How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
This is a combination product containing 2 medications: lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide. It is used to treat high blood pressure.
Lisinopril belongs to a class of medications called ACE inhibitors and helps to lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels and reducing the workload of the heart. Hydrochlorothiazide belongs to a class of medications called diuretics or "water pills" that help control blood pressure by getting rid of excess salt and water.
It may take up to 2 to 4 weeks to see the full benefits of the medication.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Apo-Lisinopril/HCTZ is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada. For brands that may still be available, search under lisinopril - hydrochlorothiazide. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.
How should I use this medication?
Lisinopril - hydrochlorothiazide is not intended to be used to start treatment of high blood pressure. Each medication should be taken as a separate tablet until the appropriate dose of each medication is determined. Once the dose of each medication (lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide) that best controls your blood pressure has been determined, the combination tablets can be started.
The recommended dose ranges are:
- lisinopril 10 mg - hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg, 1 tablet once daily
- lisinopril 20 mg - hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg, 1 or 2 tablets once daily
- lisinopril 20 mg - hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg, 1 or 2 tablets once daily
This medication can be taken with or without food. Swallow the tablet with water. Try to take your tablet at the same time each day, preferably in the morning.
Lower doses may be used for people who take other medications that lower blood pressure or for people who have kidney disease.
Do not stop taking your tablets unless your doctor recommends it.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as their body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones given here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to lisinopril, hydrochlorothiazide, or any ingredients of this medication
- are allergic to other angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
- are allergic to sulfa (sulfonamide) medications
- are pregnant or intend to become pregnant
- are breast-feeding
- have difficulty producing urine or are unable to urinate
- have a history of angioedema after taking any ACE inhibitors (e.g., captopril, enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril, ramipril)
- are taking aliskiren and have congestive heart failure with low blood pressure
- have hereditary angioedema (a serious allergic reaction which causes swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, face, lips, tongue, or throat) or have angioedema with no known cause
- have diabetes, kidney disease, congestive heart failure with low blood pressure, or high levels of potassium in the blood and are taking aliskiren
- are taking sacubitril/valsartan
- are taking other angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers and have advanced diabetes, kidney disease, congestive heart failure with low blood pressure or high levels of potassium in the blood
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- abdominal pain
- cold or flu-like symptoms (e.g., runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache)
- decreased appetite
- decreased interest in sexual activity
- decreased sexual ability
- sensitivity to the sun
- skin rash
- upset stomach
- weakness (loss of strength)
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- discoloured patches or lumps on the skin that change slowly over time
- dizziness when rising from a sitting or lying position, lightheadedness, or fainting (signs of low blood pressure)
- joint pain (e.g., toe pain may be a sign of gout)
- muscle cramps
- signs of anemia (low red blood cells; e.g., dizziness, pale skin, unusual tiredness or weakness, shortness of breath)
- signs of bleeding (e.g., unusual nosebleeds, bruising, blood in urine, coughing blood, bleeding gums, cuts that don’t stop bleeding)
- signs of infection (symptoms may include fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness)
- signs of kidney problems (e.g., decreased urination, nausea, vomiting, swelling of legs or hands, fatigue)
- signs of liver problems such as abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, itching of skin, yellow eyes or skin
- signs of pancreatitis (e.g., abdominal pain on the upper left side, back pain, nausea, fever, chills, rapid heartbeat, swollen abdomen)
- signs of too much or too little potassium in the body
- dry mouth
- increased thirst
- irregular heartbeat
- mood or mental changes
- muscle cramps or pain
- numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or lips
- weak pulse
- weakness or heaviness of legs
- symptoms of lupus (e.g., skin rash (with or without itching), fever, or joint pain)
- swelling of hands, ankles or feet
- symptoms of high blood sugar (e.g., frequent urination, increased thirst, excessive eating, unexplained weight loss, poor wound healing, infections, fruity breath odour)
- symptoms of fast heartbeat (e.g., dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, racing heartbeat)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- chest pain
- severe skin rash, including skin blistering and peeling (possibly with headache, fever, coughing, or aching before the rash begins)
- symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including angioedema (e.g., hives; swelling of the face, mouth, hands, or feet; and difficulty breathing)
- symptoms of increased pressure in the eyes or other eye problems (e.g., blind spots, decreased or blurred vision, eye pain, sudden near sightedness, red eye, swelling of the eye)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.
