This medication is used to treat high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. Hydrochlorothiazide is a "water pill" (diuretic) that causes you to make more urine. This helps your body get rid of extra salt and water.
This medication also reduces extra fluid in the body (edema) caused by conditions such as heart failure, liver disease, or kidney disease. This can lessen symptoms such as shortness of breath or swelling in your ankles or feet.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the morning with or without food. It is best to avoid taking this medication within 4 hours of your bedtime to prevent having to get up to urinate.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time 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.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (for example, your blood pressure readings increase).
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
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.
This medication may cause a serious loss of body water (dehydration) and salt/minerals. Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: muscle cramps/weakness, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, unusual decreased urination, unusual dry mouth/thirst.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: 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 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking hydrochlorothiazide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as sulfites found in some brands), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
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.
Severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting can increase the risk for a serious loss of body water (dehydration). Report prolonged diarrhea or vomiting to your doctor. To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids unless your doctor directs you otherwise.
If you have diabetes, hydrochlorothiazide may affect your blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
This drug may decrease your potassium levels. Ask your doctor about foods high in potassium (such as bananas, orange juice) or about using a salt substitute containing potassium. 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, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially dizziness.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This drug passes into breast milk, but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also How To Use section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: cisapride, dofetilide, lithium.
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your blood pressure or worsen swelling (edema). Ask your pharmacist for more details.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including parathyroid function), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. 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, weakness, fainting.
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 (such as kidney function, potassium levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Check your blood pressure regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to monitor your own blood pressure, and share the results 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 away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications 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.
Information last revised July 2016. Copyright(c) 2016 First Databank, Inc.
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