What is Hydrochlorothiazide?Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic used to treat high blood pressure and other conditions that require the elimination of excess fluid from the body. These conditions include congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, corticosteroid and estrogen therapy, and kidney disorders. When used for high blood pressure, hydrochlorothiazide can be used alone or with other high blood pressure medications.
What is the most important information I should know about Hydrochlorothiazide?If you have high blood pressure, you must take hydrochlorothiazide regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of hydrochlorothiazide. You must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Hydrochlorothiazide does not cure high blood pressure; it only keeps it under control.
Who should not take Hydrochlorothiazide?Do not take hydrochlorothiazide if you are unable to urinate or if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to this drug or similar drugs. If you are sensitive to sulfa or other sulfonamide-derived drugs, you should not take this drug.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Hydrochlorothiazide?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with hydrochlorothiazide. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of allergy or asthma, diabetes, gout, kidney or liver disease, or if you have systemic lupus erythematosus (a form of rheumatism).
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.
High Blood Pressure
Adults: The usual starting dose is 25 milligrams (mg) daily. The dose may be increased to 50 mg daily, given as a single dose or 2 divided doses. Dosages should be adjusted when this medication is used with other high blood pressure drugs.
Adults: The usual dosage is 25 to 100 mg daily as a single or divided dose. Your doctor may put you on a day on/day off schedule or some other alternate day schedule to suit your needs.
Children: The usual dosage is 0.5 to 1 mg per pound per day in a single dose or 2 divided doses. Do not exceed 37.5 mg per day in infants up to 2 years of age or 100 mg per day in children 2-12 years of age.
Infants less than 6 months of age may require doses up to 1.5 mg per pound per day in 2 divided doses.
How should I take Hydrochlorothiazide?Take hydrochlorothiazide exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
To reduce nighttime urination, take hydrochlorothiazide early in the day unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
What should I avoid while taking Hydrochlorothiazide?Do not stop taking hydrochlorothiazide suddenly even if you feel better.
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities as hydrochlorothiazide may cause dizziness.
Avoid using alcohol because it may increase the side effects of hydrochlorothiazide.
Avoid a diet high in salt. Too much salt may cause the body to retain water and may decrease the effects of hydrochlorothiazide.
Dehydration, excessive sweating, severe diarrhea or vomiting could deplete your body's fluids and may cause low blood pressure. Avoid becoming overheated in hot weather and during exercise.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Hydrochlorothiazide?If hydrochlorothiazide 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 hydrochlorothiazide with the following: alcohol, barbiturates such as phenobarbital, blood pressure drugs such as methyldopa, cholestyramine, colestipol, corticosteroids such as prednisone, diabetes drugs such as glyburide or insulin, digoxin, lithium, narcotics such as morphine or methadone, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen, norepinephrine, skeletal muscle relaxants such as tubocurarine
What are the possible side effects of 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 cramping, diarrhea, dizziness upon standing up, headache, loss of appetite, low blood pressure, low potassium (leading to symptoms such as dry mouth, excessive thirst, weak or irregular heartbeat, muscle pain or cramps), stomach irritation, stomach upset, weakness
Can I receive Hydrochlorothiazide if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of hydrochlorothiazide during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while taking hydrochlorothiazide.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Hydrochlorothiazide?If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.
How should I store Hydrochlorothiazide?Keep container tightly closed. Protect from light, moisture, and freezing cold. Store at room temperature.