What causes cough with lisinopril

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Are you experiencing a persistent cough?

Have you been taking lisinopril, a common medication used to treat high blood pressure?

If so, you may be wondering what could be causing this cough.

Let us shed some light on this common side effect.

Lisinopril, a medication known as an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, is highly effective in treating high blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

However, one possible side effect that some patients experience is a dry, persistent cough.

This cough can be quite bothersome and can even lead to difficulty sleeping or performing daily activities.

The exact cause of this cough is not well understood, but studies suggest that it may be related to the inhibition of bradykinin breakdown by lisinopril.

Bradykinin is a substance in the body that causes blood vessels to dilate and can also stimulate coughing.

This means that when bradykinin levels rise due to the action of lisinopril, it can trigger a cough reflex.

If you are experiencing a cough while taking lisinopril, it is important to talk to your doctor.

They may be able to prescribe an alternative medication or recommend other strategies to help alleviate your symptoms.

Remember, do not stop taking lisinopril without consulting your healthcare provider.

They can guide you in the best course of action and ensure your blood pressure stays under control.

Understanding the Cough with Lisinopril

When taking lisinopril, it is important to be aware of its potential side effects, including the development of a cough. Lisinopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor commonly prescribed to manage high blood pressure and heart failure. While it is an effective medication for many individuals, it can cause a persistent cough in some patients.

What Causes Lisinopril-Induced Cough?

The exact cause of the cough associated with lisinopril is not completely understood. However, studies suggest that the cough may result from the accumulation of bradykinin, a substance that dilates blood vessels. ACE inhibitors like lisinopril work by blocking the production of an enzyme that breaks down bradykinin, leading to its accumulation in the body. The excessive levels of bradykinin can irritate the airways, resulting in a persistent, dry cough.

In addition to bradykinin, other possible factors contributing to the cough may include inflammation within the airways, increased sensitivity of the cough reflex, or an immune response triggered by the medication.

Symptoms and Causes

The cough associated with lisinopril typically presents as a dry, non-productive cough that does not produce any mucus. It may start shortly after starting the medication or develop weeks to months later. In some cases, the cough may be accompanied by other symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness.

If you experience a persistent cough while taking lisinopril, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider, as they can evaluate your symptoms and determine if lisinopril is the cause. It may be necessary to switch to an alternative medication that does not produce the same side effect.

It is worth noting that not everyone who takes lisinopril will develop a cough, and the incidence can vary among individuals. Some factors that may increase the likelihood of developing a cough include being female, older age, and a history of respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

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Impact on Daily Life

While not life-threatening, the persistent cough caused by lisinopril can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. The cough can be disruptive and interfere with daily activities, including work, sleep, and social interactions. It can also lead to embarrassment and frustration.

If the cough becomes bothersome or affects your well-being, it is essential to discuss the issue with your healthcare provider. They can explore alternative medications or recommend strategies to manage the cough effectively.

Symptoms and Causes

When taking Lisinopril, some individuals may experience a persistent cough as a side effect. This cough is often referred to as a “Lisinopril cough”. It is important to recognize the symptoms and understand the underlying causes of this cough in order to effectively manage it.


The cough associated with Lisinopril is typically dry and non-productive. It can be persistent, occurring throughout the day and night, or it may come and go. The intensity of the cough can vary from mild irritation to severe discomfort. Some individuals also report a tickling or scratching sensation in the throat that triggers the cough.


The exact cause of the Lisinopril cough is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the medication’s effect on the body. Lisinopril belongs to a class of drugs called ACE inhibitors, which work by relaxing blood vessels. This relaxation can lead to the accumulation of bradykinin, a substance that can irritate the airways and trigger the cough reflex.

It is important to note that not everyone who takes Lisinopril will experience this cough, as individual reactions to medications can vary. However, if you are experiencing a persistent cough while taking Lisinopril, it is recommended to consult with your healthcare provider to determine if the medication is the cause and to discuss potential alternatives.

Impact on Daily Life

For patients who experience a cough as a side effect of taking lisinopril, it can have a significant impact on their daily life. The persistent and irritating nature of the cough can disrupt activities, work, and sleep, leading to frustration and fatigue.

One of the main challenges is that the cough can be unpredictable, making it difficult to plan activities or attend social gatherings. The constant need to cough can also cause embarrassment and self-consciousness, which may lead to withdrawal from social interactions.

Moreover, the cough can negatively affect work productivity. It can be distracting during meetings or conversations, and it may be challenging to concentrate on tasks when constantly interrupted by coughing fits. Additionally, the cough can make it difficult to communicate clearly, leading to misunderstandings or misinterpretations.

Furthermore, the cough can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to sleep deprivation. This can result in daytime drowsiness, decreased energy levels, and difficulty in carrying out daily tasks efficiently. The lack of restful sleep can also affect mood and overall well-being.

Overall, the cough caused by lisinopril can have a profound impact on a person’s daily life, affecting their social interactions, work performance, and overall quality of life.

Lisinopril Alternatives for Cough-Prone Patients

While lisinopril is an effective medication for managing high blood pressure, some patients may experience an annoying side effect: a persistent cough. For those who find the cough bothersome and disruptive to their daily lives, it’s important to explore alternative medications that can effectively treat high blood pressure without causing coughing.

There are several alternatives to lisinopril that can be considered for cough-prone patients. One option is to switch to another ACE inhibitor, such as enalapril or ramipril. These medications work similarly to lisinopril but have a lower incidence of causing cough. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate alternative based on individual circumstances and medical history.

