Triamterene

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Generic Name: Triamterene Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available. Avability: Rx Pregnancy Category: N

Uses

What is Triamterene used for?

Triamterene is a “water pill” (diuretic) that works in your kidneys to increase the amount of urine you make. This helps your body get rid of extra water. This medication is used to decrease swelling (edema) caused by conditions such as cancer, congestive heart failure, liver disease, and kidney disease. This effect can help your kidneys work better and lessen symptoms such as trouble breathing and swelling in your ankles, feet, hands, or belly.

How should I take Triamterene?

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice a day after a meal. If you take this drug too close to bedtime, you may need to wake up to urinate. It is best to take this medication at least 4 hours before your bedtime.

To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.

Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.

Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.

Tell your doctor if you do not get better or if you get worse.

How do I store Triamterene?

Triamterene is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Triamterene in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Triamterene that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Triamterene down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Triamterene?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney problems (such as kidney stones), liver disease, mineral imbalance (such as high potassium blood level, low sodium blood level), loss of too much body water (dehydration), gout, conditions causing low folic acid blood levels (such as alcoholic cirrhosis, pregnancy).

This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana.

If you have diabetes, triamterene may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.

Severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting can increase the risk for a serious loss of body water (dehydration). Report prolonged diarrhea or vomiting to your doctor. To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids unless your doctor directs you otherwise.

This medication may increase your potassium levels. Before using potassium supplements or salt substitutes that contain potassium, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially high potassium blood levels.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This drug may pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Triamterene during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Triamterene. Triamterene is pregnancy risk category N 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 Triamterene?

Dizziness, lightheadedness, tiredness, headache, stomach upset, or diarrhea may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Triamterene can cause a loss of too much body water (dehydration) and salt/minerals. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of dehydration or mineral loss, such as confusion, unusual dry mouth/thirst, fast/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness/lightheadedness, or seizures.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: nausea/vomiting that doesn’t stop, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn’t go away, fever, chills, cough), signs of kidney problems (such as pain in the side/back/abdomen, painful urination, blood in the urine, change in the amount of urine), joint pain (such as big toe pain), easy bruising/bleeding.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

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 Triamterene?

Some products that may interact with this drug include: drugs that may increase the level of potassium in the blood (such as amiloride, cyclosporine, eplerenone, tacrolimus, birth control pills containing drospirenone), lithium.

Some products have ingredients that could raise your blood pressure or worsen your swelling. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen).

This medication may interfere with certain lab tests, possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

Triamterene 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.

Does food or alcohol interact with Triamterene?

Triamterene 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 Triamterene?

Triamterene 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.

Dosage

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

What is the dose of Triamterene for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Ascites

Initial dose: 100 mg orally 2 times a day after meals

Maximum dose: 300 mg/day

Comments:

-The dosage should be titrated to the needs of the individual patient.

-The maximum therapeutic effect may not be seen for several days.

-When this drug is used concomitantly with another diuretic or antihypertensive agent, the total daily dose of each agent should be lowered initially and then adjusted according to patient need.

Use: To reduce edema in cardiac failure, cirrhosis of the liver or nephrotic syndrome, and in that associated with corticosteroid treatment

Usual Adult Dose for Edema

Initial dose: 100 mg orally 2 times a day after meals

Maximum dose: 300 mg/day

Comments:

-The dosage should be titrated to the needs of the individual patient.

-The maximum therapeutic effect may not be seen for several days.

-When this drug is used concomitantly with another diuretic or antihypertensive agent, the total daily dose of each agent should be lowered initially and then adjusted according to patient need.

Use: To reduce edema in cardiac failure, cirrhosis of the liver or nephrotic syndrome, and in that associated with corticosteroid treatment

Renal Dose Adjustments

-Mild to moderate renal dysfunction: Data not available

-Severe or progressive renal failure (with the possible exception of nephrosis): Contraindicated

Liver Dose Adjustments

Severe or progressive hepatic disease: Contraindicated

Dose Adjustments

-This drug can cause mild nitrogen retention, which is reversible upon withdrawal of therapy, and is seldom observed with intermittent (every-other-day) therapy.

-Reducing the dose of this drug may be necessary in the presence of electrolyte imbalance and in geriatric patients.

-When administering this drug with another diuretic, the doses of both drugs should be reduced.

Dialysis

-Although this drug is 67% protein-bound, there may be some benefit to dialysis in cases of overdosage.

-Excess potassium can be removed by dialysis.

Other Comments

Administration advice:

-Take with meals.

What is the dose of Triamterene for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Triamterene available?

Triamterene is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral capsule,
  • Compounding powder.

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 Triamterene, 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: November 7, 2018 | Last Modified: November 7, 2018

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