Triamterene

Pronunciation

Generic Name: triamterene (try AM teh reen)
Brand Names: Dyrenium

What is triamterene?

Triamterene is a potassium-sparing diuretic (water pill) that prevents your body from absorbing too much salt and keeps your potassium levels from getting too low.

Triamterene is used to treat fluid retention (edema) in people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, or a kidney condition called nephrotic syndrome.

Triamterene is also used to treat edema caused by having too much aldosterone in your body. Aldosterone is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands to help regulate the salt and water balance in your body.

Important information

Do not use triamterene if you have kidney disease, urination problems, severe liver disease, or high levels of potassium in your blood. Do not use potassium supplements or other diuretics while you are taking triamterene.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have heart or liver disease, diabetes, gout, or a history of kidney stones. Tell your doctor if you are using another diuretic.

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Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of triamterene.

Avoid a diet high in salt. Too much salt will cause your body to retain water and can make this medication less effective.

Do not use salt substitutes or low-sodium milk products that contain potassium. These products could cause your potassium levels to get too high while you are taking triamterene.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink. In some cases, drinking too much liquid can be as unsafe as not drinking enough.

This medication can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Before taking this medicine

Do not use triamterene if you have:

  • kidney disease or are unable to urinate;

  • severe liver disease;

  • high potassium levels (hyperkalemia); or

  • if you are taking potassium supplements, or another potassium-sparing diuretic such as Dyazide, Maxzide, amiloride (Midamor, Moduretic), or spironolactone (Aldactone, Aldactazide).

Before using triamterene, tell your doctor if you have:

  • diabetes;

  • heart disease;

  • liver disease;

  • gout;

  • a history of kidney stones; or

  • if you are using another diuretic.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use triamterene, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

Triamterene may pass into breast milk and could cause harm to a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take triamterene?

Take triamterene exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Take this medication after eating a meal.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Triamterene can interfere with the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are taking triamterene. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store this medication at room temperature away from heat, light, and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Symptoms of a triamterene overdose may include increased urination, nausea, vomiting, weakness, fever, warmth or flushing in your face, or muscle spasms.

What should I avoid?

Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of triamterene.

Avoid using other medicines that make you light-headed (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety). They can add to the side effects of triamterene.

Do not use salt substitutes or low-sodium milk products that contain potassium. These products could cause your potassium levels to get too high while you are taking triamterene.

Avoid a diet high in salt. Too much salt will cause your body to retain water and can make this medication less effective.

This medication can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink. In some cases, drinking too much liquid can be as unsafe as not drinking enough.

Triamterene side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to triamterene: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • numbness or tingly feeling;

  • muscle pain or weakness;

  • slow, fast, or uneven heartbeat;

  • feeling drowsy, restless, or light-headed;

  • urinating less than usual or not at all;

  • shallow breathing;

  • tremors, confusion; or

  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Continue using triamterene and talk with your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;

  • dizziness, headache;

  • dry mouth; or

  • skin rash.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Triamterene dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Ascites:

Initial dose: 100 mg orally twice a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Edema:

Initial dose: 100 mg orally twice a day.

What other drugs will affect triamterene?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • lithium;

  • insulin or diabetes medicine taken by mouth;

  • an ACE inhibitor such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), ramipril (Altace), and others; or

  • indomethacin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), diclofenac (Voltaren), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), nabumetone (Relafen), etodolac (Lodine), and others.

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use triamterene, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect triamterene. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about triamterene written for health professionals that you may read.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.04. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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