Lisinopril blocks the effects of chemicals that cause the blood vessels to narrow, improving blood flow and making it easier for the heart to do its job, according to MedlinePlus. This drug belongs to a class of medications called ACE inhibitors.
Angiotensin II releases hormones that cause blood pressure to rise. It also causes the blood vessels to narrow, reports Mayo Clinic. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors, block the enzyme responsible for producing angiotensin II, opening up the blood vessels and making it easier for the heart to pump blood to other parts of the body. ACE inhibitors also reduce the amount of fluid and salt in the body, reducing blood pressure, states Texas Heart Institute.
Although lisinopril is useful for treating high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, it does have some side effects and potential drug interactions. Dry cough is one of the most common side effects of lisinopril, but some people also experience headache, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dizziness, joint pain, fatigue, upset stomach and increased sensitivity to sunlight. In rare cases, lisinopril causes hoarseness, swelling of the face or extremities, unusual bruising, difficulty breathing or swallowing, yellowing of the skin, chills, fever, or vomiting. Diuretics and some vitamin supplements interact with lisinopril and other ACE inhibitors, cautions the Texas Heart Institute.