hydrochlorothiazide (generic name)

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

HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE (hye droe 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:
  • diabetes
  • gout
  • immune system problems, like lupus
  • kidney disease or kidney stones
  • liver disease
  • pancreatitis
  • small amount of urine or difficulty passing urine
  • 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 use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Remember that you will need to pass urine frequently after taking this medicine. Do not take your doses at a time of day that will cause you problems. Do not stop taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

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

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 may interact with this medicine?

  • cholestyramine
  • colestipol
  • digoxin
  • dofetilide
  • lithium
  • medicines for blood pressure
  • medicines for diabetes
  • medicines that relax muscles for surgery
  • other diuretics
  • 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 your blood sugar level. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before changing 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.

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Last Updated: August 12, 2011
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