reflux but now I am sure it is the beta blocker which I am stopping immediately.
The heart palpitations are not life threatening, but the cough is hampering my quality of life. Right now the cough only seems to bother me during the day and has only once awakened me during the night. I am taking copies of articles I’ve read on this to the doctor when I go for my next visit in January. Too bad we have to be our own diagnostician these days!
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: COUGH IS NOT A TYPICAL SIDE EFFECT OF TOPROL, A BETA BLOCKER. YOU AND YOUR DOCTOR WILL NEED TO DO SOME SLEUTHING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS CAUSING YOUR COUGH.

I have been on lisinopril too. I have had a cough from hell, I don’t smoke x never have coughs, I have now been changed to amias, but my cold still seem as bad. I’ve been on them 2 weeks now, HOW MUCH LONGER SHOULD I SUFFER THIS COUGH?
I HAVEN’T SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT FOR WEEKS. Thank you.

Aetna told me that it does not tell doctors what to do and that it does not direct medicine. Well, if Aetna is telling you that you have to take one medication instead of another, isn’t that directing medicine? I have never taken blood pressure medicine, even though I have had high blood pressure for a long time.
Before finding this site, I had already decided, from reading the pharmacy and FDA warnings, that this was a risky med. The doctor gave me the prescription without even discussing the drug or any side effects. I have Aetna HMO, which does not have a deductible. I had to pay a $10 co-payment for the Lisinopril, and Aetna’s cost was $0 (zero).
It is my belief that this drug would kill me a lot faster than high blood pressure, but I will not list my medical issues. We just have to decide for ourselves whether or not we want to swallow meds.

I have been taking lisinopril for about six months and have a awful cough, worse at night when I lay down. Also had really bad hives which Dermatologist said blood pressure medicine caused. Also have been having hair loss. I have alopecia areaeta but have more bald spots than ever. I just called my Dr. to change medicine. He is putting me on Cozaar. I too have had some memory loss. Hope new medication helps.

I am taking Benazepril ACE Inhibitors right now, and I have the worst coughing fits of my life. When I start to cough I cannot stop and I get woozy from the lack of oxygen, and finally I’m gasping to get my breath back. I had 2 big scares last night and this morning, especially this morning. I was coughing and my throat was contracting so hard I couldn’t get air in… I finally was able to force some in (barely). The noise was so loud it woke my girlfriend up this morning from our upstairs bedroom. I was downstairs in the kitchen feeding the cat.
If I hadn’t got those couple of gasps in, she never would have heard me and I would have passed out and died on the kitchen floor. I am discontinuing immediately, but it is disheartening to see the length of time it may take to recover.

My wife has used Accuretic and its generics for a number of years. She too developed that persistent cough caused by ACE drugs. We did some research, I believe one of the sources was People’s Pharmacy, and found a partial remedy to the coughing was to take an iron supplement, preferably the timed release type every day to every other day. My wife tried it and sure enough the coughing was calmed and sometimes eliminated altogether. The hitch is that unless you’re a menstruating woman you’ve no way of eliminating the excess iron building up in your liver. Of course you can donate your blood on a regular basis but this can be a bit tedious. The best answer is to switch to one of the other types of hypertension meds like angiotensin receptor blockers.

I have been taking Atenolol for high blood pressure. Is there a BP medication that does not cause hair loss? There are so many side effects of the other BP meds, maybe being bald isn’t so bad. If you could just suggest a type of BP meds that do not cause hair loss, I can look up the side effects. Thanks

I’ve been on Atacand HCT w/a diuretic and also Toprol XL for almost 3 years now. I didn’t realize my dry cough was a side effect until I read it here. My cough isn’t as bad as some hear describe. However, I do have to clear my throat all day it seems. Also, over the past few months I do seem to have developed GERD. Could that be related? Maybe the coughing damaged the sphincter muscle in the esophagus? I’d be interested in hearing if anyone has had a similar experience. Thanks so much!!

