Generic name: Lisinopril.

Other brand name: Prinivil.

Zestril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. It works to reduce blood pressure by preventing angiotensin I from converting into a more potent enzyme that increases salt and water retention.

Quick Facts About Zestril


Used to treat high blood pressure. Also prescribed in certain cases within 24 hours of a heart attack.

Zestril Dosage

May take with or without food. Must take regularly for it to be effective. May take several weeks to observe the effects of Zestril. Continue to take even when symptoms disappear. Abruptly stopping medication may cause rise in blood pressure.

  • Usual adult dose: for hypertension — if not taking diuretics — 10 milligrams taken once per day. Once blood pressure is stabilized — 20 to 40 milligrams per day in a single dose. May be used alone or with other high blood pressure medications. If taking diuretics — initial dose of 5 milligrams, and doctor will supervise additional doses. If you have kidney disorder, dosage is individualized. For heart failure — 5 milligrams per day, taken with diuretics and Digitalis. Starting dose should be supervised by your doctor. Ongoing dose range is 5 to 20 milligrams taken once per day. Seniors — doses are individualized.
  • Usual child dose: not generally prescribed for children.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible, unless it is the next day. In that case, do not take the missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Zestril Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

drop in blood pressure. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: abdominal pain, chest pain, common cold, cough, diarrhea, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, fatigue, headache, itching, low blood pressure, nausea, rash, respiratory infection, vomiting, weakness.

Less common Zestril side effects:

arm pain, arthritis, asthma, back pain, blurred vision, breast pain, bronchitis, burning sensation, changes in heart rhythm, chills, confusion, constipation, coughing up blood, cramps in stomach or intestines, decreased sex drive, difficulty breathing at night, dizziness on standing, double vision, dry mouth, excessive sweating, fainting, feeling of illness, fever, flu, fluid retention, flushing, gas, gout, hair loss, heart attack, heart-burn, hepatitis, hip pain, hives, impotence, inability to sleep or sleeping too much, incoordination, indigestion, inflamed stomach, intolerance of light, irregular heartbeat, irritability, joint pain, kidney failure, knee pain, leg pain, little or no urine, “little strokes,” loss of appetite, lung cancer, memory impairment, muscle cramps, nasal congestion, neck pain, nervousness, nosebleed, painful breathing, painful urination, pelvic pain, pneumonia, prickling or burning sensation, rapid or fluttery heartbeat, rash, reddening of skin, ringing in ears, runny nose, sensitivity to light, severe allergic reactions, skin eruptions, shoulder pain, sinus inflammation, sore throat, spasm, stroke, sweating, swelling of face or arms and legs, thigh pain, tremor, upset stomach, urinary tract infection, vertigo, viral infection, vision changes, weight loss or gain, wheezing, yellow eyes and skin.


Inform your doctor before combining Zestril with:

aspirin, diuretics such as Lasix, indomethacin (Indocin), lithium (Lithonate), potassium preparations such as K-Phos, potassium-sparing diuretics such as Midamor. If taking high doses of a diuretic, may cause extremely low blood pressure.

Limit intake of potassium-rich foods such as bananas, prunes, raisins, orange juice, whole milk, and skim milk. Avoid salt substitutes that contain potassium.

Special Cautions

Can cause birth defects, premature births, or death in the fetus and newborn if taken during the second and third trimesters. If pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. May appear in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Not generally prescribed for children.

  • May cause dizziness or fainting and impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • Avoid if sensitive to or allergic to any of the ingredients in Zestril or other ACE inhibitor or sulfonamide-derived medications; if previous ACE inhibitor treatment resufted in angioedema (swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, or legs); or if you are unable to urinate. If you experience angioedema, it may require emergency treatment
  • Doctor may perform blood tests periodically if you have kidney disorder or connective tissue disease, and may monitor kidney function.
  • Not recommended for individuals on dialysis.
  • Immediately notify your doctor if you experience chest pain, sore throat or fever and chills.
  • Fluid depletion (caused by dehydration, excessive sweating, severe diarrhea, or vomiting) may cause dangerously low blood pressure.


HealthSurvey.org provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Zestril side effects, please contact your healthcare provider