Chlorothiazide (By mouth)
Treats high blood pressure and fluid retention (edema) caused by congestive heart failure, kidney disease, liver cirrhosis, and steroid or estrogen medicine. A lower blood pressure can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. This medicine is a thiazide diuretic (water pill).
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to chlorothiazide or a sulfonamide (sulfa drug) or if you are not able to urinate.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet.Be sure to drink plenty of fluids if you exercise, sweat more than usual, or have diarrhea or vomiting.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you also use digoxin (Lanoxin®), lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), other blood pressure medicine (such as benazepril, enalapril, lisinopril, Avalide®, Avapro®, Benicar®, Cozaar®, Diovan®, Lotrel®, Micardis®, Vasotec®, Zestoretic®, Zestril®), insulin or an oral diabetes medicine (such as glimepiride, glyburide, metformin, Actos®, Janumet®, Januvia®), medicine to lower cholesterol (such as cholestyramine, colestipol, Colestid®, Questran®), steroid medicine (such as hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone), or an NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®).
- Alcohol, narcotic pain relievers, or sleeping pills may cause you to feel more lightheaded, dizzy, or faint when used with this medicine. Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or use pain relievers or sleeping pills.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, diabetes, gout, lupus, high cholesterol, a mineral imbalance (such as high or low calcium, magnesium, potassium, or sodium in the blood), or a history of asthma or allergies.
- This medicine could lower your blood pressure too much and cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded. Stand or sit up slowly if you are dizzy. This is more likely to happen when you begin to use the medicine or if you become dehydrated.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
- Do not stop using the medicine without asking your doctor, even if you feel well. This medicine will not cure your high blood pressure, but it will help keep it in normal range. You may have to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
- Bloody or cloudy urine, pain in the lower back, change in how much or how often you urinate
- Dry mouth, increased thirst, confusion, nausea or vomiting, uneven heartbeat
- Fever, chills, cough, hoarseness, sore throat, and body aches
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- Muscle cramps or twitching, weakness, drowsiness
- Severe stomach pain
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Yellow skin or eyes
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013