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Lisinopril HCTZ Drug Overview

written by: Leigh A. Zaykoski•edited by: Emma Lloyd•updated: 11/7/2009

Lisinopril HCTZ is the generic name for drugs sold as Prinzide and Zestoredic. Learn about how this drug is used and possible side effects by reading this article.

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    This drug contains an ACE inhibitor known as lisinopril and a diuretic known as hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ). ACE inhibitors like lisinopril inhibit the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II. Since angiotensin II causes the blood vessels to constrict, inhibiting the effects of this enzyme causes the blood vessels to dilate. This makes it easier for the heart to pump blood, reducing blood pressure. Diuretics increase the amount of fluid and sodium excreted in the urine and reduce the force of excess fluid on the walls of the arteries. This combination drug is used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, as well as other conditions that cause fluid retention.

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    Dosing Instructions

    Take lisinopril HCTZ as directed by your physician. Do not skip doses, increase your dosage or reduce your dosage without consulting with a medical professional. Try to take the drug at the same time every day to maximize its effectiveness. Do not take two doses at once if you miss a dose. Instead, take your next scheduled dose and skip the missed dose. Do not stop taking this drug without the supervision of a physician.

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    Side Effects

    Because this drug excretes excess fluid from the body, there are some possible side effects. People taking lisinopril hydrochlorothiazide may experience dizziness, irregular heartbeat, swelling, joint and muscle aches and tingling and numbness. Serious side effects that should be reported immediately to a physician include infection, jaundice, dark urine, persistent nausea and vomiting, severe abdominal pain and seizures. Allergic reactions can occur and are signaled by rash, itching, swelling of the face, lips and tongue, dizziness and difficulty breathing. Seek immediate medical attention if an allergic reaction occurs.

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    This medication is contraindicated in people who have certain medical conditions. These people may not be able to take this drug or may need a smaller dose of this drug. Let your doctor know if you have a history of kidney disease, heart failure, high cholesterol, dehydration, untreated mineral imbalances, high triglycerides, gout and diabetes.

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    Drug Interactions

    This drug has the potential to interact with other medications and cause undesirable side effects. This medication may also increase or decrease the effects of other prescription drugs. Before taking this drug, tell your doctor if you are taking aspirin, alpha blockers, narcotic pain relievers, drugs that can increase the potassium level or affect the bone marrow and other drugs for high blood pressure. Serious reactions can occur when taking this drug along with injections for bee and wasp sting allergies. Be sure to let your doctor know if you are receiving this therapy before you take lisinopril combined with HCTZ.