Skip to main content

Chlorothiazide (Oral route)

Pronunciation:

klor-oh-THYE-a-zide

Brand Names:

  • Diuril

Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet
  • Suspension

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Cardiovascular Agent

Pharmacologic—

Diuretic

Chemical—

Thiazide

Uses of This Medicine:

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.

Before Using This Medicine:

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.

Children—

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.

Older adults—

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—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal 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.

Breast-feeding—

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.

Other medicines—

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 of This Medicine:

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 While Using This Medicine:

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 of This Medicine:

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
Abdominal or stomach pain
back, leg, or stomach pains
black, tarry stools
bleeding gums
blistering, peeling, or loosening of skin
bloating
blood in urine or stools
bloody urine
blue lips and fingernails
blurred vision
burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
chest pain
chills
clay-colored stools
cloudy urine
cold sweats
confusion
constipation
cough or hoarseness
coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
coughing up blood
cracks in the skin
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 or irregular heartbeat
fever
flushed, dry skin
fruit-like breath odor
general body swelling
general feeling of discomfort or illness
general feeling of tiredness or weakness
greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
headache
hives
increased blood pressure
increased hunger
increased sweating
increased thirst
increased urination
indigestion
itching
joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
loss of appetite
loss of heat from the body
lower back or side pain
muscle cramps or pain
nausea or vomiting
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
rash
red, irritated eyes
red skin lesions, often with a purple center
red, swollen skin
redness, soreness, or itching skin
scaly skin
seizures
shortness of breath
sore throat
sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or in mouth
sores, welting, or blisters
sugar in the urine
swelling of face, fingers, legs, ankles, feet, or lower legs
swollen or painful glands
tenderness of salivary glands
thickening of bronchial secretions
tightness in chest
trembling
troubled breathing
unpleasant breath odor
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
unusual weight loss
vomiting of blood
weakness and heaviness of legs
weight gain
wheezing
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
Cramping
decreased interest in sexual intercourse
difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
hair loss, thinning of hair
inability to have or keep an erection
increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
muscle spasm
pinpoint red or purple spots on skin
redness or other discoloration of skin
restlessness
sensation of spinning
severe sunburn
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.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

Copyright © 1984- Thomson Micromedex. All rights reserved.

Thomson & A.D.A.M