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triamterene

Pronunciation

Generic Name: triamterene (try AM teh reen)
Brand Name: 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 using steroid medicine or 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.

Triamterene may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

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

You should not use this medicine if you have severe kidney or liver disease, urination problems, or high levels of potassium in your blood. You should not take triamterene if you also take potassium supplements, or other diuretics such as amiloride or spironolactone.

Call your doctor right away if you have signs of hyperkalemia (high potassium), such as nausea, slow or unusual heart rate, weakness, or loss of movement. You may be more likely to have high potassium if you have kidney disease, diabetes, a severe illness, or if you an older adult.

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

You should not use triamterene if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • severe kidney disease, or if you are unable to urinate;

  • severe liver disease;

  • high potassium levels (hyperkalemia); or

  • if you take potassium supplements, or another potassium-sparing diuretic such as amiloride (Midamor) or spironolactone (Aldactone).

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

  • diabetes;

  • heart disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • gout; or

  • a history of kidney stones.

Using triamterene may increase your risk of developing hyperkalemia (high levels of potassium in your blood). You may be more likely to have high potassium if you have kidney disease, diabetes, a severe illness, or if you an older adult.

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

It is not known whether triamterene passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Triamterene is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take triamterene?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Triamterene is usually taken once or twice per day. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions.

Take this medicine after eating a meal.

Taking a diuretic can make you urinate more often, which could disrupt your sleep if this happens at night. If you take triamterene only once per day, take it in the morning to reduce the chance of night-time urination.

While using triamterene, you may need frequent blood tests. Your kidney function may also need to be checked.

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

This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using triamterene.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using triamterene.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

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 nausea, slow or unusual heart rate, muscle weakness, or loss of movement.

What should I avoid while taking triamterene?

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

Drinking alcohol with this medicine can cause side effects.

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.

Triamterene side effects

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

Call your doctor right away if you have signs of hyperkalemia (high potassium), such as nausea, slow or unusual heart rate, weakness, or loss of movement.

Stop using triamterene and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding;

  • slow, fast, or uneven heartbeat;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • little or no urination;

  • signs of a kidney stone--sudden pain in your back or side, vomiting, fever, chills, painful urination, and urine that looks, red, pink, brown, or cloudy; or

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

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, diarrhea;

  • dizziness, headache;

  • dry mouth; or

  • feeling weak or tired.

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.

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?

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

  • any other diuretic;

  • chlorpropamide;

  • lithium;

  • heart or blood pressure medicine; 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 triamterene, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about 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: 7.01.

Date modified: November 30, 2016
Last reviewed: September 20, 2016

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