Hydrochlorothiazide (By mouth)
Used alone or together with other medicines to treat high blood pressure and fluid retention (edema). This medicine is a diuretic (water pill).
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to hydrochlorothiazide or sulfa drugs (such as sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, Bactrim®, Septra®), or if you are not able to urinate (anuria).
How to Use This Medicine
Capsule, Liquid, Tablet
- 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..
- Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet.You may need to eat foods that are high in potassium (such as oranges or bananas) to prevent potassium loss while you are using this medicine.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
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- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.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 are also using barbiturates (such as mephobarbital, phenobarbital, or Luminal®), cholestyramine (Questran®), colestipol (Colestid®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), norepinephrine, tubocurarine, insulin or a diabetes medicine that you take by mouth (such as glipizide, metformin, Amaryl®, Actos?, Avandia®, Glipizide®, Glucotrol®, or Glucophage®), pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil®, Aleve®, Indocin®, Motrin®, Orudis®, Relafen®, or Voltaren®), steroid medicine (such as cortisone, dexamethasone, prednisone, or Medrol®), other blood pressure medicines, or low-salt milk.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine..
- Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
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, or a history of mineral imbalance (such as high or low calcium, magnesium, potassium, or sodium in the blood).
- This medicine will not cure your high blood pressure, but it does help control it. You must continue to take it as directed if you expect to lower your blood pressure and keep it down. You may have to take high blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.
- This medicine may make you dizzy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
- Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor immediately if you have blurred vision, difficulty in reading, eye pain, or any other change in vision during or after treatment. This could be a sign of a serious eye problem. Your doctor will want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
- This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
- 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.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or medical tests.
- If you stop using this medicine, your blood pressure may go up. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Even if you feel well, do not stop using the medicine without asking your doctor.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
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, or red skin rash.
- Blood in the urine or stools.
- Blurred vision or changes in vision.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Confusion, body weakness, uneven heartbeat, shortness of breath, or numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or lips.
- Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, or vomiting.
- Fever chills, cough, hoarseness, sore throat, and body aches.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
- Problems urinating, pain in your side or lower back.
- Severe stomach pain.
- Unusual bleeding or bruising.
- Unusual tiredness or weakness.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Loss of appetite.
- Mild diarrhea, constipation, or stomach upset.
- Mild skin rash or itching.
- Problems having sex.
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