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Polythiazide Side Effects

Applies to polythiazide: oral tablet.

Serious side effects of Polythiazide

Along with its needed effects, polythiazide 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 while taking polythiazide:

Incidence not known

Other side effects of Polythiazide

Some side effects of polythiazide 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

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to polythiazide: oral tablet.


Some of the metabolic changes associated with thiazide diuretics may be significant in patients with underlying cardiac arrhythmias (hypokalemia), coronary artery disease (hypercholesterolemia), gout (hyperuricemia), or liver disease (hyponatremia and hypokalemia).[Ref]

The metabolic side effects of polythiazide, as with other thiazide diuretics, include hypokalemia, hyponatremia, hypochloremia, hypercalcemia, hypercholesterolemia, and hyperuricemia. Significant reductions in the serum potassium (decreases of 0.5 mEq/L or more) have been observed in up to 50% of patients who are taking moderate doses of thiazide diuretics. This can predispose some patients to develop cardiac arrhythmias.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity reactions to thiazide diuretics have been reported in less than 1% of patients. While most allergic reactions present as rash with nausea and vomiting, rare cases of acute pulmonary edema, interstitial cystitis, interstitial nephritis, and anaphylaxis have been associated with some thiazide diuretics.[Ref]


Dermatologic reactions to thiazides include erythema annular centrifugum, acute eczematous dermatitis, morbilliform and leukocytoclastic vasculitis. Thiazides may induce phototoxic dermatitis. In addition, a rare, distinct entity with clinical and laboratory features indistinguishable from those of subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus has been associated with a related drug, hydrochlorothiazide.[Ref]


Renal side effects including new or worsened renal insufficiency may occur due to polythiazide-induced intravascular volume depletion. Rare cases of interstitial nephritis have been associated with some thiazide diuretics.[Ref]


Cardiovascular side effects are generally limited to palpitations. Orthostatic hypotension may occur and may rarely be associated with syncope, particularly in the elderly.[Ref]

Cardiac arrhythmias, including ventricular ectopy and complete AV heart block, have been associated with thiazide-induced hypokalemia. (Potassium supplementation is not an uncommon requirement.)[Ref]


Endocrinologic problems associated with thiazide diuretics include glucose intolerance and a potentially deleterious effect on the lipid profile. This may be important in some patients with or who are at risk for diabetes or coronary artery disease.[Ref]

A prospective study of 34 patients who received oral thiazide diuretics for 14 years without interruption revealed an increased mean fasting blood glucose level after treatment. Withdrawal of thiazide therapy for 7 months in 10 of the patients resulted in mean reductions of 10% in fasting blood glucose and 25% in the 2-hour glucose tolerance test value. A control group was not reported.[Ref]


A 2.5-year-old male with anasarca developed cyanosis and oral ulcerations associated with laboratory evidence of pancytopenia 15 days after beginning polythiazide (dose not available). A bone marrow aspiration revealed general hypoplasia with absence of megakaryocytes and blast cells. The child died from persistent hemorrhaging and infections despite prednisolone and antimicrobial therapy.[Ref]

Hematologic side effects are rare. Cases of immune-complex hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, and thrombocytopenia have been associated with polythiazide or related thiazide agents.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects are unusual. The most common complaint is "dry mouth". There have been rare cases of pancreatitis and acute cholecystitis associated with thiazide diuretics.[Ref]

Thiazide diuretics may increase serum cholesterol and triglycerides, resulting in increased risk of cholesterol gallstone formation. Reports of bowel strictures associated with thiazide ingestion have been reported in the 1960's, although these patients were on a combination hydrochlorothiazide-potassium product.[Ref]


Limited data suggest an association between psychiatric depression and thiazide diuretics. These data are uncontrolled observations and have not been substantiated.[Ref]


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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.