Is It Safe to Combine Lisinopril and Potassium? (with pictures)

Emily Daw
Emily Daw
The amount of potassium in a fruit- and vegetable-rich diet is not dangerous for pateints taking lisinopril.
The amount of potassium in a fruit- and vegetable-rich diet is not dangerous for pateints taking lisinopril.

Lisinopril, a drug prescribed to treat high blood pressure, should not be taken in combination with potassium supplements unless specifically recommended by a doctor. Potassium is often taken as a dietary supplement, which may reduce blood pressure in some individuals, although scientific studies on this subject are inconclusive. Combining lisinopril and potassium, however, may cause life-threatening complications such as idney failure or hyperkalemia, which is having too much potassium in the bloodstream. Before taking lisinopril, patients should inform their doctor of all medications they take, including over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.

A pharmacist can tell you how much potassium is safe to consuming when taking lisinopril.
A pharmacist can tell you how much potassium is safe to consuming when taking lisinopril.

Lisinopril is an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, meaning that it lowers the body's production of angiotension, which is an enzyme that is produced in the kidneys and signals the body to increase blood pressure. Angiotension also helps rid the kidneys of excess potassium, so taking lisinopril increases potassium levels in the blood. Combining lisinopril and potassium compounds this effect, often leading to hyperkalemia.

Combining lisinopril and potassium may lead to complications like kidney failure.
Combining lisinopril and potassium may lead to complications like kidney failure.

Mild hyperkalemia may have no symptoms or no lasting negative effects. Moderate cases of hyperkalemia caused by combining lisinopril and potassium may lead to nausea, hypotension or dizziness. In rare cases, however, potassium levels may become so high that they overwhelm the kidneys and cause renal failure, or cause cardiac arrest &mdahs; complete cessation of the heartbeat. Patients with congestive heart failure or pre-existing kidney problems are most at risk for severe complications from hyperkalemia.

Potassium is often taken as a dietary supplement, although those supplements should not be taken in combination with lisinopril.
Potassium is often taken as a dietary supplement, although those supplements should not be taken in combination with lisinopril.

Patients should not only avoid combining lisinopril and potassium supplements, but should also monitor the potassium content of their diet while taking lisinopril. For most adults, the daily recommended allowance of dietary potassium is 4.7 grams, which is around the amount in a healthy fruit- and vegetable-rich diet and is generally not dangerous for patients taking lisinopril. Many pre-packaged low-sodium foods and salt substitutes, however, contain high levels of potassium. Since patients with high blood pressure are often instructed to reduce their sodium intake, they should be especially aware of the potassium content of these foods, which might otherwise seem healthy. A pharmacist or doctor can provide information about the specific amount of potassium that individual patients can safely consume while taking lisinopril.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • The amount of potassium in a fruit- and vegetable-rich diet is not dangerous for pateints taking lisinopril.
      The amount of potassium in a fruit- and vegetable-rich diet is not dangerous for pateints taking lisinopril.
    • A pharmacist can tell you how much potassium is safe to consuming when taking lisinopril.
      A pharmacist can tell you how much potassium is safe to consuming when taking lisinopril.
    • Combining lisinopril and potassium may lead to complications like kidney failure.
      Combining lisinopril and potassium may lead to complications like kidney failure.
    • Potassium is often taken as a dietary supplement, although those supplements should not be taken in combination with lisinopril.
      Potassium is often taken as a dietary supplement, although those supplements should not be taken in combination with lisinopril.
    • Patients with congestive heart failure are most at risk for complications from hyperkalemia.
      Patients with congestive heart failure are most at risk for complications from hyperkalemia.
    • A physician may prescribe lisinopril to help alleviate high blood pressure.
      A physician may prescribe lisinopril to help alleviate high blood pressure.
    • Individuals who are taking lisinopril should exercise regularly to avoid weight gain.
      Individuals who are taking lisinopril should exercise regularly to avoid weight gain.