Allergic reaction: Some people who are allergic to sulfonamide medications also experience allergic reactions to hydrochlorothiazide. Before you take this medication, inform your doctor about any previous adverse reactions you have had to medications, especially to sulfonamide antibiotics or diabetes medications. Contact your doctor at once if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as skin rash, itching, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face and throat.
Allergy desensitization treatment: Tell your doctor if you are undergoing or will undergo desensitization treatment for an allergy. Desensitization treatment reduces the effects of the allergy (e.g., the reaction to bee or wasp stings), but it can sometimes cause a more severe allergic reaction if you are taking ACE inhibitors during the desensitization treatment.
Angioedema: Angioedema is a serious allergic reaction that causes swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, face, lips, tongue, or throat. If you experience any of these when you take lisinopril - hydrochlorothiazide, stop taking the medication at once and get immediate medical attention.
You should avoid taking any other medications in the ACE inhibitors class of medications. People who have had angioedema caused by other substances may be at increased risk of angioedema when they take an ACE inhibitor.
Cholesterol: Increases in cholesterol and triglyceride levels may occur when taking hydrochlorothiazide. At the doses used in lisinopril - hydrochlorothiazide, this rarely causes problems. However, if you have high cholesterol, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Cough: People taking lisinopril may develop a dry, persistent cough that usually disappears only after stopping or lowering the lisinopril dose of this medication. Inform your doctor of any cough that does not seem to be related to a usual cause.
Diabetes: Hydrochlorothiazide may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar. High blood sugar may occur, glucose tolerance may change, and diabetes may worsen. A dose adjustment of diabetes medications, including insulin, may be required. If you have diabetes, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. An adjustment to doses of antidiabetic medications may be required.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Lisinopril - hydrochlorothiazide can cause dizziness or tiredness and you should not perform tasks such as driving or using machines that require special attention until you know how the medication will affect you.
Fluid and electrolyte balance: Increases in blood levels of potassium may occur for some people who take lisinopril. The levels of electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and chloride can be affected by treatment with hydrochlorothiazide. Your doctor will periodically check to see if these are in balance by requesting blood tests. Warning signs of fluid and electrolyte imbalance include:
- dryness of mouth
- low blood pressure
- muscle pains or cramps
- muscular fatigue
- racing heartbeat
Glaucoma: This medication may cause the symptoms of glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye) to become worse. Report any changes in vision to your doctor as soon as possible while you are taking this medication.
Gout: Hydrochlorothiazide may increase the level of uric acid in the body, which may result in an attack of gout. If you have a history of gout, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. If you develop painful, warm, and swollen joints, contact your doctor.
Heart or blood vessel disease: If you have a narrowing of the aorta (aortic stenosis) or the kidney artery (renal artery stenosis), or increased thickness of the heart muscle (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Kidney function: Decreased kidney function or kidney disease can cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. Lisinopril may cause decreased kidney function. Certain people, such as those with narrowed blood vessels in their kidneys, or those with severe congestive heart failure may be more likely to experience this complication. The use of other diuretics (water pills), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or aliskiren, may further increase risk of kidney trouble for people already at risk for this problem. If you have reduced kidney function, renal artery stenosis (narrowing of blood vessels in the kidneys), or congestive heart failure, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. If you have reduced kidney function, you may require lower doses of this medication.
If you experience symptoms of decreased kidney function, such as puffy hands, face, or feet; high blood pressure; unusual muscle cramping; or darkened urine, this medication may be affecting how well your kidneys are working. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. This medication can also worsen liver function. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication. If you notice any signs of liver problems (e.g., abdominal pain, itching of skin, or yellow eyes or skin, loss of appetite, vomiting), contact your doctor immediately.