Memory, Charly horses in my legs and a bad cough!! I was taking hyzar for a few years and it worked well…. But because of a change in my insurance, I could no longer afford the hyzar…. So I was changed to is Lisinopril 10mg. About a month ago…. Since then everything’s been haywire! I’ve been told it’s springtime allergy, a cold etc. etc. etc. It wasn’t until I started investigating that I found a lot of people experiencing the same side effects from Lisinopril.
Talked with atnea and they reminded me that I had a $3000.00 deductible (with my new policy) that had to be met before I could go back to Hyzar….Oh well….Just wanted to share that with you all…..

I’ve had the same experience. High blood pressure medication almost always has some side effects so when you do find one that is effective with side effects that you can live with it irks me when the insurance company refuses to cover it. My plan is the Empire Plan of NYS. 1st they denied coverage of Avapro, now they won’t cover Diovan. Since we all know the risks with HBP, it is irresponsible of the insurance companies to go against the Doc’s recommendation. I hope the reform will address this.

My doctor switched me from Avapro to lisinopril due to cost with insurance company. I developed a cough within one week but didn’t realize what was the cause. I reread the side effects of lisinopril but didn’t quit taking the medication for three weeks. I quit taking lisinopril one week ago and restarted my Avapro (with my doctors ok). My cough from “hell” is still keeping me awake at night and many times during the day. My doctor told me it will 4-6 weeks before the lisinopril is out of my system. People should be told that is a very serious side effect.

My Mom takes Hydrochlorothiazide for high blood pressure & has to “clear her throat” rather severely & frequently. Could this drug be the cause?

Does anyone know if Lisinopril can cause Emphysema if you have been coughing so much? Can it exasperate it? My husband has had a cough for a year now since starting Lisinopril and was just diagnosed with a slight case of Emphysema. His doctor is aware of the cough side effect, but said to continue the Lisinopril. My thoughts are why would the doctor add fuel to a fire? If he continues to cough because of the medication, won’t it make his Emphysema worse?
Thanks,
Sherry

Interesting comments about high blood pressure pills. I’ve tried them all from ace inhibitors, Accupril 10 mg (cough from hell!!), Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonists, Cozaar 50 mg (angina attacks immediately after starting and I don’t have angina!!) and now I am on a Calcium Channel Blocker, Verapamil 240mg (This pill works well except it causes dizziness that is quite extreme!!). Now what?? Would a diuretic be my next try for controlling my blood pressure? . . . and what side effects come with this medication?

What the heck is an insurance company doing telling a policy-holder that he or she must take a medicine other than the one a doctor has prescribed? I can understand an insurance company wanting a person to take a generic version of a medication rather than a more expensive brand-name version, but telling a person that he or she must switch from Hyzaar to an ACE inhibitor is quite outrageous. Insurers are not doctors, and someone should come down hard on them when they presume to act as doctors and try to dictate what medications their insureds must take in order to be reimbursed.

When I changed from my regular cardiologist to Kaiser Permanente, they immediately changed my blood pressure medicine from Cozaar and Cartia XT to Lisinopril and Diltiazem. I assume these new meds are the preferred combo for this doctor and/or HMO. For the last year I’ve had a cough that keeps me awake at least one night a week, and definitely interrupts me multiple times during the day, and I did notice that, for the first time, my pectoral muscles were getting “breast like” (I am male) though I just attributed this to mild weight gain.
I have not experienced any memory loss (none that I can remember anyway…ha ha). Thank you, People’s Pharmacy, for publishing this article in the LA Times Health section, I’ll be switching meds as soon as possible.

I developed an uncontrollable cough from two different ace inhibitors.I had to sleep sitting up in bed for two months. I’d just had bladder surgery. It was terrible. I decided to stop the ace inhibitor for one week and the coughing stopped. My doctor thought I was having asthma problems. I told her it was the meds. She finally gave me a low dose water pill. No more cough.

