Skip to Content

hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene

Pronunciation

Generic Name: hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene (HYE dro klor oh THY a zide and trye AM ter een)
Brand Name: Dyazide, Maxzide, Maxzide-25

What is hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene?

Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic (water pill) that helps prevent your body from absorbing too much salt, which can cause fluid retention.

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

Hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene is a combination medicine used to treat fluid retention (edema) and high blood pressure (hypertension).

This medicine is usually given to people in whom other diuretics have caused hypokalemia (low potassium levels in your blood).

Hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene?

You should not use this medicine if have kidney disease, urination problems, high levels of potassium in your blood, or if you are taking other diuretics similar to triamterene. Do not use potassium supplements, salt substitutes, or low-sodium milk unless your doctor has told you to.

This medicine can raise your blood potassium to dangerous levels, especially if you have kidney disease, diabetes, severe illness, or if you are an older adult. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of high potassium: nausea, slow or unusual heart rate, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, or loss of movement in any part of your body.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Lotensin HCT, Zestoretic, and others) or triamterene (Dyrenium), or if:

  • you have kidney disease or are unable to urinate;

  • you have high potassium levels (hyperkalemia);

  • you are taking diuretics similar to triamterene, such as amiloride (Midamor, Moduretic), spironolactone (Aldactone, Aldactazide); or

  • you are taking potassium supplements (unless your doctor tells you to).

Diuretics such as triamterene can raise your blood potassium to dangerous levels. This is more likely to occur if you have kidney disease, diabetes, severe illness, or if you are an older adult. Ask your doctor about your individual risk.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • diabetes;

  • cirrhosis or other liver disease;

  • heart disease, heart rhythm disorder;

  • gout;

  • if you are on a low-salt diet;

  • a history of cataracts or glaucoma;

  • a history of kidney stones; or

  • an allergy to sulfa drugs or penicillin.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene is usually taken once per day.

You will need frequent blood tests to measure your potassium levels while taking this medicine, especially when you first start taking this medicine or when your doses are changed. You may not any symptoms, but your blood work will help your doctor determine if you have high potassium (hyperkalemia).

Your heart function may also need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG).

Severe illness can affect your potassium levels. Call your doctor if you have a serious illness, injury, or medical emergency.

If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the doctor ahead of time that you are taking medicine that contains hydrochlorothiazide. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medicine even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.

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

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include increased urination, nausea, vomiting, weakness, fever, warmth or flushing in your face, or muscle spasms.

What should I avoid while taking hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene?

Do not use potassium supplements, salt substitutes, or low-sodium milk while you are taking hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene, unless your doctor has told you to.

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 medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

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

Hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene side effects

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

Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;

  • dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting;

  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;

  • high potassium--nausea, slow or unusual heart rate, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, loss of movement in any part of your body;

  • low potassium--leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling;

  • other signs of an electrolyte imbalance--thirst, dry mouth, stomach pain, drowsiness, weakness, fast heart rate, muscle pain or weakness, feeling restless or light-headed;

  • kidney problems--little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath; or

  • lupus-like syndrome--joint pain or swelling with fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, chest pain, unusual thoughts or behavior, and patchy skin color.

Common side effects may include:

  • stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation;

  • dizziness, headache;

  • blurred vision; or

  • dry mouth.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Edema:

Hydrochlorothiazide 25 to 50 mg-Triamterene 37.5 to 100 mg orally once a day

Comments:
-Patients who become hypokalemic on 50 mg of hydrochlorothiazide may be transferred directly to hydrochlorothiazide 50 mg-triamterene 75 mg orally once a day. Patients who become hypokalemic on 25 mg of hydrochlorothiazide may be transferred directly to hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg-triamterene 37.5 mg orally once a day.
-Patients in whom hypokalemia cannot be risked may be initiated on hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg-triamterene 37.5 mg orally once a day.

Uses:
-Treatment of hypertension or edema in patients who develop hypokalemia on hydrochlorothiazide alone.
-Initial therapy of hypertension or edema for patients in whom hypokalemia cannot be risked (e.g., patients on concomitant digitalis preparations or with a history of cardiac arrhythmias, etc.).

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

Hydrochlorothiazide 25 to 50 mg-Triamterene 37.5 to 100 mg orally once a day

Comments:
-Patients who become hypokalemic on 50 mg of hydrochlorothiazide may be transferred directly to hydrochlorothiazide 50 mg-triamterene 75 mg orally once a day. Patients who become hypokalemic on 25 mg of hydrochlorothiazide may be transferred directly to hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg-triamterene 37.5 mg orally once a day.
-Patients in whom hypokalemia cannot be risked may be initiated on hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg-triamterene 37.5 mg orally once a day.

Uses:
-Treatment of hypertension or edema in patients who develop hypokalemia on hydrochlorothiazide alone.
-Initial therapy of hypertension or edema for patients in whom hypokalemia cannot be risked (e.g., patients on concomitant digitalis preparations or with a history of cardiac arrhythmias, etc.).

What other drugs can affect hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • all your blood pressure medications;

  • amphotericin B;

  • chlorpropamide;

  • digoxin;

  • laxatives;

  • lithium;

  • methenamine;

  • a blood thinner;

  • oral diabetes medication;

  • steroid medication (prednisone and others);

  • an ACE inhibitor--benazepril, captopril, enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril, moexipril, perindopril, quinapril, ramipril, trandolapril; or

  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)--aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene.
  • 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 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 11.01.

Date modified: October 13, 2017
Last reviewed: February 17, 2017

Hide