Chlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic that is used for the treatment of edema secondary to congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, kidney disease, or from treatment with a steroid or hormone drugs.
This drug is also used alone or combined with other drugs to treat hypertension.
In hypertension there is increased workload of the heart and arteries which can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, heart attacks, or kidney failure. These health problems can be prevented is blood pressure is controlled.
This drug increases urine output thereby reducing the amount of water in the body which helps reduce fluid retention.
Chlorothiazide is a prescription drug.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before taking this drug, the risks and benefits for your body should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.
Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications.
Studies on the relationship of age to the effects of chlorothiazide in the pediatric population have not been performed while safety and efficacy of this drug is yet to be established. No studies indicate geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of chlorothiazide in the elderly.
Elderly patients may require an adjustment to their dosage due to increased likelihood of having age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems.
Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women or animal studies. Milk production or composition may be altered by this drug. Monitor your infant for side effects and adequate milk intake if this drug is used during breastfeeding. Consult your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of this drug while breastfeeding.
Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects.
Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with chlordiazepoxide is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems, especially anuria, asthma, diabetes, gout, hypercalcemia, hyperuricemia, hypochloremia, hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, hyponatremia, hypophosphatemia, liver disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus.
For patients with kidney disease the effects of this drug may potentiated because of slower excretion from the body.
The treatment of hypertension may include weight control and changes in the types of foods you eat, especially foods high in sodium or potassium. Consult with your healthcare professional before changing your diet.
Hypertensive patients usually feel normal and will only feel the symptoms when extensive damage already occurred. Compliance with your drugs and regular check-ups are important to control your hypertension. You may have to do this for the rest of your life, since it can cause serious problems, such as heart failure, blood vessel disease, stroke, or kidney disease when left uncontrolled. The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients.
The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed. The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug.
Adults with edema or hypertension are usually prescribed with oral dosage forms (suspension) of 10 to 20 milliliters once or twice a day. For oral dosage forms (tablets) in adults, the usual dose is 500 to 1000 milligrams once or twice a day.
For children with edema or hypertension the dose must be determined by your healthcare professional based on their body weight.
A missed dose should be taken as soon as possible. However, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule if it is almost time for your next dose.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs.
4 Precautions to Take
Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the drug.
Unwanted effects can be screened using blood tests.
Consult with your healthcare professional immediately if you experience symptoms of hypokalemia such as convulsions or seizures, decreased urine, drowsiness, dry mouth, excessive thirst, muscle pains or cramps, nausea or vomiting, increased heart rate or pulse, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
This drug may cause some people to become lightheaded and caution must be taken when you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous. Alcoholic beverages may also worsen your condition.
Inform your healthcare professional that you are taking this drug before having any medical test done as it can affect the results of some endocrine tests.
5 Potential Side Effects
Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur.
Symptoms of unknown incidence can either be one of the following: abdominal or stomach pain back, leg, or stomach pains black, tarry stools bleeding gums blisters on skin blood in urine or stools bloody or cloudy urine blue lips and fingernails blurred vision burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings, chest pain, chills, clay-colored stools, cold sweats, confusion, constipation, cough or hoarseness coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum, coughing up blood, darkened urine, decrease in urine output, or decrease in urine-concentrating ability decreased frequency or amount of urine, diarrhea, difficult, fast, or noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing difficulty swallowing dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly, dry mouth, fast heartbeat, feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings, fever, flushed, dry skin fruit-like breath odor, general feeling of discomfort or illness, general feeling of tiredness or weakness, headache, hives, increased blood pressure, increased hunger, increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight, increased sweating, increased thirst, increased urination, indigestion, itching, joint pain, stiffness, or swelling, loss of appetite, lower back or side pain, muscle cramps or pain, nausea, nosebleeds, numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in hands or feet, pain in joints or muscles, painful or difficult urination, pains in stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back pale skin pinpoint red spots on skin puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue redness or other discoloration of skin redness, soreness, or itching skin seizures sensation of spinning severe sunburn shortness of breath skin rash sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or in mouth sores, welting, or blisters sugar in the urine sweating, swelling in legs and ankles, swelling of face, fingers, or lower legs swollen or painful glands, tenderness of salivary glands, thickening of bronchial secretions, tightness in chest, trembling troubled breathing, unexplained weight loss, unpleasant breath odor, unusual bleeding or bruising unusual tiredness or weakness, unusual weight loss, vomiting of blood, weight gain, yellow eyes or skin.
Immediately inform your healthcare professional if you experience these side effects.
As your body adjusts to the medicine, the side effects will slowly disappear. Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
If any of the following side effects persists, or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional.
Inability to have or keep an erection increase or loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance, increased or decreased interest in sexual intercourse, menstrual changes, skin and blisters have been reported but have unknown incidence.
Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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