I met with my doctor this week and due to my family history of strokes, plus my own stroke, he wanted to put me on Lisinopril, a blood pressure medication (Lisinopril is the generic form of the drug Zestril). The simple answer is that it does work for me. The more difficult question is, how long will I be on it and can I improve my health so I don’t need it any longer?
Please allow me to make the point of this article clear before going further. I am not trying to convince anyone that blood pressure is great and life will be just wonderful if you will just take this one little pill. On the contrary. There are real health risks and side effects to any medication. This is more about my journey and how the medicine affected me and my plan to get off the medication with my doctor’s help.
My First Hour on Lisinopril
I picked up my blood pressure medicine in the evening of February 16th, 2018. I followed the instructions for taking my blood pressure with my Omron 7 Series monitor. I sat down at my desk and relaxed while doing some work. Once I felt relaxed, I took my blood pressure. Here are the results:
I took this first blood pressure reading at 11:55pm and it wasn’t too bad, in my opinion. It was 134/85.
Next I set my timer and went back to work. I didn’t change a thing for the next 30 minutes other than taking one dose of a 20MG tablet of Lisinopril.
After the 30 minutes was up I checked my blood pressure for a second time.
You can see the immediate reduction in my blood pressure to 122/82. That’s pretty great, right?
The last thing I would like to point out is after approximately 19 hours, it looks like the medication starts wearing off and I see a slight rise in my blood pressure reading at 6:46pm. I took my next days dose at about 7:30pm and waited for 1 hour, then took my blood pressure again. My blood pressure dropped back down immediately, as it had the night before.
So, Lisinopril does work for me but that doesn’t mean I’m happy taking it.
The Positives and Negatives
The positive was the immediate reduction in my blood pressure to “normal.” The negative was a little more subtle.
I felt different in the hour immediately after taking the medication. The best way I can describe it was the feeling you get in your head when you took one to many pills of your medication. Another analogy would be if you hadn’t had much to eat all day and you sat down for dinner and had a glass of wine before the meal came out. You would probably start sensing a little “something” and reach for some bread to hopefully ease that feeling, or you might like the feeling and ask for another.
I wouldn’t necessarily list this feeling as negative, as the medication did just help my blood pressure, however, It’s strange to feel a chemical change in your body, especially when it was such a low dose.
My Doctor’s Note/Pass for One Month
This is the more difficult question about how long will I be on Lisinopril.
I received a follow up email from the doctor about my lab results and what he noticed in it. He said at one point that he wanted to put me back on the cholesterol medicine or I would have to get onto a strict diet and workout plan.
I have a scheduled follow up appointment within 2 months and I don’t want to hear the words, “I’m going to have to up your Lisinopril dose and put you on cholesterol medication because you did not make enough healthy changes in your life.”
Now, I’m looking at myself in the mirror, or more appropriately, the reflection in my monitor, and asking myself…..”how serious am I about staying off medication and getting off the one prescription I am on?”