Fatal Side Effects from Popular Blood Pressure Medication, Lisinopril

Lisinopril is an ACE inhibitor, used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and to improve survival after heart attack. It is sold under the brand names Prinivil and Zestril. Lisinopril has been linked to a life-threatening allergic reaction called angioedema. Users have experienced severe and fatal liver problems. When taken by pregnant women, lisinopril can cause fetal injury and death.

There is scant information about active lawsuits involving Lisinopril. According to Drugs in Litigation, 2012 Edition, plaintiffs have filed medical malpractice lawsuits involvling LIsinopril and obtained two recoveries:

  • A woman in her 70s took Lisinopril and suffered kidney failure and became permanently dependent on dialysis. Her doctor had prescribed the drug for uncontrolled hypertension, even though her doctor know she had a history of kidney disease. The doctor failed to monitor her or refer her to a kidney doctor (nephrologist). She sued the doctor for malpractice and a jury awarded her $340,000. The case is Kiug v. Goldschmidt, No. 05-14308 (Delaware County, PA, May 12, 2008).
  • A 35-year old woman who was allowed to take Lisinopril during a high-risk pregnancy. Her baby was born prematurely on July 15, 1994 with severe birth defects and died four days later. She sued the federally-operated medical clinic for medical malpractice and recovered a $340,000 settlement. The case is Pearson v. US, No. CV 96-7634 DT (US District Court, Central District of California, March 12, 1997).

Lisinopril Side Effects

The following adverse events have been associated with lisinopril use:

  • Head and neck angioedema, including fatal events
  • Intestinal angioedema
  • Impaired renal function
  • Acute kidney failure
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Hyperkalemia (elevated blood potassium)
  • Liver failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Birth defects and fetal death when taken by pregnant women

Angioedema Can Be Fatal

Angioedema is one of the most dangerous reactions to lisinopril. Most patients who experience angioedema have a reaction shortly after they start taking the drug, but in some it takes months or years of taking lisinopril before a dangerous reaction occurs. Doctors and patients can easily overlook the connection between angioedema symptoms and lisinopril use.

Angioedema is swelling below the surface of the skin. It can occur around the eyes, mouth, throat, and intestines. When swelling is in the throat or tongue, it can quickly become fatal because the airway can be blocked. Those who survive may have permanent brain injuries and severe impairment due to lack of oxygen to the brain.

Symptoms of Angioedema

Angioedema is a medical emergency. Symptoms include:

  • Swelling of the lips
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Throat tightness
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal cramping

If you have been injured by lisinopril you can learn more about your rights and how you can recover damages for your losses by searching our directory to find a lawyer near you.