chlorothiazide (generic name)

It increases the amount of urine passed, which causes the body to lose salt and water
(klor oh THYE a zide)
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What is this medicine?

CHLOROTHIAZIDE (klor oh THYE a zide) is a diuretic. It increases the amount of urine passed, which causes the body to lose salt and water. This medicine is used to treat high blood pressure. It is also reduces the swelling and water retention caused by various medical conditions, such as heart, liver, or kidney disease.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • kidney or liver disease
  • small amount of urine or difficulty passing urine
  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to chlorothiazide, sulfa drugs, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine may be injected or infused into a vein. It is usually given by a health-care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • barbiturates like phenobarbital
  • lithium
  • medicines for diabetes
  • medicines for high blood pressure
  • NSAIDs like ibuprofen
  • prescription pain medicines
  • skeletal muscle relaxants like tubocurarine
  • some cholesterol-lowering medications like cholestyramine or colestipol
  • steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Check your blood pressure as directed. Ask your doctor or health care professional what your blood pressure should be and when you should contact him or her.

You may need to be on a special diet while taking this medicine. Ask your doctor.

Check with your doctor or health care professional if you get an attack of severe diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, or if you sweat a lot. The loss of too much body fluid can make it dangerous for you to take this medicine.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.

This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • chest pain
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • gout attack
  • muscle pain or cramps
  • numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or lips
  • pain or trouble when passing urine
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • blurred vision
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • stomach upset

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: March 24, 2009
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