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Is There a Connection between Lisinopril and Weight Gain?

By Henry Gaudet
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The link between lisinopril and weight gain is a matter of debate. Some studies have indicated that weight gain may be a side effect of the drug, but not conclusively. Swelling is another possible side effect of lisinopril, and an accompanying weight gain will often result from the excess fluid. Rapid increase in weight is also a symptom of some of the conditions treated by this drug.

Lisinopril is an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, most often prescribed to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. Diabetics may also be given the drug to reduce the risk of kidney failure. ACE inhibitors like lisinopril work to prevent contraction of blood vessels, reducing blood pressure.

During drug trials, some patients taking the drug did experience an increase in weight. Weight gain has been identified as an uncommon side effect, affecting less than 1% of patients taking the drug. Notably, a similar percentage observed a loss of weight while taking the drug.

There is some confusion over the link between lisinopril and weight gain. In many instances, weight gain could not be linked conclusively to the use of the drug. Interactions with other drugs may be a factor as well. Diet and lifestyle can also contribute to increases, obscuring any connection between lisinopril and weight gain.

Another possible cause of weight gain for patients taking lisinopril is the condition being treated. Rapid weight gain is a symptom associated with congestive heart failure in particular. Patients experiencing a sudden or unexplained increase in weight are urged to consult with a doctor.

In some cases, the increase was attributed to edema, another known side effect of the drug. The build up of fluid caused both bloating and weight gain in these patients. Swelling could also be a sign of allergic reaction to the drug and patients experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

When patients take lisinopril and weight gain is observed, steps can be taken to keep weight under control. A healthy diet is a good first step. Sensible portions of low fat, low cholesterol, and low sodium foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains and lean meats will help the patient keep weight, blood pressure and heart conditions under control.

Regular activity is another important step. Even gentle exercise will also help to keep weight down and keep the heart strong. Patients taking lisinopril for blood pressure or heart conditions should speak with a doctor or medical professional before beginning an exercise program.

What Is Lisinopril Used For?

Lisinopril is one of the numerous medications used to treat high blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the most common comorbidities in the world. There are a number of serious consequences that might manifest if you suffer from high blood pressure. Some of the biggest complications include:

  • You put a lot of extra stress on your arteries and veins.
  • Your heart will have to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body.
  • Your blood vessels could begin to harden, leading to a number of additional complications.

It is important for you to visit your doctor at least once per year. During this appointment, your doctor will check your blood pressure. If you suffer from high blood pressure, you might not necessarily show symptoms. That is why the doctor will check your blood pressure at every visit, and lisinopril could be used to lower your blood pressure.

Importantly, lisinopril is rarely used alone to treat high blood pressure. Even though it might be the only medication that is prescribed, it is usually combined with other treatment methods. For example, your doctor may encourage you to exercise regularly. Your doctor may also take a look at your diet to see if changes can be made to reduce your weight and blood pressure. You should talk with your doctor carefully about ways you can better control your blood pressure.

Does Lisinopril Lower Heart Rate?

There are some people who are concerned that lisinopril may lower their heart rate. In clinical trials, lisinopril was not shown to have a statistically significant effect on your heart rate.

How Is Heart Rate Measured?

Heart rate is usually measured at the number of times your heart beats in a single minute. If you put your fingers on an area where you can feel your pulse, such as your wrist or your neck, you should count the number of beats you feel in a single minute. This is your heart rate. If you think you will have a difficult time keeping track of the number of beats for 60 seconds, you can also count the number of beats in six seconds and then multiply that number by 10. Or, you can count the number of beats in 10 seconds and multiply that number by six.

Why Might My Heart Rate Drop While Taking Lisinopril?

If your heart rate drops while taking lisinopril, it is not necessarily because of lisinopril itself. Your heart rate could drop because you are taking other medications in combination with lisinopril. Or, if you exercise regularly, you could get in better cardiovascular shape. As a result, your heart rate drops. Your heart rate dropping is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you have questions about why your heart rate is changing, you should talk to your doctor to learn more.

What Are the Negative Side Effects of Lisinopril?

Like other prescription medications, it is possible that you might experience side effects while taking lisinopril. Keep in mind that even though the list of side effects is long, you will not necessarily experience all of these side effects. Some people might only experience one side effect while other people might experience a handful.

