Generic Name: chlorothiazide (klor-oh-THYE-a-zide)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on July 31, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Diuril Sodium
- Sodium Diuril
Available Dosage Forms:
- Powder for Solution
Therapeutic Class: Cardiovascular Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Diuretic
Chemical Class: Thiazide
Uses for chlorothiazide
Chlorothiazide is used to treat fluid retention (edema) that is caused by congestive heart failure, severe liver disease (cirrhosis), kidney disease, or from treatment with a steroid or hormone medicine.
Chlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic. It reduces the amount of water in the body by increasing the flow of urine, which helps reduce fluid retention (edema).
Chlorothiazide is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using chlorothiazide
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For chlorothiazide, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to chlorothiazide or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of chlorothiazide in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of chlorothiazide in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving chlorothiazide.
Studies suggest that this medication may alter milk production or composition. If an alternative to this medication is not prescribed, you should monitor the infant for side effects and adequate milk intake.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving chlorothiazide, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using chlorothiazide with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Amtolmetin Guacil
- Arsenic Trioxide
- Choline Salicylate
- Flufenamic Acid
- Mefenamic Acid
- Niflumic Acid
- Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
- Salicylic Acid
- Sodium Salicylate
- Tiaprofenic Acid
- Tolfenamic Acid
Using chlorothiazide with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Aminolevulinic Acid
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of chlorothiazide. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Anuria (not able to form urine)—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
- Asthma or
- Diabetes or
- Gout or
- Hypercalcemia (high calcium in the blood) or
- Hyperuricemia (high uric acid in the blood) or
- Hypochloremia (low chloride in the blood) or
- Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) or
- Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood) or
- Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood) or
- Hypophosphatemia (low phosphorus in the blood) or
- Liver disease or
- Systemic lupus erythematosus—Use with caution. Chlorothiazide may make these conditions worse.
- Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects of the medicine may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Proper use of chlorothiazide
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you chlorothiazide. Chlorothiazide is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
Precautions while using chlorothiazide
Your doctor will only give you a few doses of chlorothiazide until your condition improves, and then you will be switched to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor.
Chlorothiazide side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Incidence not known
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- back, leg, or stomach pains
- black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- blisters on skin
- blood in urine or stools
- bloody or cloudy urine
- blue lips and fingernails
- blurred vision
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- chest pain
- clay-colored stools
- cold sweats
- cough or hoarseness
- coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
- coughing up blood
- darkened urine
- decrease in urine output or decrease in urine-concentrating ability
- decreased frequency or amount of urine
- difficult, fast, or noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing
- difficulty swallowing
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
- dry mouth
- fast heartbeat
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- flushed, dry skin
- fruit-like breath odor
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- general feeling of tiredness or weakness
- increased blood pressure
- increased hunger
- increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
- increased sweating
- increased thirst
- increased urination
- joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
- loss of appetite
- lower back or side pain
- muscle cramps or pain
- numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in hands or feet
- pain in joints or muscles
- painful or difficult urination
- pains in stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
- pale skin
- pinpoint red spots on skin
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- redness or other discoloration of skin
- redness, soreness, or itching skin
- sensation of spinning
- severe sunburn
- shortness of breath
- skin rash
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or in mouth
- sores, welting, or blisters
- sugar in the urine
- swelling in legs and ankles
- swelling of face, fingers, or lower legs
- swollen or painful glands
- tenderness of salivary glands
- thickening of bronchial secretions
- tightness in chest
- troubled breathing
- unexplained weight loss
- unpleasant breath odor
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight loss
- vomiting of blood
- weight gain
- yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Incidence not known
- Blistering, peeling, or loosening of skin
- cracks in the skin
- decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
- hair loss, thinning of hair
- inability to have or keep an erection
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- loss of heat from the body
- muscle spasm
- pinpoint red or purple spots on skin
- red, irritated eyes
- red, swollen skin
- scaly skin
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Frequently asked questions
More about chlorothiazide
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
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- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
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- 1 Review
- Drug class: thiazide diuretics
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