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What is this medication?

Antihypertensive Agent, Thiazide Diuretic

Hydrochlorthiazide is officially indicated for hypertension, or refractory edema (as an adjunct).  It is also commonly prescribed off-label for nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.

How does this medication work? 

Hydrochlorthiazide lowers blood pressure by inhibiting sodium reabsorption in the distal tubules which causes increased loss of sodium, water, potassium, and hydrogen ions (lower blood volume results in decreased pressure).  It is also believed to lower peripheral vascular resistance (by relaxing blood vessels).

How should I take this medication? 

Oral: Take 12.5mg-100mg daily divided into one or two daily doses.

How to Take: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, take consistently at same times each day unless otherwise directed.  If dosing once daily the morning is preferred to avoid nocturnal awakenings for urination.

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Before starting Hydrochlorthiazide, make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have kidney disease, an electrolyte imbalance, adrenal insufficiency, diabetes, liver disease, hypercalcemia, hypokalemia, hyperuricemia (gout).

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Hypotension, dizziness, hypokalemia (low potassium), worsening of hyperuricemia (can result in gout attacks), skin photosensitivity.

Note this is not a complete list of side effects for Hydrochlorthiazide, only common ones.