Hydrochlorothiazide brand name: Esidrix
Hydrochlorothiazide is used for managing high blood pressure. It is a diuretic, also known as a “water pill,” which is a drug class that acts on the kidneys to increase urine production and flush out excess fluid and salt from the body. Also, hydrochlorothiazide treats what is known as edema, a buildup of fluid commonly caused by conditions such as heart failure, kidney disease, and liver disease.
This medication is also commonly referred to using the abbreviation “hctz.” It is also a very common medication to be combined with other blood pressure medications. Some of those combinations are:
- Hydrochlorothiazide with Lisinopril
- Triamterene with HCTZ
The typical starting dose for adults with high blood pressure is 1 hydrochlorothiazide tab 25mg per day. This may increase to 50 mg per day in one or two doses.
For children under the age of 12, their hctz dose will be determined by the healthcare provider based on weight.
Common Side Effects
These side effects are mild and usually short-lived as the body adjusts to the medication. If any of the following side effect become bothersome or last more than a few days speak to your pharmacist or healthcare provider:
- Stomach pain
Serious Side Effects
These side effects are rare but could indicate serious health complications. Speak to your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Change in vision
- Dehydration (confusion, increase thirst, dry mouth, decrease in urine, change in heartrate, weakness/muscle cramps)
- Allergic reaction (rash/hives, swelling in face/throat, difficulty breathing)
There are no withdrawal symptoms specifically related to hctz, however, just like any treatment for high blood pressure, if stopped suddenly it may cause a spike in blood pressure and increase your risk of a stroke and heart attack.
If you feel hydrochlorothiazide is not working for you, speak to your healthcare provider about alternative treatments
Some medications are known to affect the way hydrochlorothiazide works or increase your chance of side effects. Speak to your healthcare provider about any current medications and new medications you may begin taking while on hydrochlorothiazide.
Some medications that may interact with hydrochlorothiazide are:
- NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.)
- Insulin and other medications to treat diabetes
- Other medications that lower blood pressure or have the side effect of lowering blood pressure
Hydrochlorothiazide and Alcohol
Using hydrochlorothiazide with alcohol can increase the side effect of dizziness. Alcohol also effects your blood pressure and heavy drinking can lead to heightened blood pressure.
If you choose to drink, be sure to not exceed the daily recommended limit of 1 unit/day for women and 2 units/day for men.
The current average retail price of hydrochlorothiazide is $8.28 for a 1-month supply of 25 mg capsules.
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