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Another alternative to lisinopril is to switch to an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). Medications such as losartan or valsartan are ARBs that can effectively lower blood pressure without the risk of developing a cough. ARBs work by blocking the action of angiotensin, a hormone that causes blood vessels to narrow. By blocking this action, ARBs help relax blood vessels, reducing blood pressure.

In addition to switching to a different class of medication, lifestyle changes can also help alleviate cough for patients taking lisinopril. Avoiding irritants such as smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke can reduce the likelihood of developing a cough. Staying hydrated and using a humidifier can also help soothe the throat and reduce coughing.

Ultimately, finding the right alternative to lisinopril for cough-prone patients requires careful consideration and consultation with a healthcare professional. With the variety of options available, it’s possible to effectively manage high blood pressure without the disruptive side effect of a persistent cough.

Exploring Alternative Medications

While cough is a common side effect of lisinopril, it’s important to find a solution that works for you and doesn’t disrupt your daily life. If you’re experiencing a persistent cough while taking lisinopril, there are alternative medications that your doctor may consider prescribing.

1. ARBs (Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers)

ARBs are a class of medications that work similarly to ACE inhibitors like lisinopril, but they have a lower chance of causing cough as a side effect. Some commonly prescribed ARBs include losartan, valsartan, and irbesartan.

2. Beta-blockers

If you have conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease, your doctor may recommend beta-blockers as an alternative to lisinopril. Beta-blockers work by blocking the effects of adrenaline, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart-related complications.

Note: It’s important to note that these medications work differently than lisinopril, so it’s crucial to discuss the potential benefits and risks with your doctor.

Consult Your Doctor

If you’re experiencing a persistent cough while taking lisinopril, it’s important to consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication regimen. They can evaluate your condition and determine the best course of action to manage your symptoms effectively.

Lifestyle Changes to Alleviate Cough

Lifestyle Changes to Alleviate Cough

If you are experiencing a cough while taking lisinopril, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to help alleviate this symptom. These changes may not completely eliminate the cough, but they can help reduce its severity and frequency.

1. Avoid irritants: It is important to avoid irritants that could worsen your cough, such as cigarette smoke, pollen, dust, and strong odors. These irritants can exacerbate your cough and make it more difficult to manage.

2. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids can help thin out mucus and soothe your throat, which can in turn alleviate your cough. Aim to drink at least 8 cups of water per day, and try to avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks, as they can dehydrate you.

3. Use a humidifier: Dry air can irritate your throat and worsen your cough. Using a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep can add moisture to the air and help soothe your cough. Make sure to clean your humidifier regularly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.

4. Elevate your head while sleeping: If your cough is worse at night, try sleeping with your head elevated. This can help prevent mucus from pooling in your throat and causing coughing fits. You can use extra pillows or a wedge pillow to achieve the desired elevation.

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5. Practice good hand hygiene: Coughing can be a symptom of an underlying respiratory infection, so it is important to practice good hand hygiene to prevent the spread of germs. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

6. Avoid triggers: Pay attention to your cough triggers and try to avoid them as much as possible. For example, if cold air triggers your cough, try wearing a scarf over your mouth and nose when going outside in colder weather.

7. Try throat lozenges or cough drops: Throat lozenges or cough drops can help soothe your throat and temporarily alleviate your cough. Look for products that contain ingredients like menthol or honey, as they can provide additional relief.

Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your lifestyle or starting any new treatments. They can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your specific situation.

Tips for Managing the Cough with Lisinopril

Managing the cough that can occur as a side effect of taking lisinopril can be challenging, but there are some strategies that may help alleviate symptoms and improve your daily life.

1. Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help thin mucus and soothe your throat.

2. Use a Humidifier: Adding moisture to the air can help reduce irritation in your respiratory tract and alleviate coughing.

3. Avoid Triggers: Pay attention to any specific triggers that might worsen your cough, such as cold air, smoke, or certain foods, and try to avoid them.

4. Consider Over-the-Counter Remedies: There are over-the-counter cough medications that may provide temporary relief. However, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any new medications.

5. Practice Good Hygiene: Wash your hands regularly to minimize the risk of respiratory infections that can worsen your cough.

6. Stay Elevated While Sleeping: Elevating your upper body while sleeping can help reduce postnasal drip and alleviate nighttime coughing.

7. Maintain Open Communication with Your Doctor: It’s crucial to keep your doctor informed about the severity of your cough and any other symptoms you may be experiencing. They may recommend adjusting your dosage or switching to a different medication.

8. Monitor Your Blood Pressure: Along with managing your cough, it’s important to keep track of your blood pressure regularly to ensure it remains within a healthy range.

Remember, every individual’s experience with lisinopril-induced cough may vary, so it’s essential to work closely with your healthcare provider to find the best solutions for managing your symptoms.

Hydration and Humidification

One of the ways to alleviate cough caused by lisinopril is to ensure proper hydration.

Lisinopril can sometimes cause dryness of the throat, which can contribute to coughing.

Drinking enough water throughout the day can help keep the throat moist and reduce coughing related to lisinopril.

It is recommended to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day to maintain proper hydration.

In addition to hydration, using a humidifier can also provide relief from cough.

Dry air can further irritate the throat and exacerbate coughing.

A humidifier adds moisture to the air, helping to keep the throat moist and reduce coughing episodes.

Place the humidifier in the room where you spend the most time, especially during sleep, to maximize its benefits.

Benefits of Hydration and Humidification Recommendations
Helps keep the throat moist Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day
Reduces throat irritation Use a humidifier in the room
Minimizes coughing episodes Place the humidifier in the room where you spend the most time

By staying properly hydrated and using a humidifier, you can minimize the discomfort caused by coughing associated with lisinopril.

Remember to consult your healthcare provider for proper guidance and recommendations specific to your situation.