Prescription vs OTC: Prescription by Doctor required
Last Updated: March 25, 2022

Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic drug often used for the treatment of high blood pressure and swelling due to fluid build up in the body. It prevents your body from absorbing too much salt by causing you to urinate more frequently, which can cause fluid retention.

It is prescribed to people with congestive heart failure, kidney disorders, cirrhosis of the liver or oedema caused by taking oestrogen or steroids. You may need to take special precautions before taking this medicine if you have a kidney or liver disease, gout, glaucoma, a parathyroid gland disorder, diabetes or an allergy to sulpha drugs or penicillin.

Hydrochlorothiazide is usually recommended to be taken once per day. You may also be advised to take frequent medical tests and blood pressure checks during the treatment to keep a track of your progress.

This medicine can cause a few unwanted effects in rare cases which include eye pain, vision problems, jaundice, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, shortness of breath, cough with foamy mucus, wheezing, chest pain, signs of electrolyte imbalance, severe skin reaction.

This medication does not replace other antihypertensive recommendations (diet and lifestyle changes). Take as directed, with meals, early in the day to avoid nocturia. Avoid alcohol or OTC medication unless approved by prescriber.

Include bananas and/or orange juice in daily diet; do not take potassium supplements unless recommended by prescriber. May cause dizziness or postural hypotension (use caution when rising from sitting or lying position, when driving, climbing stairs, or engaging in tasks that require alertness until response to drug is known).

If diabetic, monitor serum glucose closely; this medication may increase serum glucose levels. Report persistent flu-like symptoms, chest pain, palpitations, muscle cramping, difficulty breathing, skin rash or itching, unusual bruising or easy bleeding, or excessive fatigue.

Symptoms of overdose include hypermotility, diuresis, lethargy, confusion, muscle weakness. Following GI decontamination, therapy is supportive with I.V. fluids, electrolytes, and I.V. pressors if needed.

Information given here is based on the salt content of the medicine. Uses and effects of the medicine may vary from person to person. It is advisable to consult a Nephrologist before using this medicine.

The most common use of this medication is:

Below are some of the common side effects of this medicine:

  • Is It safe with alcohol?

    Taking Hydrochlorothiazide with alcohol may have additive effects in lowering blood pressure. You may experience headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, and/or changes in pulse or heart rate.
  • Are there any pregnancy warnings?

    Hydrochlorothiazide is unsafe to use during pregnancy.
    There is positive evidence of human fetal risk, but the benefits from use in pregnant women may be acceptable despite the risk, for example in life-threatening situations. Please consult your doctor.
  • Are there any breast-feeding warnings?

    Unknown. Human and animal studies are not available. Please consult your doctor.
  • Is it safe to drive while on this medicine?

    Caution is advised when driving or operating machinery.
  • Does this affect kidney function?

    Caution should be used in patients with impaired renal function. Caution to be advised in patients with impaired renal function. Adjustment of the dose is needed. Kindly consult with your doctor.
  • Does this affect liver function?

    There is no data available. Please consult doctor before consuming the drug.
  • What is the onset of action?

    The effect of the medicine will be initiated within 2 hours after its administration.
  • How long is the duration of effect?

    The effect of this medicine will remain for about 6 - 12 hours.
  • Are there any overdose instructions?

    Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
  • Are there any missed dose instructions?

    If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double the dose.

Below is the list of medicines, which contains Hydrochlorothiazide as ingredient

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This medication falls under the category of a diuretic which inhibits a sodium-chloride symporter SLC12A3 in the distal convoluted tubule to inhibit water reabsorption in the nephron. The symporter reabsorbs sodium and creates an osmotic gradient for water to be reabsorbed, inhibition of which prevents water reabsorption.

Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you"re at risk of a drug interaction.

