Symptomatic Hypotension Symptomatic hypotension is seen rarely in uncomplicated hypertensive patients. In hypertensive patients receiving Lisinopril, hypotension is more likely to occur if the patient has been volume-depleted e.g. by diuretic therapy, dietary salt restriction, dialysis, diarrhoea or vomiting, or has severe renin-dependent hypertension (see section 4.5 and section 4.8). In patients with heart failure, with or without associated renal insufficiency, symptomatic hypotension has been observed. This is most likely to occur in those patients with more severe degrees of heart failure, as reflected by the use of high doses of loop diuretics, hyponatraemia or functional renal impairment. In patients at increased risk of symptomatic hypotension, initiation of therapy and dose adjustment should be closely monitored. Similar considerations apply to patients with ischaemic heart or cerebrovascular disease in whom an excessive fall in blood pressure could result in a myocardial infarction or cerebrovascular accident. If hypotension occurs, the patient should be placed in the supine position and, if necessary, should receive an intravenous infusion of normal saline. A transient hypotensive response is not a contraindication to further doses, which can be given usually without difficulty once the blood pressure has increased after volume expansion. In some patients with heart failure who have normal or low blood pressure, additional lowering of systemic blood pressure may occur with Lisinopril. This effect is anticipated and is not usually a reason to discontinue treatment. If hypotension becomes symptomatic, a reduction of dose or discontinuation of Lisinopril may be necessary.
Hypotension In Acute Myocardial Infarction Treatment with Lisinopril must not be initiated in acute myocardial infarction patients who are at risk of further serious haemodynamic deterioration after treatment with a vasodilator. These are patients with systolic blood pressure of 100 mm Hg or lower or those in cardiogenic shock. During the first 3 days following the infarction, the dose should be reduced if the systolic blood pressure is 120 mm Hg or lower. Maintenance doses should be reduced to 5 mg or temporarily to 2.5 mg if systolic blood pressure is 100 mm Hg or lower. If hypotension persists (systolic blood pressure less than 90 mm Hg for more than 1 hour) then Lisinopril should be withdrawn.
Aortic and mitral valve stenosis / hypertrophic cardiomyopathy As with other ACE inhibitors, Lisinopril should be given with caution to patients with mitral valve stenosis and obstruction in the outflow of the left ventricle such as aortic stenosis or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Renal Function Impairment In cases of renal impairment (creatinine clearance <80 ml/min), the initial Lisinopril dosage should be adjusted according to the patient's creatinine clearance (see Table 1 in section 4.2) and then as a function of the patient's response to treatment. Routine monitoring of potassium and creatinine is part of normal medical practice for these patients. In patients with heart failure, hypotension following the initiation of therapy with ACE inhibitors may lead to some further impairment in renal function. Acute renal failure, usually reversible, has been reported in this situation. In some patients with bilateral renal artery stenosis or with a stenosis of the artery to a solitary kidney, who have been treated with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, increases in blood urea and serum creatinine, usually reversible upon discontinuation of therapy, have been seen. This is especially likely in patients with renal insufficiency. If renovascular hypertension is also present there is an increased risk of severe hypotension and renal insufficiency. In these patients, treatment should be started under close medical supervision with low doses and careful dose titration. Since treatment with diuretics may be a contributory factor to the above, they should be discontinued and renal function should be monitored during the first weeks of Lisinopril therapy. Some hypertensive patients with no apparent pre-existing renal vascular disease have developed increases in blood urea and serum creatinine, usually minor and transient, especially when Lisinopril has been given concomitantly with a diuretic. This is more likely to occur in patients with pre-existing renal impairment. Dosage reduction and/or discontinuation of the diuretic and/or Lisinopril may be required. In acute myocardial infarction, treatment with Lisinopril should not be initiated in patients with evidence of renal dysfunction, defined as serum creatinine concentration exceeding 177 micromol/l and/or proteinuria exceeding 500 mg/24 h. If renal dysfunction develops during treatment with Lisinopril (serum creatinine concentration exceeding 265 micromol/l or a doubling from the pre-treatment value) then the physician should consider withdrawal of Lisinopril.
