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Hydrochlorothiazide Side Effects

written by: Leigh A. Zaykoski•edited by: Emma Lloyd•updated: 8/31/2009

Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. Learn how this drug is used and what hydrochlorothiazide side effects can occur by reading this article.

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    Indications

    Hydrochlorothiazide works to increase sodium and water excretion from the kidneys, which relieves the buildup of excess fluid in the body. Because excess fluid can raise blood pressure due to the force it exerts on the walls of the arteries, this drug and other diuretics can be used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. Hydrochlorothiazide is also used to treat fluid retention caused by kidney disease, cirrhosis of the liver and certain medications.

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    Dosing Instructions

    Take this drug exactly how your doctor prescribed it. Do not reduce or increase your dose without consulting a health care provider. Check the label on the prescription bottle for important information about possible side effects. Even if you have no symptoms, continue taking this medication unless a physician tells you to stop taking it. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is too close to your next scheduled dose, skip the dose and take the next dose on time. Do not take two doses at one time.

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    Warnings

    If you plan on taking hydrochlorothiazide, you should inform your physician if you have asthma, kidney disease, allergies, liver disease, diabetes, gout or allergies to sulfa drugs. If you have a history of any of these conditions, you may need to take a smaller dose of this drug or have special blood tests done to ensure that you are safe while taking the drug.

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    Side Effects

    If you plan on taking hydrochlorothiazide, you should inform your physician if you have asthma, kidney disease, allergies, liver disease, diabetes, gout or allergies to sulfa drugs. If you have a history of any of these conditions, you may need to take a smaller dose of this drug or have special blood tests done to ensure that you are safe while taking the drug.

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    Drug Interactions

    In addition to hydrochlorothiazide side effects, this drug can also interact with other medications and cause potentially harmful reactions. Let your doctor know if you take digoxin, lithium, steroids, cholestyramine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, diabetes medications or other blood pressure medications. If you take any of these drugs, you may not be able to take HCTZ or you may have to take a special dose.