Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Diuril

Descriptions


Chlorothiazide is used to treat fluid retention (edema) that is caused by congestive heart failure, severe liver disease (cirrhosis), kidney disease, or from treatment with a steroid or hormone medicine.

Chlorothiazide is also used alone or together with other medicines to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. High blood pressure may also increase the risk of heart attacks. These problems may be less likely to occur if the blood pressure is controlled.

Chlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic (water pill). It reduces the amount of water in the body by increasing the flow of urine, which helps to lower blood pressure and remove excess fluid (edema).

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet
  • Suspension

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of chlorothiazide have not been performed in the pediatric population. However, pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of this medicine in children are not expected, and no problems have been documented to date.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of chlorothiazide in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving chlorothiazide.

Pregnancy

Information about this chlorothiazide-oral-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breastfeeding

Studies suggest that this medication may alter milk production or composition. If an alternative to this medication is not prescribed, you should monitor the infant for side effects and adequate milk intake.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Acetyldigoxin
  • Arsenic Trioxide
  • Bepridil
  • Deslanoside
  • Digitalis
  • Digitoxin
  • Digoxin
  • Dofetilide
  • Flecainide
  • Ketanserin
  • Lithium
  • Metildigoxin

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Aceclofenac
  • Acemetacin
  • Alacepril
  • Amtolmetin Guacil
  • Aspirin
  • Benazepril
  • Bromfenac
  • Bufexamac
  • Calcium
  • Captopril
  • Celecoxib
  • Choline Salicylate
  • Cilazapril
  • Clonixin
  • Delapril
  • Dexibuprofen
  • Dexketoprofen
  • Diclofenac
  • Diflunisal
  • Dipyrone
  • Enalaprilat
  • Enalapril Maleate
  • Etodolac
  • Etofenamate
  • Etoricoxib
  • Felbinac
  • Fenoprofen
  • Fepradinol
  • Feprazone
  • Floctafenine
  • Flufenamic Acid
  • Flurbiprofen
  • Fosinopril
  • Ginkgo
  • Gossypol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Ibuprofen Lysine
  • Imidapril
  • Indomethacin
  • Ketoprofen
  • Ketorolac
  • Licorice
  • Lisinopril
  • Lornoxicam
  • Loxoprofen
  • Lumiracoxib
  • Meclofenamate
  • Mefenamic Acid
  • Meloxicam
  • Moexipril
  • Morniflumate
  • Nabumetone
  • Naproxen
  • Nepafenac
  • Niflumic Acid
  • Nimesulide
  • Oxaprozin
  • Oxyphenbutazone
  • Parecoxib
  • Pentopril
  • Perindopril
  • Phenylbutazone
  • Piketoprofen
  • Piroxicam
  • Pranoprofen
  • Proglumetacin
  • Propyphenazone
  • Proquazone
  • Quinapril
  • Ramipril
  • Rofecoxib
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Salsalate
  • Sodium Salicylate
  • Spirapril
  • Sulindac
  • Temocapril
  • Tenoxicam
  • Tiaprofenic Acid
  • Tolfenamic Acid
  • Tolmetin
  • Trandolapril
  • Valdecoxib
  • Zofenopril

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Anuria (not able to form urine)—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
  • Asthma or
  • Diabetes or
  • Gout or
  • Hypercalcemia (high calcium in the blood) or
  • Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol in the blood) or
  • Hyperuricemia (high uric acid in the blood) or
  • Hypochloremia (low chloride in the blood) or
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) or
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood) or
  • Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood) or
  • Liver disease or
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus—Use with caution. This medicine may make these conditions worse.
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects of the medicine may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use

In addition to the use of this medicine, treatment for your high blood pressure may include weight control and changes in the types of foods you eat, especially foods high in sodium or potassium. Your doctor will tell you which of these are most important for you. You should check with your doctor before changing your diet.

Many patients who have high blood pressure will not notice any signs of the problem. In fact, many patients feel normal. It is very important that you take your medicine exactly as directed and that you keep your appointments with your doctor even if you feel well.