Low blood pressure: Occasionally, blood pressure drops too low after taking lisinopril - hydrochlorothiazide. This usually happens after the first or second dose or when the dose is increased. It is more likely to occur for people who take water pills, have a salt-restricted diet, are on dialysis, are taking the medication aliskiren, are suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, or have been sweating excessively and not drinking enough liquids. If low blood pressure causes you to faint or feel lightheaded, contact your doctor.
Low white blood cell count: This medication can decrease the number of white blood cells, which help the body to fight infection. Your doctor may periodically request blood tests to monitor your levels of white blood cells. If you notice more frequent signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, or sore throat), contact your doctor immediately.
Lupus: There have been reports of a worsening or activation of lupus for people taking hydrochlorothiazide. If you have lupus, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Sensitivity to sunlight: This medication may increase the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight, increasing the risk of sunburn. Avoid exposure to sunlight for long periods of time, particularly between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm, while you are taking this medication. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen and lip balm with an SPF of 30 or greater. If you notice any unusual skin rash or peeling, contact your doctor immediately.
Skin cancer: Recent reviews of hydrochlorothiazide have connected long term use of the medication with an increased risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer. This often appears as a lump or discoloured patch of skin that slowly changes appearance or size. Check your skin regularly for unusual growths or discolouration and report any changes to your doctor as soon as possible. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have.
Surgery or anesthesia: Tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking lisinopril - hydrochlorothiazide before you are given a local or general anaesthetic. When combined with some anesthetics, this medication may cause a short-term drop in blood pressure.
Pregnancy: Pregnant women should not take this medication. When used during pregnancy, lisinopril can cause injury or death to the developing baby. If you become pregnant, stop taking this medication and contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: Medications similar to lisinopril pass into breast milk and hydrochlorothiazide passes into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding and are taking lisinopril - hydrochlorothiazide, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for children. It is not recommended for children to use this medication.
Seniors: Seniors have an increased risk of experiencing side effects when taking quinapril lisinopril - hydrochlorothiazide due to reduced kidney function. Lower doses may be necessary to minimize side effects.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between lisinopril - hydrochlorothiazide and any of the following:
- acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)
- alpha-adrenergic blocking agents (e.g., alfuzosin, doxazosin, prazosin, terazosin)
- alpha-agonists (e.g., clonidine, methyldopa)
- angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs; captopril, enalapril, ramipril)
- amphetamines (e.g., dextroamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine)
- angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs; losartan, valsartan, candesartan)
- antacids (e.g., aluminum hydroxide, calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide)
- antihistamines (e.g., azelastine, cetirizine, doxylamine, diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, loratadine)
- antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone)
- barbiturates (e.g., butalbital, phenobarbital)
- beta-blockers (e.g., atenolol, carvedilol, propranolol)
- beta-2 agonists (e.g., salbutamol, formoterol, terbutaline)
- calcium carbonate, calcium citrate
- calcium channel blockers (e.g., amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil)
- oral corticosteroids (e.g., dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, prednisone)
- diabetes medications (e.g., acarbose, canagliflozin, glyburide, lixisenatide, insulin, metformin, rosiglitazone, saxagliptin)
- grass pollen extract
- inhaled corticosteroids (e.g., budesonide, ciclesonide, fluticasone)
- iron dextran complex
- iron supplements
- low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs; e.g., dalteparin, enoxaparin, tinzaparin)
- medications that increase blood levels of potassium (e.g., potassium chloride, salt substitutes containing potassium)
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs; e.g., moclobemide, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine)
- multivitamins/minerals with ADE
- narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine, fentanyl, morphine, tramadol)
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen)
- other diuretics (water pills; e.g., furosemide, triamterene)
- phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (e.g., sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil)
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; e.g., citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline)
- sodium phosphates
- tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, trimipramine)
- vitamin D
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Apo-LisinoprilHCTZ