Hypersensitivity/Angioedema Angioedema of the face, extremities, lips, tongue, glottis and/or larynx has been reported uncommonly in patients treated with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, including Lisinopril. This may occur at any time during therapy. In such cases, Lisinopril should be discontinued promptly and appropriate treatment and monitoring should be instituted to ensure complete resolution of symptoms prior to dismissing the patients. Even in those instances where swelling of only the tongue is involved, without respiratory distress, patients may require prolonged observation since treatment with antihistamines and corticosteroids may not be sufficient. Very rarely, fatalities have been reported due to angioedema associated with laryngeal oedema or tongue oedema. Patients with involvement of the tongue, glottis or larynx, are likely to experience airway obstruction, especially those with a history of airway surgery. In such cases emergency therapy should be administered promptly. This may include the administration of adrenaline and/or the maintenance of a patent airway. The patient should be under close medical supervision until complete and sustained resolution of symptoms has occurred. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors cause a higher rate of angioedema in black patients than in non-black patients. Patients with a history of angioedema unrelated to ACE inhibitor therapy may be at increased risk of angioedema while receiving an ACE inhibitor (see section 4.3).
Anaphylactoid reactions in Haemodialysis Patients Anaphylactoid reactions have been reported in patients dialysed with high flux membranes (e.g. AN 69) and treated concomitantly with an ACE inhibitor. In these patients consideration should be given to using a different type of dialysis membrane or different class of antihypertensive agent.
Anaphylactoid reactions during low-density lipoproteins (LDL) apheresis Rarely, patients receiving ACE inhibitors during low-density lipoproteins (LDL) apheresis with dextran sulphate have experienced life-threatening anaphylactoid reactions. These reactions were avoided by temporarily withholding ACE inhibitor therapy prior to each apheresis.
Desensitisation Patients receiving ACE inhibitors during desensitisation treatment (e.g. hymenoptera venom) have sustained anaphylactoid reactions. In the same patients, these reactions have been avoided when ACE inhibitors were temporarily withheld but they have reappeared upon inadvertent re-administration of the medicinal product.
Hepatic failure Very rarely, ACE inhibitors have been associated with a syndrome that starts with cholestatic jaundice and progresses to fulminant necrosis and (sometimes) death. The mechanism of this syndrome is not understood. Patients receiving Lisinopril who develop jaundice or marked elevations of hepatic enzymes should discontinue Lisinopril and receive appropriate medical follow-up.
Neutropenia/Agranulocytosis Neutropenia/agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia and anaemia have been reported in patients receiving ACE inhibitors. In patients with normal renal function and no other complicating factors, neutropenia occurs rarely. Neutropenia and agranulocytosis are reversible after discontinuation of the ACE inhibitor. Lisinopril should be used with extreme caution in patients with collagen vascular disease, immunosuppressant therapy, treatment with allopurinol or procainamide, or a combination of these complicating factors, especially if there is pre-existing impaired renal function. Some of these patients developed serious infections, which in a few instances did not respond to intensive antibiotic therapy. If Lisinopril is used in such patients, periodic monitoring of white blood cell counts is advised and patients should be instructed to report any sign of infection.
Race Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors cause a higher rate of angioedema in black patients than in non-black patients. As with other ACE inhibitors, Lisinopril may be less effective in lowering blood pressure in black patients than in non-blacks, possibly because of a higher prevalence of low-renin states in the black hypertensive population.
Cough Cough has been reported with the use of ACE inhibitors. Characteristically, the cough is non-productive, persistent and resolves after discontinuation of therapy. ACE inhibitor-induced cough should be considered as part of the differential diagnosis of cough.
Surgery/Anaesthesia In patients undergoing major surgery or during anaesthesia with agents that produce hypotension, Lisinopril may block angiotensin II formation secondary to compensatory renin release. If hypotension occurs and is considered to be due to this mechanism, it can be corrected by volume expansion.
Hyperkalaemia Elevations in serum potassium have been observed in some patients treated with ACE inhibitors, including Lisinopril. Patients at risk for the development of hyperkalaemia include those with renal insufficiency, diabetes mellitus, or those using concomitant potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements or potassium-containing salt substitutes, or those patients taking other drugs associated with increases in serum potassium (e.g. heparin). If concomitant use of the above-mentioned agents is deemed appropriate, regular monitoring of serum potassium is recommended (see section 4.5).
Diabetic patients In diabetic patients treated with oral antidiabetic agents or insulin, glycaemic control should be closely monitored during the first month of treatment with an ACE inhibitor (see 4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction).
Lithium The combination of lithium and Lisinopril is generally not recommended (see section 4.5).
Pregnancy and lactationACE inhibitors should not be initiated during pregnancy. Unless continued ACE inhibitor therapy is considered essential, patients planning pregnancy should be changed to alternative anti-hypertensive treatments which have an established safety profile for use in pregnancy. When pregnancy is diagnosed, treatment with ACE inhibitors should be stopped immediately, and, if appropriate, alternative therapy should be started (see sections 4.3 and 4.6). Use of lisinopril is not recommended during breast-feeding (see section 4.6).