This medicine will not cure your high blood pressure, but it does help control it. You must continue to receive it as directed if you expect to lower your blood pressure and keep it down. You may have to take high blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life. If high blood pressure is not treated, it can cause serious problems, such as heart failure, blood vessel disease, stroke, or kidney disease.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For fluid retention (edema):
    • For oral dosage forms (suspension):
      • Adults—The usual dose is 10 to 20 milliliters (mL) once or twice a day. Your doctor may adjust how often you take your dose.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor.
    • For oral dosage forms (tablets):
      • Adults—The usual dose is 500 to 1000 milligrams (mg) once or twice a day. Your doctor may adjust how often you take your dose.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor.
  • For high blood pressure:
    • For oral dosage forms (suspension):
      • Adults—The usual dose is 10 to 20 milliliters (mL) once a day as a single dose or in divided doses. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor.
    • For oral dosage forms (tablets):
      • Adults—The usual dose is 500 to 1000 milligrams (mg) once a day as a single dose or in divided doses. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

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 dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

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.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while taking this medicine: 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. These may be symptoms of a condition called hypokalemia or low potassium.

This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy.

Drinking alcoholic beverages may also make the dizziness worse. While you are taking this medicine, be careful to limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are taking this medicine. The results of some tests (e.g., tests for parathyroid function) may be affected by this medicine.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Incidence not known

  1. Abdominal or stomach pain
  2. back, leg, or stomach pains
  3. black, tarry stools
  4. bleeding gums
  5. blistering, peeling, or loosening of skin
  6. bloating
  7. blood in urine or stools
  8. bloody urine
  9. blue lips and fingernails
  10. blurred vision
  11. burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  12. chest pain
  13. chills
  14. clay-colored stools
  15. cloudy urine
  16. cold sweats
  17. confusion
  18. constipation
  19. cough or hoarseness
  20. coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
  21. coughing up blood
  22. cracks in the skin
  23. darkened urine
  24. decrease in urine output or decrease in urine-concentrating ability
  25. decreased frequency or amount of urine
  26. diarrhea
  27. difficult, fast, or noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing
  28. difficulty swallowing
  29. dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  30. dry mouth
  31. fast or irregular heartbeat
  32. fever
  33. flushed, dry skin
  34. fruit-like breath odor
  35. general body swelling
  36. general feeling of discomfort or illness
  37. general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  38. greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
  39. headache
  40. hives
  41. increased blood pressure
  42. increased hunger
  43. increased sweating
  44. increased thirst
  45. increased urination
  46. indigestion
  47. itching
  48. joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  49. loss of appetite
  50. loss of heat from the body
  51. lower back or side pain
  52. muscle cramps or pain
  53. nausea or vomiting
  54. nosebleeds
  55. numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in hands or feet
  56. pain in joints or muscles
  57. painful or difficult urination
  58. pains in stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  59. pale skin
  60. pinpoint red spots on skin
  61. puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  62. rash
  63. red, irritated eyes
  64. red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  65. red, swollen skin
  66. redness, soreness, or itching skin
  67. scaly skin
  68. seizures
  69. shortness of breath
  70. sore throat
  71. sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or in mouth
  72. sores, welting, or blisters
  73. sugar in the urine
  74. swelling of face, fingers, legs, ankles, feet, or lower legs
  75. swollen or painful glands
  76. tenderness of salivary glands
  77. thickening of bronchial secretions
  78. tightness in chest
  79. trembling
  80. troubled breathing
  81. unpleasant breath odor
  82. unusual bleeding or bruising
  83. unusual tiredness or weakness
  84. unusual weight loss
  85. vomiting of blood
  86. weakness and heaviness of legs
  87. weight gain
  88. wheezing
  89. yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence not known

  1. Cramping
  2. decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  3. difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  4. feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  5. hair loss, thinning of hair
  6. inability to have or keep an erection
  7. increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
  8. loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  9. muscle spasm
  10. pinpoint red or purple spots on skin
  11. redness or other discoloration of skin
  12. restlessness
  13. sensation of spinning
  14. severe sunburn
  15. weakness

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.