Chlorothiazide

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Chlorothiazide Brand Name(s): Chlorothiazide.

Uses

What is chlorothiazide used for?

Chlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic. It works by helping the kidneys eliminate fluid from your body.

It is commonly used for treating excess fluid buildup in the body caused by certain conditions or medicines. It may also be used to treat high blood pressure or other conditions as determined by your doctor.

How should I take chlorothiazide?

Chlorothiazide is usually administered as an injection at your doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using chlorothiazide at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.

If chlorothiazide contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.

When you first start taking chlorothiazide, it may cause an increase in urine or in frequency of urination. To prevent this from affecting sleep, try not to take any dose later than 6 pm.

Continue to use chlorothiazide even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.

Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.

How do I store chlorothiazide?

Chlorothiazide is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using chlorothiazide at home, store chlorothiazide as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep chlorothiazide out of the reach of children and away from pets.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using chlorothiazide?

Before using chlorothiazide, tell your doctor if:

  • You are allergic to any ingredient in chlorothiazide or to any other sulfonamide medicine (e.g., sulfamethoxazole, glyburide, acetazolamide).
  • You are unable to urinate.
  • You are taking dofetilide or ketanserin.
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • You are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement.
  • You have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances.

Chlorothiazide may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, and fever can increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Also, sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to chlorothiazide. Using chlorothiazide alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.

Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using chlorothiazide.

Chlorothiazide may cause high blood sugar (e.g., thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, or fruity breath odor). If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor immediately.

Your doctor may have also prescribed a potassium supplement for you. If so, follow the dosing carefully. Do not start taking additional potassium on your own or change your diet to include more potassium without first checking with your doctor.

Chlorothiazide may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to chlorothiazide. Use a sunscreen or protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.

Patients being treated for high blood pressure often feel tired or run down for a few weeks after beginning therapy. Continue taking your medication even though you may not feel quite “normal.” Contact your doctor or pharmacist about any new symptoms.

Lab tests, including kidney function, blood pressure, and blood electrolyte levels, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.

Use chlorothiazide with caution in the elderly, because they may be more sensitive to its effects.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using chlorothiazide during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking chlorothiazide. Chlorothiazide is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from chlorothiazide?

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness, especially when sitting up or standing
  • Numbness or tingling of skin

Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
  • Confusion
  • Decrease in amount of urine
  • Drowsiness
  • Gout
  • Inability to keep an erection
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual thirst
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Unusually dry mouth
  • Vomiting

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with chlorothiazide?

Chlorothiazide may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products may interact with this drug, including:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) (e.g., ibuprofen), because they decrease the effectiveness of chlorothiazide.
  • Barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital), narcotic pain medicines (e.g., codeine, morphine, fentanyl), or medicines for high blood pressure, because side effects of chlorothiazide may be increased.
  • Diazoxide or nondepolarizing muscle relaxants (e.g., tubocurarine), because side effects may be increased by chlorothiazide.
  • Lithium because risk of toxicity may be increased by chlorothiazide.
  • Digoxin, dofetilide, or ketanserin because risk of irregular heartbeat may be increased by chlorothiazide.
  • Diabetes medicines (e.g., glipizide, metformin) or insulin, because their effectiveness may be decreased by chlorothiazide.

Does food or alcohol interact with chlorothiazide?

Chlorothiazide may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with chlorothiazide?

Chlorothiazide may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Especially if you have:

  • Gout
  • Kidney or liver problems
  • Lupus
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Parathyroid problems
  • High blood cholesterol or lipid levels
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sodium
  • High blood calcium levels
  • Nerve surgery

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using chlorothiazide.

What is the dose of chlorothiazide for an adult?

Edema – adult

The recommended dose is 0.5-1 g (10 to 20 ml) PO/IV qDay or q12hr; many patients with edema respond to intermittent therapy (i.e., administration on alternate days or 3-5 days each week; reduces risk of undesirable electrolyte imbalance).

Hypertension – adult

The recommended dose is 0.5 -1 g (10-20 ml)/day PO/IV as single or divided dose; increase or decrease dosage based on blood pressure response.

Edema – geriatric

The recommended dose is 0.5-1 g (10 to 20 ml) PO/IV qDay or q12hr; many patients with edema respond to intermittent therapy (i.e., administration on alternate days or 3-5 days each week; reduces risk of undesirable electrolyte imbalance).

Hypertension – geriatric

The recommended dose is 0.5 -1 g (10-20 ml)/day PO/IV as single or divided dose; increase or decrease dosage based on blood pressure response.

What is the dose of chlorothiazide for a child?

Edema

The recommended dose is 10 to 20 mg/kg (5-10 mg/lb) qDay or divided q12hr, not to exceed 375 mg/day.

Hypertension

The recommended dose is 10 to 20 mg/kg (5-10 mg/lb) qDay or divided q12hr, not to exceed 375 mg/day.

How is Chlorothiazide available?

Chlorothiazide is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral suspension: 250mg/5ml
  • Powder for injection: 500mg
  • Tablet: 250mg, 500mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of chlorothiazide, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: April 1, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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