What is CHLORTHALIDONE?
(CHLORTHALIDONE) Chlorthalidone is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. It is also used to reduce extra salt and water in the body caused by conditions such as heart failure, liver disease, and kidney disease. Decreasing extra salt and water in the body helps to decrease swelling (edema) and breathing problems caused by fluid in the lungs. Chlorthalidone is a "water pill" (diuretic). It increases the amount of urine you make, especially when you first start the medication. It also helps to relax the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily.
How should I use CHLORTHALIDONE?
Take this medication by mouth with food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the morning. It is best to avoid taking this medication within 4 hours of your bedtime to avoid having to get up to urinate. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about your dosing schedule. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. If you also take certain drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take this product at least 2 hours before or at least 4 hours after these medications. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (such as your blood pressure readings remain high or increase).
What should I tell my health care provider before I take CHLORTHALIDONE?
Before taking chlorthalidone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, gout, lupus, untreated mineral imbalance (such as low potassium). This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). Too much sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting may cause dehydration and increase your risk of dizziness or lightheadedness. Report prolonged diarrhea or vomiting to your doctor. Be sure to drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). If you have diabetes, this product may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet. This medication may reduce the potassium levels in your blood. Ask your doctor about adding potassium to your diet. A potassium supplement may be prescribed by your doctor. This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness. Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this product, especially dizziness. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
What may interact with CHLORTHALIDONE?
See also How to Use section. Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: dofetilide, lithium. Some products have ingredients that could raise your blood pressure or worsen your heart failure. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen). This product may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including parathyroid test, protein-bound iodide test), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
What if I miss a dose of CHLORTHALIDONE?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
What side effects may I notice from receiving CHLORTHALIDONE?
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or stomach upset may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position. Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. This medication may cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of dehydration or electrolyte imbalance, including: extreme thirst, very dry mouth, muscle cramps, weakness, fast/irregular heartbeat, confusion. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fainting, toe/joint pain, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine). Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: decrease in vision, eye pain. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Where should I keep CHLORTHALIDONE?
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.