By Kennedy Shelley
Lisinopril is the second most prescribed drug in the US.
It is an ACE (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitor. Basically, it lowers blood pressure by widening your arteries.
In short, the bigger the tunnel, the less pressure on the liquid in it.
Lisinopril is popular because it’s low cost and works for more people than most.
The only problem with the drug is that it only has a half life of 12 hours.
That means that if you are taking it at the same time every day like you are supposed to, your blood pressure is going to be rising as you get closer to your dose time.
Most doctors just give you more of the drug to compensate for the drop in your system.
But this can lead to other complications such as lightheadedness and other problems with low blood pressure.
Scientists at Oregon State University wanted to see if you could split the same dosage but take it twice a day and keep blood pressure normal.
The results were actually better than expected.
Their article in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension showed that twice daily use of the lisinopril actually was better at lowering blood pressure without any increase in side effects.
This goes along with other recent studies that show that less is better when it comes to blood pressure medicine.
In 2017, The American Heart Association released a study that showed that low doses of different blood pressure meds actually worked better than increasing the dosage of just one medication.
The lower the dosage, the fewer side effects occur, which means patients are more likely to take their medications.
Managing high blood pressure is a lifelong problem.
There are limits to what lifestyle can do. It’s a horrible fact that as we age most people are going to have high blood pressure problems.
And high blood pressure is dangerous.
It stresses the body, damages the kidneys an increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
But blood pressure medications have side effects.
ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril cause annoying dry coughs.
For many, these drugs can lead to lightheadedness, which can create falling problems for some. And then there are the sexual side effects.
So, these studies suggest that lower doses of these drugs in combination, or spread out over the day may give you lower blood pressure without all the problems.
The reason why more doctors are reluctant to prescribe twice daily medications is that they believe that it will reduce patient adherence.
The suspicion among many doctors is they have a rough time getting people to take a drug once a day, doing it twice a day will make it less likely that people will make it happen.
But what if the reason why people quit taking their medication is because of negative effects of taking the drug?
It stands to reason that if people are getting the beneficial effects of the medication, without problems then they are more likely to continue taking the medication.
The evidence is becoming more and more clear that with some people and medications, lower doses spread out may be more effective at controlling blood pressure.
With smartphone reminder programs, it is easier than ever to remind yourself to take your medications.
So, talk to your doctor about going lower on your dosage and spread it out instead of just taking more.