Amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide

Generic Name: Amiloride

  • What is Amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide?

    Amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) is a combination medication used to treat high blood pressure or congestive heart failure in certain patients who also have low potassium levels.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide?

    Amiloride/HCTZ may increase levels of potassium in the blood, especially if you have kidney disease or diabetes. It is important to have your potassium levels monitored, particularly when starting therapy, changing the dose, and during any illness that affects the kidneys.

    This medication should not be the first one your doctor prescribes to treat your medical condition unless he or she decides not to risk lowering your potassium level.

    If you are taking amiloride/HCTZ, a complete assessment of your kidney function should be done; kidney function should continue to be monitored.

    If you have liver disease, diabetes, gout, or lupus, amiloride/HCTZ should be used with caution. If you have diabetes, discontinue this drug at least 3 days before measuring your blood sugar.

    If you have asthma or a history of allergies, you may be at risk for an allergic reaction to this medication.

  • Who should not take Amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide?

    Do not take amiloride/HCTZ if you are unable to urinate or have serious kidney disease, or if you have high potassium levels.

    Avoid taking drugs that help you retain potassium (e.g., spironolactone, triamterene). Potassium supplements, potassium-containing salt substitutes, or a diet that is rich in potassium should be avoided while taking amiloride/HCTZ unless your doctor specifies otherwise.

    Do not take this drug if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to it or similar drugs, or if you are sensitive to other sulfonamide-derived drugs. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you may have experienced.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with this drug. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have high levels of potassium, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, gout, lupus (a chronic condition that affects your immune system), high cholesterol, asthma, allergies, or you are consuming foods or products containing potassium.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The usual starting dose is one tablet per day containing 5 milligrams (mg) of amiloride, and 50 mg of hydrochlorothiazide. Your doctor may increase your dose to two tablets per day.

  • How should I take Amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide?

    Take amiloride/HCTZ with food.

  • What should I avoid while taking Amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide?

    Avoid taking drugs that help you retain potassium (e.g., spironolactone, triamterene). Also avoid potassium supplements, potassium-containing salt substitutes, or a diet that is rich in potassium unless your doctor specifically says otherwise. Also discuss with your doctor foods or products that may contain high amounts of potassium, as your potassium intake should be monitored.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide?

    If amiloride/HCTZ 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 this medication with the following: ACE inhibitors, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), alcohol, barbiturates, cholestyramine, colestipol, corticosteroids, cyclosporine, insulin, lithium, narcotics, nondepolarizing skeletal muscle relaxants (e.g., tubocurarine), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., indomethacin), norepinephrine, oral drugs for treating diabetes, other high blood pressure medications, pressor amines (e.g., norepinephrine), and tacrolimus.

  • What are the possible side effects of Amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, elevated potassium levels, headache, irregular heartbeat, itching, leg pain, loss of appetite, nausea, rash, shortness of breath, stomach pain, tiredness, weakness

  • Can I receive Amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of amiloride/HCTZ during pregnancy are unknown. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately.

    This medication appears in breast milk. Because serious side effects may occur in the infant, you and your doctor should decide whether to discontinue breastfeeding or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of using amiloride/HCTZ. Tell your doctor immediately if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide?

    If you miss a dose of amiloride/HCTZ, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

  • How should I store Amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from light.

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