Chlorthalidone treats high blood pressure and fluid retention. Because this medication increases urination, it is best taken in the morning to avoid having to get up in the night to urinate.
Chlorthalidone is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure and fluid retention caused by congestive heart failure and other conditions. Chlorthalidone belongs to a group of drugs called diuretics ("water pills") which help the body get rid of excess fluid by increasing the amount of salt and water the kidneys remove from the blood.
This medication comes in tablet form and is usually taken once daily, with or without food.
Common side effects include stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Chlorthalidone can also cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how it affects you.
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Uses of Chlorthalidone
Chlorthalidone is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure and fluid retention caused by congestive heart failure, kidney disease, hepatic cirrhosis, and corticosteroids and estrogen therapy.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Chlorthalidone Brand Names
Chlorthalidone Drug Class
Chlorthalidone is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Chlorthalidone
Common side effects include:
- muscle weakness
- stomach pain
- upset stomach
- loss of appetite
- hair loss
This is not a complete list of chlorthalidone side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Serious side effects can occur. See "Drug Precautions" section.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- other medications for high blood pressure
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) and salicylates
- corticosteroids such as prednisone, hydrocortisone (Cortef), and dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone, Hexadrol)
- lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)
- medications for diabetes
- probenecid (Benemid)
- barbiturates such as amobarbital (Amytal), butalbital (Fioricet, Fiorinal), phenobarbital (Luminal) and others
- digoxin (Digitek, Lanoxin)
- cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran, Questran Light)
- colestipol (Colestid)
This is not a complete list of chlorthalidone drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Serious side effects can occur including:
- worsening of kidney disease
- worsening of gout
- worsening of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Medications like Lozol have exacerbated SLE.
- increased blood glucose levels
- electrolyte imbalance. This medication may affect electrolytes including sodium and potassium. Your doctor will check these levels using a blood test. Warning signs of electrolyte imbalance include:
- dry mouth
- lack of energy
- muscle pains or cramps
- muscle fatigue
- low blood pressure
- decreased urination
- fast heart rate
- nausea and vomiting
- impaired liver function. This medication should be used with caution in patients with liver disease.
Do not take chlorthalidone if you:
- are allergic to chlorthalidone or any other ingredient of chlorthalidone
- have severe kidney disease
Chlorthalidone Food Interactions
Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of chlorthalidone, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.
Before receiving chlorthalidone, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:
- have had an allergic reaction to chlorthalidone or other diuretics or if you have asthma
- have kidney disease
- have liver disease
- have gout
- have systemic lupus erythematosus
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Chlorthalidone and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.
Chlorthalidone falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with chlorthalidone. But in animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.
Chlorthalidone and Lactation
Thiazide diuretics, like chlorthalidone have been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from chlorthalidone, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of chlorthalidone. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.
- Take chlorthalidone exactly as prescribed.
- This medication comes in tablet form and is usually taken once daily.
- Chlorthalidone can be taken with or without food.
- Because chlorthalidone increases urination, it is best taken in the morning to avoid having to get up in the night to urinate.
- If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose.
Take chlorthalidone exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
The chlorthalidone dose your doctor recommends will be based on (use any or all that apply):
- the condition being treated
- other medical conditions you have
- other medications you are taking
- how you respond to this medication
High Blood Pressure
In most patients the starting chlorthalidone dose is 15 mg once daily. If necessary, the dosage may be increased to 30 mg and then to a single daily dose of 45-50 mg. If additional blood pressure control is required, the addition of a second antihypertensive drug is recommended.
The starting dose is 30 to 60 mg daily or 60 mg on alternate days. Some patients may require 90 to 120 mg at these intervals or up to 120 mg daily.
If you take too much chlorthalidone call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
If chlorthalidone is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
- Store below 30°C (86°F).
- Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.