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polythiazide (Oral route)
Medically reviewed: March 25, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Cardiovascular Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Diuretic
Chemical Class: Thiazide
Uses For polythiazide
Polythiazide 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.
Polythiazide is also used alone or together with other medicines to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. High blood pressure may also increase the risk of heart attacks. These problems may be less likely to occur if the blood pressure is controlled.
Polythiazide is a thiazide diuretic (water pill). It reduces the amount of water in the body by increasing the flow of urine, which helps to lower blood pressure and remove excess fluid (edema).
polythiazide is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using polythiazide
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 polythiazide, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to polythiazide 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 polythiazide in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of polythiazide in geriatric patients. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney disease, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving polythiazide.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
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 taking polythiazide, 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 polythiazide 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.
- Arsenic Trioxide
Using polythiazide 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.
- Enalapril Maleate
- Ibuprofen Lysine
- Magnesium Salicylate
- Mefenamic Acid
- Salicylic 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 polythiazide. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Anuria (not able to form urine)—Should not use in patients with this condition.
- Asthma or
- Diabetes or
- Gout or
- Hyperuricemia (high uric acid in the blood) or
- Hypochloremia (low chloride in the blood) or
- Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) or
- Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood) or
- Liver disease or
- Systemic lupus erythematosus—Use with caution. polythiazide 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 polythiazide
In addition to the use of polythiazide, treatment for your high blood pressure may include weight control and changes in the types of foods you eat, especially foods high in sodium or potassium. Your doctor will tell you which of these are most important for you. You should check with your doctor before changing your diet.
Many patients who have high blood pressure will not notice any signs of the problem. In fact, many patients feel normal. It is very important that you take your medicine exactly as directed and that you keep your appointments with your doctor even if you feel well.
polythiazide will not cure your high blood pressure, but it does help control it. You must continue to take it as directed if you expect to lower your blood pressure and keep it down. You may have to take high blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life. If high blood pressure is not treated, it can cause serious problems, such as heart failure, blood vessel disease, stroke, or kidney disease.
The dose of polythiazide will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of polythiazide. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage forms (tablets):
- For fluid retention (edema):
- Adults—The usual dose is 1 to 4 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For high blood pressure:
- Adults—The usual dose is 2 to 4 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For fluid retention (edema):
If you miss a dose of polythiazide, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using polythiazide
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure polythiazide is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while taking polythiazide: convulsions or seizures; decreased urine; drowsiness; dry mouth; excessive thirst; muscle pains or cramps; nausea or vomiting; increased heart rate or pulse; or unusual tiredness or weakness. These may be symptoms of a condition called hypokalemia or low potassium.
polythiazide may cause some people to become dizzy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy.
Drinking alcoholic beverages may also make the dizziness worse. While you are taking polythiazide, be careful to limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
polythiazide 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur:Incidence not known
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- blood in urine or stools
- blurred vision
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- chest pain
- clay-colored stools
- cold sweats
- cough or hoarseness
- coughing up blood
- darkened urine
- difficulty breathing
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
- dry mouth
- flushed, dry skin
- fruit-like breath odor
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- general feeling of tiredness or weakness
- increased hunger
- increased thirst
- increased urination
- irregular heartbeat
- joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
- loss of appetite
- lower back or side pain
- muscle cramps or pain
- nausea or vomiting
- numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in hands or feet
- painful or difficult urination
- pains in stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
- pale skin
- pinpoint red spots on skin
- redness, soreness, or itching skin
- shortness of breath
- sores, welting, or blisters
- sugar in the urine
- swelling of feet or lower legs
- swollen or painful glands
- tenderness of salivary glands
- tightness in chest
- troubled breathing
- unpleasant breath odor
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight loss
- vomiting of blood
- weakness and heaviness of legs
- 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
- difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- hair loss, thinning of hair
- increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
- muscle spasm
- pinpoint red or purple spots on skin
- redness or other discoloration of skin
- sensation of spinning
- severe sunburn
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
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