Medication Guide App

Chlorothiazide

Generic Name: chlorothiazide (klor-oh-THYE-a-zide)
Brand Name: Diuril

Chlorothiazide is 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.

Chlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic. It works by helping the kidneys eliminate fluid from your body. Exactly how chlorothiazide works to treat high blood pressure is unknown.

Do NOT use chlorothiazide if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in chlorothiazide or to any other sulfonamide medicine (eg sulfamethoxazole, glyburide, acetazolamide)
  • you are unable to urinate
  • you are taking dofetilide or ketanserin

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using chlorothiazide:

Some medical conditions may interact with chlorothiazide. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have gout, kidney or liver problems, lupus, diabetes, asthma, parathyroid problems, high blood cholesterol or lipid levels, or low blood pressure
  • if you have low blood sodium, chloride, potassium, or magnesium levels; or high blood calcium levels
  • if you have recently had nerve surgery

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with chlorothiazide. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen) because they decrease the effectiveness of chlorothiazide
  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), narcotic pain medicines (eg, codeine, morphine, fentanyl), or medicines for high blood pressure because side effects of chlorothiazide may be increased
  • Diazoxide or nondepolarizing muscle relaxants (eg, 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 (eg, glipizide, metformin) or insulin because their effectiveness may be decreased by chlorothiazide

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if chlorothiazide may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use chlorothiazide:

Use chlorothiazide as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • 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.
  • If you miss a dose of chlorothiazide, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use chlorothiazide.

Important safety information:

  • Chlorothiazide may cause dizziness. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (eg, 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.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using chlorothiazide during pregnancy. Chlorothiazide is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking chlorothiazide.

Possible side effects of 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:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; 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.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dry mouth; excessive urination followed by a decrease in amount of urine; muscle cramps; severe lightheadedness, especially upon standing; weak or irregular heartbeat.

Proper storage of 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.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about chlorothiazide, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Chlorothiazide is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take chlorothiazide or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about chlorothiazide. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to chlorothiazide. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using chlorothiazide.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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