8 Surprising Health Benefits of Lisinopril Besides Treating Blood Pressure

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Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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One of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States is lisinopril, a blood pressure medication that’s been around for nearly three decades. Lisinopril relaxes the blood vessels and lower blood pressure by blocking the production of a hormone called angiotensin II. But as it turns out, lisinopril has many additional upsides for you.

Here are eight really cool things about lisinopril outside of treating high blood pressure:

1) Protecting heart attack patients

Lisinopril, used after a heart attack, has beneficial effects on survival. An analysis of 100,000 patients showed that folks who started taking an ACE (angiotensin-converting-enzyme) inhibitor drug like lisinopril within 36 hours of heart attack had a lower risk of death after 30 days than those who did not.

2) Improving symptoms of heart failure

Symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, lower extremity edema (swelling from fluid buildup), and decreased exercise tolerance or chest pain. Lisinopril may improve these symptoms as well as lower the risk of death.

3) Improving mitral valve regurgitation

Mitral valve regurgitation, a condition where the heart’s mitral valve doesn’t close properly, allows blood to flow backwards in the heart and causes shortness of breath and lightheadedness. In one study, mitral valve regurgitation was shown to improve after one year in people who took lisinopril.

4) Preventing diabetes

In a five-year study, people who took lisinopril had a significantly lower risk of developing diabetes compared to people to took chlorthalidone. Lisinopril and chlorthalidone are both medications used to treat high blood pressure. Chlorthalidone, however, is a diuretic, which means it lowers blood pressure by increasing the amount of fluids the body excretes.

5) Protecting the kidneys in people with diabetes

In people with diabetes, lisinopril helps prevent kidney disease from progressing and reduces the amount of protein that goes unfiltered by the kidneys and ends up in urine (a.k.a. proteinuria). An ACE inhibitor like lisinopril is recommended as first-line treatment for high blood pressure in people with diabetes and in people with microalbumin (small proteins) in their urine.

6) Slowing eye disease in people with diabetes

In a study of people with diabetes, taking lisinopril slowed the rate of eye disease progression—specifically, diabetic retinopathy—by half compared to not taking it.

7)  Improving fertility in men

In a study on men with low sperm count, semen returned to normal in half of the men who took lisinopril, which means total sperm count and the percentage of motile sperm increased.

8) Preventing migraines

In a study on patients with migraine, those taking lisinopril (compared to taking nothing) experienced 20% fewer hours of headaches and 21% fewer days with a migraine. The severity of their headaches was also reduced by 20%.

Dr O.

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