Hydrochlorothiazide is a "water pill" (diuretic) that increases the amount of urine you make, which causes your body to get rid of excess water. This drug is used to treat high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. This medication also reduces swelling/fluid retention (edema) which can result from conditions such as congestive heart failure, liver disease, or kidney disease. This can help to improve symptoms such as trouble breathing.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. It is best to take this medication early in the day, before 4-6PM, to prevent having to wake up during the night to urinate. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about your dosing schedule. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time(s) of the day as directed. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Cholestyramine and colestipol can decrease the absorption of hydrochlorothiazide. If you are taking either of these drugs, separate hydrochlorothiazide from cholestyramine by at least 4 hours and from colestipol by at least 2 hours. If your condition persists or worsens, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
·1 dry mouth, thirst, nausea, vomiting;
·2 feeling weak, drowsy, restless, or light-headed;
·3 fast or uneven heartbeat;
·4 muscle pain or weakness;
·5 numbness or tingly feeling;
·6 a red, blistering, peeling skin rash; or
·7 Nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects may include:
·2 mild stomach pain;
·3 constipation; or
·4 Blurred vision.
Before taking hydrochlorothiazide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to sulfa medications; or if you have any other allergies. Some brands of this medication may contain sulfites. This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have severe kidney disease (inability to make urine or anuria). Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of kidney disease, liver disease, untreated mineral imbalance (e.g., sodium, potassium), gout, and lupus. If you have diabetes, hydrochlorothiazide may worsen control of blood glucose levels. Monitor your blood glucose levels regularly and inform your doctor of the results. This drug may reduce the potassium levels in your blood. Ask your doctor about adding potassium to your diet. A potassium supplement may be prescribed by your doctor. This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths or sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication. This drug may make you dizzy or cause blurred vision; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially dizziness. Hydrochlorothiazide should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk. While there have been no reports of harm to nursing infants, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
·2 digoxin (Lanoxin);
·3 cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran) or colestipol (Colestid);
·4 steroids (prednisone and others);
·5 other blood pressure medications;
·6 NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), diclofenac (Voltaren), indomethacin, naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), nabumetone (Relafen), etodolac (Lodine), and others; or
·7 Insulin or diabetes medicine taken by mouth.
If you miss a dose, take as soon as remembered; do not take if it is almost time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (between 15 and 30 degrees C) away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep away from children and pets.