Some of the most common side effects you may experience while taking lisinopril include:

  • You may develop a recurrent cough.
  • You might experience intermittent vertigo or dizziness.
  • You may experience headaches from time to time.
  • Lisinopril could make you feel more tired than usual.
  • Some people complain of intermittent nausea.
  • Lisinopril can also upset your GI tract, possibly leading to diarrhea.
  • You may experience sneezing while taking lisinopril.
  • You could also experience intermittent weakness.

If you experience any of these side effects while taking lisinopril, you should contact your doctor.

Importantly, there are potentially serious side effects that are exceedingly rare. For example, you may experience an allergic reaction while taking lisinopril. Some of the most common symptoms of an allergic reaction include swelling of the throat, tongue, lips, or face. If you experience any of these symptoms, you need to call 911 right away.

You should talk with your doctor about all of these potential side effects before taking lisinopril. You should also tell your doctor about any prior side effects you have experienced while taking other medication. Because there are other treatment options available, your doctor may decide to prescribe something else if you experience intolerable side effects. It is important to develop a well-rounded approach to the treatment of high blood pressure.

Can Lisinopril Cause Edema?

Using Lisinopril can cause someone to experience angioedema, which is abrupt swelling of the arms and legs or face and lips. Other areas that may swell include the throat, tongue, or even the intestines. It is always important to watch for signs of swelling, as some people can take Lisinopril for years before angioedema occurs. If you experience swelling, your doctor will take you off of the medication and may prescribe something to reduce the swelling. Keep in mind that you may be at a higher risk of swelling if you already have a history of angioedema or if you are Black.

What Are the Negative Side Effects of Lisinopril?

Lisinopril may cause a wide variety of negative side effects. Some of the most common side effects include a dry cough, feeling dizzy, or experiencing headaches. Other common side effects are excessive tiredness, nausea, or diarrhea. People who take Lisinopril may feel weak, sneeze more often, or have a runny nose, as well as develop a rash or notice a decrease in sexual abilities. If you experience any of these side effects severely or for a long period of time, contact your doctor for guidance.

Lisinopril may cause some serious side effects as well. In addition to angioedema, serious side effects include being hoarse, having difficulty breathing or swallowing, or having signs of an infection, such as a sore throat, fever, or chills. Other serious side effects to look for include yellowing of the eyes or skin, fainting, feeling lightheaded, or having chest pain. If you experience these symptoms, contact your doctor, or if they are severe, head to the nearest emergency room.

Does Blood Pressure Medicine Cause Weight Gain?

Lisinopril is not known to cause weight gain or loss, as these were not significant side effects during clinical studies. People who experience weight loss on this medication may be dealing with a rare side effect causing liver damage, especially if there is yellowing of the skin or eyes as well.

Although Lisinopril is not known to cause weight gain or loss, some other types of blood pressure medications, as well as beta blockers, do cause a bit of weight gain as a side effect. The average person who takes older beta blockers, including Tenormin, Lopressor, or Toprol-XL, will notice a weight gain of about 2.6 pounds over the course of a few months. Newer beta blocker medications, including Coreg, are less likely to cause weight gain as a side effect.

What Is the Proper Dosage of Lisinopril?

The dosage of Lisinopril will vary depending on the patient. People who take it as an oral dosage for high blood pressure typically begin at 10 milligrams once a day. The dosage may increase as needed, but is usually not more than 40 milligrams per day. Children who must take the medication do so based on their body weight.

Patients who take the medication for heart failure usually start at 5 milligrams per day but do not exceed 40 milligrams per day. Sometimes, Lisinopril is prescribed as an immediate treatment after a heart attack. The first dose is 5 milligrams, then 5 milligrams 24 hours later, 10 milligrams another 24 hours later, and then 10 milligrams once per day.

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Discussion Comments

By fify — On Jul 04, 2013

@MikeMason-- I think lisinopril can cause weight gain if the fatigue is very bad. Fatigue is a common side effect of lisinopril but it affects some people more than others. I can easily see how someone who is tired all the time might be inclined to eat more and exercise less.

Do you think this is what happened to you?

Some drugs really do cause weight gain as a side effect, like anti-depressants. But blood pressure medications usually don't cause weight gain. They can cause edema which looks like weight gain, but you already said that you don't have edema.

By stoneMason — On Jul 04, 2013

I've gained weight from lisinopril. I don't think it's water weight because lisinopril has a diuretic effect and makes me go to the bathroom more frequently. I guess I'm one of the lucky few.

By discographer — On Jul 03, 2013

I take a low dose of lisinopril for high blood pressure (5mg) and I have not had any weight gain from it thankfully.

The only side effect I have from this medication is coughing which is very annoying. It works great for my high BP though so I'm managing for now.

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