Congestive Heart Failure Home > Zestril and Pregnancy

A recent study on Zestril and pregnancy showed that the drug can cause temporary or permanent problems for an unborn child, such as extremely low blood pressure or kidney failure. As a result, pregnant women are not advised to take the medicine. If you become pregnant while taking it, your healthcare provider will weigh the benefits and risks before making a recommendation.

Zestril and Pregnancy: An Overview

For women who are pregnant, Zestril® (lisinopril) is usually not recommended. This is because during pregnancy, Zestril can cause temporary or permanent problems for the unborn child, including death.

What Is the Risk?

Prior to 2006, many healthcare providers believed that problems with Zestril and pregnancy were generally seen when the drug was taken during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. However, that changed when a study by researchers at Vanderbilt University was published in the June 2006 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine.
This study showed that there may, in fact, also be an increased risk to the fetus if it is exposed to Zestril during the first trimester. Whether the risk to the fetus is as great in the first trimester as in the second or third trimester is not known.
Some of the complications seen with fetuses or newborns exposed to Zestril during pregnancy include:
  • Extremely low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Developmental problems with the nervous system
  • Developmental problems with the cardiovascular system (this includes the heart and/or blood vessels)
  • Developmental problems with the lungs
  • Kidney failure
  • Deformities of the head and face
  • Loss of life.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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