This medication can raise your body's potassium levels. This effect is more likely to occur in the elderly and in patients with kidney disease, diabetes, or serious illness. Potassium levels must be closely monitored on a regular basis while taking this medication. If not treated, very high potassium levels can sometimes be fatal. If you develop any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor immediately: muscle weakness, slow/irregular heartbeat.Who should not take triamterene?
Triamterene is used to reduce extra fluid in the body (edema) caused by conditions such as congestive heart failure, liver disease, and kidney disease. Getting rid of extra water helps to reduce fluid in the lungs so that you can breathe easier. It also helps to decrease swelling of the arms, legs, and stomach/abdomen.
Triamterene is a certain kind of "water pill" (potassium-sparing diuretic). It works by increasing the amount of urine you make, allowing your body to get rid of extra salt (sodium) and water while also preventing the kidneys from getting rid of too much potassium.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
Take this medication by mouth after meals to reduce stomach upset, usually once or twice daily or as directed by your doctor. It is best to avoid taking this medication within 4 hours of your bedtime to avoid having to get up to urinate. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about your dosing schedule.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. For the treatment of edema, do not take more than 300 milligrams daily. For the treatment of high blood pressure in adults, the recommended maximum daily dose is 100 milligrams, especially if taking triamterene with other medications for this condition.
This drug may increase the potassium levels in your blood. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before using any products containing potassium (e.g., potassium supplements such as potassium chloride, salt substitutes). Do not increase the amount of potassium in your diet (e.g., bananas, orange juice) unless approved by your doctor.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. It may take up to several weeks before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
Do not stop taking this medication without first consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is abruptly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (e.g., swelling increases, your routine blood pressure readings increase).
See also Warning section.
Dizziness, tiredness, headache, stomach upset, or diarrhea may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. You may also experience increased sensitivity to the sun. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Infrequently, triamterene may cause a loss of too much body water (dehydration) and salt (minerals). Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of these unlikely but serious symptoms of dehydration or mineral loss: very dry mouth, thirst, muscle cramps/weakness, fast/irregular heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, severe dizziness, unusual decrease in the amount of urine, fainting, confusion, seizures.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: signs of a kidney stone (e.g., pain in the side/back/abdomen, painful urination, blood in the urine, fever, chills), joint pain (e.g., big toe pain).
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding, stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, unusual/persistent tiredness, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, unusual change in the amount of urine (not including the normal increase in urine when you first start this drug).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
See also Warning and How to Use sections.
Before taking triamterene, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
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), severe liver disease, high potassium blood level.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney problems (e.g., kidney stones), liver problems, other untreated salt/mineral imbalance (e.g., low sodium blood level), loss of too much body water (dehydration), gout, conditions causing low folic acid blood levels (e.g., alcoholic cirrhosis, pregnancy).
If you have diabetes, triamterene may affect your blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your anti-diabetic medication or diet.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and 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. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position. Significant loss of body water from too much sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea can also lower your blood pressure and worsen dizziness. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent these effects and dehydration. If you are on restricted fluid intake, consult your doctor for further instructions. Contact your doctor if you are unable to drink fluids or if you have persistent diarrhea/vomiting.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially high blood potassium levels.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This drug may pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also the How to Use section.
Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: cyclosporine, eplerenone, potassium-containing products (e.g., potassium supplements such as potassium chloride, salt substitutes), other potassium-sparing "water pills" (diuretics such as amiloride, spironolactone, other products containing triamterene), tacrolimus.
If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting triamterene.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: ACE inhibitors (e.g., benazepril, lisinopril), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs such as losartan, valsartan), drospirenone, lithium.
Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products, diet aids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs-NSAIDs for pain/fever reduction) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your blood pressure (e.g., pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine) or reduce the effect of this medication (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen). Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.
This product can affect the results of certain lab tests. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe dizziness, muscle weakness, slow/irregular heartbeat.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction programs, exercise, and dietary changes may increase the effectiveness of this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood mineral levels such as potassium, kidney and liver function tests) should be performed from time to time to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Have your blood pressure checked regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to monitor your own blood pressure, and share the readings with your doctor.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised December 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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