Of the side effects reported with Zestril, a cough affects up to 3.5 percent of people taking it for high blood pressure and more than 1 percent of people with congestive heart failure. The cough can begin within hours of starting treatment, or it may take months. There is no way to know when and if a Zestril cough will develop. However, once treatment stops, the cough also stops.
Zestril Cough: An OverviewSide effects can occur with Zestril® (lisinopril). One common side effect -- shared by all ACE inhibitors -- is a dry cough that will not go away.
Understanding the Zestril CoughZestril is part of a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors for short. It helps to block the angiotensin-converting enzyme, which is normally part of a reaction in the body that causes blood vessels to narrow (constrict). By blocking this enzyme, Zestril causes blood vessels to relax, which lowers blood pressure and helps with symptoms of congestive heart failure.
However, scientists also believe that the angiotensin-converting enzyme is responsible for the breakdown of other substances in the lungs. When this enzyme is blocked, these substances can build up in the lungs, which can ultimately lead to a chronic cough.
The likelihood of developing a cough while taking an ACE inhibitor appears to be affected by a number of factors, including the specific ACE inhibitor and a person's genetics. Some ACE inhibitors can cause a cough in up to 35 percent of people taking the medicine.
How Common Is the Zestril Cough?In previous clinical studies, up to 3.5 percent of people with high blood pressure and more than 1 percent of people with congestive heart failure reported a cough with Zestril.
For people taking Zestril, a cough can first appear within hours after taking the first dose, or it may not appear until months after the medicine is first taken. Unfortunately, there is no way to know if or when a cough will occur. Once Zestril is stopped, the cough usually stops, although the amount of time for this can vary. On average, it can take up to 14 days for the cough to completely go away. In some studies, however, it has been reported to take months.