Specifically, Lisinopril (brand names include Prinivil and Zestril) is the third most-prescribed drug in the US, according to WebMD Health News (April 20, 2011), with 87.4 million prescriptions filled last year. And to make sure that Lisinopril consumers keep taking the blood pressure drug, in August 23, 2011, Publix Pharmacy offered free 30-day supplies of generic Lisinopril to customers with a prescription for the medication. It is questionable how many Lisinopril customers know of the potential risks, including its link to liver damage.
Jose, who took Lisinopril for more than a decade, knows only too well the damage that Lisinopril can cause. "I was diagnosed with hepatocellular injury and my liver enzymes were elevated," he says. "I asked my physician what was causing the elevation and he said it's just normal because it is more important to protect my heart."
However, protecting your liver is also important. In Jose's case, several laboratory tests indicated abnormal results. "They showed elevated total protein, globulin, albumin, A/G ratio, altase, maltase, SGPT and SGOT, to name a few," says Jose, who is thinking about discontinuing Lisinopril, but not before talking with his doctor.
Hepatocellular injury is one of four major types of liver injury, including autoimmune, cholestatic and infiltrative. The US National Institute of Health states that "A hepatocellular pattern is marked by isolated or predominant elevations of serum transaminases," and the first step in the evaluation of elevated transaminases should include a complete history in order to identify the most common causes of liver injury including alcohol, hepatitis B and C, celiac disease, hemochromatosis, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
But Jose doesn't drink, nor has he ever had hepatitis or the other conditions associated with liver injury. But another common cause of acute liver failure is an idiosyncratic reaction to medication, which can include Lisinopril.
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"I firmly believe Lisinopril is the culprit because I wasn't taking any other medications. And then when I read online about Lisinopril, I did some further research, and there you go, I saw the adverse effects and I experienced most of them. But it shouldn't come as such a surprise because we all know that drugmakers often lie??"of course they want to make profits even if it means hiding their discoveries. Do you think they care about us? I don't think so. That's why they should be punished, and that's why I am joining a Lisinopril lawsuit."