previous page: Chlordiazepoxide Description
page up: Drugs and Herbs Manual
next page: Chlorpheniramine Description

Chlorothiazide Description

Chlorothiazide Description


Pronunciation: (klor oh thye' a zide)

Trade Name(s): Diurigen, Diuril

Why it is prescribed: Chlorothiazide, a water pill, is used to treat high blood presure and fluid retention caused by various conditions, including heart disease. It causes the kidneys to elimate unneeded water and salt from the body into the urine.

When it is to be taken: Chlorothiazide is usually taken once or twice a day. If you are to take it once a day, take it in the morning; if you are to take it twice a day, take it in the morning and in the late afternoon to avoid going to the bathroom during the night. Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully. This medication begins to work about two hours after it is taken and goes on working for six to 12 hours. If you also are taking cholestyramine, take it at least one hour after chlorothiazide.

How it should be taken: Chlorothiazide comes in the form of tablets and oral liquid. Your prescription label tells you how much to take at each dose. Take this medication with meals or a snack. The liquid should be thoroughly shaken before use. You may obtain a specially marked measuring spoon to be sure of an accurate dose.

Special Instruction:
1. Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly, and blood tests may be done periodically.
2. Do not stop taking chlorothiazide without consulting your doctor.
3. Be sure that you have enough medication on hand at all times, especially for vacations and holidays.
4. Follow your doctor's dietary recommendations. They may include a low-salt or low-sodium diet, potassium supplements, and increased amount of potassium-rich foods (e.g., bananas and orange juice) in your diet.

Side Effects:
1. Frequent urination. This problem should disappear after you take chlorothiazide for a few weeks.
2. Muscle weakness, craps, thirst. Be sure that you are taking your potassium supplement correctly, if prescribed. Contact your physician if these effects persist.
3. Sore throat, easy bruising, skin rash. Contact your doctor immediately.
4.Dizziness, lightheadedness. Try arising slowly from a sitting or lying position.

Other Precautions:
1. Before you take chlorothiazide, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, diabetes, gout, or an allergy to sulfa drugs.
2. Inform your doctor if you have severe vomiting or diarrhea while taking chlorothiazide.
3. If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking this medication, inform your doctor.
4. Before you take chlorothiazide, tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking, especially lithium, probenecid, medication for arthritis or pain, sleeping pills, and other medication for high blood pressure.
5. Alcohol and sleep aids may increase the dizziness or lightheadedness caused by chlorothiazide. Ask your doctor for advice about the safe use of alcohol and other medications.
6. Before having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor about your blood pressure medications.
7. Do not allow anyone else to take this medication.

Storage Conditions:
1. Keep this medication in the container it came in and out of the reach of children.
2. Store it at room temperature.
3. Do not allow the oral liquid to freeze.

previous page: Chlordiazepoxide Description
page up: Drugs and Herbs Manual
next page: Chlorpheniramine Description