HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE (HydroDIURIL®, Esidrix®, Oretic®) is a diuretic. Diuretics increase the amount of urine passed, which causes the body to lose water and salt. Hydrochlorothiazide helps to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is not a cure. It also reduces the swelling and water retention caused by various medical conditions, such as heart, liver, or kidney disease. Generic hydrochlorothiazide capsules or tablets are available.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions: • diabetes • gout • kidney disease, small amounts of urine, or difficulty passing urine • liver disease • pancreatitis • systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) • an unusual or allergic reaction to hydrochlorothiazide, sulfa drugs, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives • pregnant or trying to get pregnant • breast-feeding
How should I take this medicine?
Take hydrochlorothiazide capsules or tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Remember that you will need to pass urine frequently after taking hydrochlorothiazide. Do not take your doses at a time of day that will cause you problems. Do not take at bedtime.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What drug(s) may interact with hydrochlorothiazide?
• amantadine • amphotericin B • antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen) • calcium supplements • cholestyramine • colestipol • diazoxide • digoxin • dofetilide • hormones such as cortisone, hydrocortisone, prednisone • lithium • medicines for diabetes • medicines for high blood pressure, heart disease, or to control the heart rhythm • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (Azilect®, Eldepryl®, Emsam®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®, Zelapar™) • water pills
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking hydrochlorothiazide?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible: • blood in urine or stools • diarrhea • dry mouth • fever or chills, sore throat • increased thirst • irregular heartbeat • lower back or side pain • mood changes • muscle pain or weakness, cramps • nausea, vomiting • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth • severe stomach pain • skin rash, itching • tingling or numbness in the hands or feet • unusual bleeding or bruising • unusual tiredness or weakness • yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome): • constipation • dizziness or lightheadedness • headache • increased sensitivity to the sun • loss of appetite • stomach upset, pain, or cramps
What should I watch for while taking hydrochlorothiazide?
Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Check your blood pressure regularly. Ask your prescriber or health care professional what your blood pressure should be, and when you should contact him or her. You must not get dehydrated, ask your prescriber or health care professional how much fluid you need to drink a day. Do not stop taking hydrochlorothiazide except on your prescriber's advice.
Watch your diet while you are taking hydrochlorothiazide. Ask your prescriber or health care professional about both potassium and sodium intake. Hydrochlorothiazide can make your body lose potassium and you may need an extra supply. Too high or too low potassium can cause problems. Some foods have a high potassium content such as bananas, coconuts, dates, figs, prunes, apricots, peaches, grapefruit juice, tomato juice, and orange juice.
You may get dizzy or lightheaded. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how hydrochlorothiazide affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can make you lightheaded, dizzy and increase confusion. Avoid or limit intake of alcoholic drinks.
Hydrochlorothiazide can make your skin more sensitive to sun or ultraviolet light. Keep out of the sun, or wear protective clothing outdoors and use a sunscreen (at least SPF 15). Do not use sun lamps or sun tanning beds or booths.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking hydrochlorothiazide.
Hydrochlorothiazide can increase the amount of sugar in blood or urine. If you are a diabetic keep a close check on blood and urine sugar.
Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from light and moisture. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.