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Pronounced: zest-or-ET-ik
Generic ingredients: Lisinopril, Hydrochlorothiazide
Other brand name: Prinzide

Why is this drug prescribed: Zestoretic is used in the treatment of high blood pressure. It combines an ACE inhibitor drug with a diuretic. Lisinopril, the ACE inhibitor, works by limiting production of a substance that promotes salt and water retention in your body. Hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic, prompts your body to produce and eliminate more urine, which helps in lowering blood pressure. Combination products such as Zestoretic are usually not prescribed until therapy is already under way.

Most important fact about this drug: You must take Zestoretic regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of Zestoretic; and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Zestoretic does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.

How should you take this medication: Zestoretic can be taken with or without food once a day. Take it exactly as prescribed. ---If you miss a dose... Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take a double dose. ---Storage instructions... Zestoretic should be stored at room temperature. Keep the container tightly closed.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Zestoretic. More common side effects may include: Cough, dizziness, dizziness when standing up, fatigue, headache Less common side effects may include: Asthma, diarrhea, hair loss, impotence, indigestion, low blood pressure, muscle cramps, nausea, rash, tingling or pins and needles, upper respiratory infection, vomiting, weakness Rare side effects may include: Abdominal pain, anemia, arthritis, back pain, back strain, blurred vision, bronchitis, bruising, chest discomfort or pain, common cold, confusion, constipation, decreased sex drive, depression, difficulty breathing, difficulty falling or staying asleep, dry mouth, earache, excessive perspiration, fainting, fever, flu, flushing, foot pain, gas, general feeling of illness, gout, hay fever, heart attack, heartburn, heart rhythm disturbances, hepatitis, hives, itching, joint pain, knee pain, loss of appetite, lung inflammation or congestion, muscle pain, muscle spasm, nervousness, palpitations, rapid heartbeat, red or purple areas on the skin, reduced urine output, restlessness, ringing in ears, sensitivity to light, shortness of breath, severe allergic reaction, shoulder pain, sinus inflammation, skin inflammation, sleepiness, sore throat, stomach and intestinal cramps, stroke, stuffy nose, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, taste disturbances, throat, or arms and legs, trauma, urinary tract infection, vertigo, virus infection, vision abnormality in which objects have a yellowish hue, yellow eyes and skin

Why should this drug not be prescribed: If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to lisinopril or hydrochlorothiazide or if you are sensitive to other ACE inhibitor drugs such as Capoten or sulfa drugs such as Gantrisin, you should not take this medication. You should also avoid this drug if you suffered angioedema (swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, or legs) during previous treatment with an ACE inhibitor, or tend to develop the condition for any other reason. You should also avoid Zestoretic if you are unable to urinate. Tell your doctor of all allergic reactions you have experienced.

Special warnings about this medication: If you develop swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, or of your arms and legs, or have difficulty swallowing or breathing, you should stop taking the drug and contact your doctor immediately. You may need emergency treatment. Zestoretic may cause your blood pressure to become too low. If you feel light-headed, especially during the first few days of treatment, inform your doctor. If you actually faint, stop taking Zestoretic until you have consulted your doctor. Do not use salt substitutes containing potassium without first consulting your doctor. Excessive sweating, dehydration, severe diarrhea, or vomiting could cause you to lose too much water and cause your blood pressure to drop dangerously. If you develop chest pain, a sore throat, or fever and chills, contact your doctor immediately. It could indicate a more serious illness. Make sure the doctor knows if you have congestive heart failure or other heart problems, diabetes, liver disease, a history of allergy or bronchial asthma, or lupus erythematosus (an arthritis-like disease sometimes accompanied by rashes). Zestoretic should be used cautiously. If you have kidney disease, your doctor should monitor your kidney function regularly. If you are undergoing desensitization to bee or wasp venom, Zestoretic may cause a severe allergic reaction. This medication is not recommended for people on dialysis; severe allergic reactions have occurred. If you notice a yellowish cast to your skin or eyes, stop taking Zestoretic and contact your doctor immediately. If you are diabetic, your doctor will want to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels. Before any surgery, make sure your doctor or dentist knows you are taking Zestoretic.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: Zestoretic may intensify the effects of alcohol. Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication. If Zestoretic is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Zestoretic with the following: Barbiturates such as Nembutal and Seconal Cholestyramine (Questran) Colestipol (Colestid) Corticosteroids such as prednisone High blood pressure drugs such as Procardia XL and Aldomet Indomethacin (Indocin) Insulin Lithium (Lithonate) Narcotics such as Darvon and Dilaudid Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Naprosyn Oral antidiabetic drugs such as Micronase Potassium supplements such as K-Dur and Slow-K Potassium-containing salt substitutes Potassium-sparing diuretics such as Midamor

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: During the second and third trimesters, lisinopril can cause birth defects, prematurity, and death in the fetus and newborn. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, contact your doctor immediately to discuss the potential hazard to your unborn child. Zestoretic may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment with this medication is finished.

Recommended dosage: ADULTS: Zestoretic is designed to replace higher doses of either component. Dosages of the lisinopril component range from 10 to 80 milligrams a day; dosages of hydrochlorothiazide typically fall between 6.25 and 50 milligrams daily. If either component, when prescribed alone, fails to control your blood pressure, your doctor may try the Zestoretic combination, starting with either 10 or 20 milligrams of lisinopril and 12.5 milligrams of hydrochlorothiazide, and gradually increasing the dosage as needed. If you are age 65 or older, or have kidney problems, your doctor will adjust your dosage with caution. This drug is not prescribed for people with severe kidney damage. CHILDREN: Safety and effectiveness in children have not been established.

Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical treatment immediately. Symptoms of Zestoretic overdose may include: Dehydration, low blood pressure

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