  • Interaction with Lab Test

    Intake of this medicine might flactuate the level of creatine phosphokinase [CPK] (S), ammonia (B), amylase (S), calcium (S), chloride (S), cholesterol (S), glucose, acid (S), chloride (S), magnesium, potassium (S), sodium (S); Tyramine and phentolamine tests, histamine tests for pheochromocytoma.
  • Interaction with Medicine

    • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors: Increased hypotension if aggressively diuresed with a thiazide diuretic.
    • Beta-blockers increase hyperglycemic effects in Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
    • Cyclosporine and thiazides can increase the risk of gout or renal toxicity; avoid concurrent use.
    • Digoxin toxicity can be exacerbated if a thiazide induces hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia.
    • Lithium toxicity can occur by reducing renal excretion of lithium; monitor lithium concentration and adjust as needed.
    • Neuromuscular blocking agents can prolong blockade; monitor serum potassium and neuromuscular status.
    • NSAIDs can decrease the efficacy of thiazides reducing the diuretic and antihypertensive effects.
  • Interaction with Food

    This product may cause a potassium loss; your physician may prescribe a potassium supplement, another medication to help prevent the potassium loss, or recommend that you eat foods high in potassium, especially citrus fruits; do not change your diet on your own while taking this medication, especially if you are taking potassium supplements or medications to reduce potassium loss; too much potassium can be as harmful as too little; may be administered with food.
  • Interaction with Disease

    • Avoid in severe renal disease (ineffective). Electrolyte disturbances (hypokalemia, hypochloremic alkalosis, hyponatremia) can occur.
    • Use with caution in severe hepatic dysfunction; hepatic encephalopathy can be caused by electrolyte disturbances.
    • Gout can be precipitate in certain patients with a history of gout, a familial predisposition to gout, or chronic renal failure.
    • Cautious use in diabetics; may see a change in glucose control. Hypersensitivity reactions can occur.
    • Can cause SLE exacerbation or activation.
    • Use with caution in patients with moderate or high cholesterol concentrations.
    • Photosensitization may occur.
    • Correct hypokalemia before initiating therapy.

Ques: Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic,which increases the excretion of urine?

Ans: Patients should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use.

Ques: Is Hydrochlorothiazide a statin/ opiate?

Ans: No. It is the derivative of chlorothiazide.

Ques: Is Hydrochlorothiazide bad for your kidneys?

Ans: No, Hydrochlorothiazide is a safe drug at prescribed dose by your doctor. Consult your doctor if you have kidney disease and follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use.

Ques: Can I take Hydrochlorothiazide with lisinopril/ ibuprofen/ synthroid/ aspirin/ potassium/ phentermine/ losartan/ naproxen/ magnesium/ vitamins?

Ans: Taking other medicines may alter the effects of Hydrochlorothiazide. Always consult your doctor for the change of dose regimen or an alternative drug of choice that may strictly be required.

Ques: Does Hydrochlorothiazide cause diabetes/ erectile dysfunction/ weight loss/ gout/ constipation/tinnitus/ potassium loss?

Ans: Hydrochlorothiazide causing these side effects is rare or uncommon. However, consult your doctor if you experience any of these side effects.

Ques: Does Hydrochlorothiazide clean your system?

Ans: No.Hydrochlorothiazide reduces extra fluid in the body.
Disclaimer: The information produced here is best of our knowledge and experience and we have tried our best to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we would like to request that it should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Lybrate is a medium to provide our audience with the common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. Even if there is no mention of a warning for any drug or combination, it never means that we are claiming that the drug or combination is safe for consumption without any proper consultation with an expert.

Lybrate does not take responsibility for any aspect of medicines or treatments. If you have any doubts about your medication, we strongly recommend you to see a doctor immediately.

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Content Details
Written By
PhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child Care
Reviewed By
MBBS, Master in Healthcare Administration, Diploma in Occupational Health
General Physician
Table of Content
About Hydrochlorothiazide
What are the uses of Hydrochlorothiazide
What are the contraindications of Hydrochlorothiazide ?
What are the side effects of Hydrochlorothiazide ?
Key highlights of Hydrochlorothiazide
What are the dosage instructions?
Medicines containing Hydrochlorothiazide
How does this medication work?
What are the interactions of Hydrochlorothiazide ?
FAQs about Hydrochlorothiazide