I am so glad that I came across this article. I too take lisinopril and have had an occasional cough over the last few months. I thought I was developing allergies; after reading the post, now I know it is a side effect of my medication. I will be going to my doctor to switch as soon as possible.

Happened to me, too; fortunately, my Dr. was aware it could be a side effect and switched me before too much damage was done.

I too was prescribed Lisinopril for High Blood Pressure and for two years had the constant cough “from Hell” until my Dr. realized that is one of the side effects and changed my medication.

Switching to 5mg Lisinopril from 10mg helped my coughing…. now several days may go by when I do not cough, then maybe a spell. Seems to also be working ok on the blood pressure.
I have never had the memory problems, yet.
It is always necessary that you read the side effects, and go on line to check all meds.

A close family member was switched from enalapril to lisinopril, because his doctor said it was better.
He did not get a cough with lisinopril but he began to have memory problems about two weeks after going on this med. (I had memory problems from Lipitor, so could understand that meds can CAUSE memory problems, etc.)
The longer he has been on lisinopril the more the memory problems seemed, though not nearly as bad as mine with lipitor. He was on this med 5 months. 3 weeks ago I switched him back to his enalapril (he had almost a full bottle left from the switch.) He is getting better but am wanting to know if this is happening to any one else, as I am going to discuss it with our family doctor very soon.
Has any one else become AWARE of some memory problems on lisinopril, especially after being switched from another med? Thank you.
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THIS SIDE EFFECT HAS NOT BEEN LISTED IN THE OFFICIAL DRUG INFORMATION. WE TOO WILL BE INTERESTED IF ANYONE ELSE HAS EXPERIENCED IT.

I went through the same process with Benazepril. I had a friend who went through this process with lisinopril. From knowing her experiences, I didn’t have to have a chest x-ray. I called my doctor and told him to change my prescription. The insurance company continues to try to get me to change back, even though each time I tell them about the coughing. It is a shame that we have to fight the insurance companies. You also sent me a “Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment” and I do thank you for it.

Several years ago I was prescribed Lisinopril for heart failure. I too developed a chronic cough that was worse at night culminating in sleep disturbances every night. It took some detective work to find the culprit pill, as I was on quite a few meds at the time; we finally eliminated Lisinopril and the cough.
Doctors/pharmacists tell us of the major side effects to medications but rarely are we aware that something as common as a cough could be caused by a medication. Glad we have People’s Pharmacy to go to for “real” information.

This information is so timely for us. Since December I’ve been helping my father, who had a heart attack a couple years ago, open up discussions with his cardiologist about his prescriptions. Our concerns had been about omeprazole together with Plavix (clopidogrel), and now the VA wants as many patients as possible to get off the Plavix as it doesn’t show improvement over aspirin alone, and now Simvastatin (muscle weakness and pain.)
Since we were in the mode, I decided to research his metoprolol and lisinopril blood pressure prescription side effects. Low and behold, Dad tells me that he always carries cough drops for a constant cough (lisinopril) and has lost his muscle tone and has developed enlarged breasts (feminization due to lisinopril blocking one of the male hormones is a possible side effect.) With this information in hand, we will be opening up another round of discussions to change, reduce, or even get off, this type of blood pressure medication. Are there ones that cause less coughing? Will his inadvertent breast growth reverse itself?
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: DISCUSSING THESE ISSUES WITH HIS DOCTOR IS A GREAT IDEA. THERE ARE MANY BLOOD PRESSURE PILLS LESS LIKELY TO CAUSE COUGH, AND IT IS PROBABLE THAT BOTH THE COUGH AND THE GYNECOMASTIA (BREASTS) WILL DISAPPEAR AFTER THE DRUG IS DISCONTINUED.

The VA gave me lisinopril without any warnings. I developed a cough so bad I passed out twice, went to the ER once. I since have learned it is a common side effect, and yet lisinopril is handed out like candy, without any warnings. I think the maker must pay big bonuses for prescribing this crap.

You are right . That’s why it’s used so much big bonuses. It’s very sad.

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