Triamterene and HCTZ

Triamterene/HCTZ treats high blood pressure and helps with fluid retention. This medication increases urination, so take it earlier in the day to avoid having to get up in the night to urinate.

Triamterene and HCTZ Overview

Reviewed: May 23, 2013
Updated: 

Triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure and edema (swelling). It is a single medication containing two drugs, triamterene and hydrochlorothiazide. Triamterene and hydrochlorothiazide belong to a group of drugs called diuretics, which causes the kidneys to get rid of sodium and water while holding on to potassium.

This medication comes as a capsule and as a tablet. it is usually taken once daily, with or without food.

Common side effects of triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide include frequent urination, weakness, fatigue, and headache.

Triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide can cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

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Triamterene and HCTZ Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Triamterene and HCTZ

Triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide is a prescription medication used to treat:

  • hypertension, or high blood pressure
  • edema, or fluid buildup in body tissue

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Triamterene and HCTZ Brand Names

Triamterene and HCTZ may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Triamterene and HCTZ Drug Class

Triamterene and HCTZ is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Triamterene and HCTZ

Serious side effects have been reported with triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide. See “Drug Precautions” section.

Common side effects of triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide include:

  • frequent urination
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • dry mouth
  • fatigue

This is not a complete list of triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Triamterene and HCTZ Interactions

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:

  • thiazides, such as another medication containing hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide) or chlorothiazide (Diuril)
  • lithium
  • oral anti-diabetic drugs such as chlorpropamide (Diabinese), metformin (Glucophage), and pioglitazone (Actos)
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin (Ecotrin), indomethacin (Indocin), and ibuprofen (Advil)
  • ACE inhibitors, such as enalapril (Vasotec) and lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)
  • other potassium-sparing medications, such as spironolactone (Aldactone) and amiloride (Midamor)
  • potassium supplements

This is not a complete list of triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Triamterene and HCTZ Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide including:

  • Hyperkalemia: Triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide can raise your body's potassium to harmful levels, possibly causing the heart to stop beating. Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease or diabetes.
  • Metabolic or respiratory acidosis: Triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide can increase your potassium levels, leading to acidosis.
  • Myopia (nearsightedness) or glaucoma, or vision loss due to an increase in eye pressure: Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of myopia or glaucoma:
    • sudden, severe pain in one eye
    • decreased or cloudy vision
    • nausea and vomiting
    • rainbow-like halos around lights
    • red eye
    • eye feels swollen
  • Electrolyte imbalances: Triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide can dangerously alter your electrolyte levels. Electrolytes are important for the body to maintain normal functioning. Tell your doctor if you have a history of kidney disease.
  • Hepatic coma: Tell your doctor if you have a history of liver disease.
  • Renal stones: Treatment with triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide can cause kidney stones.
  • Hyperuricemia: Triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide can increase your levels of uric acid, leading to gout. Symptoms of gout include:
    • pain
    • swelling
    • discolored, peeling, or itchy skin
  • Folic acid deficiency: Periodic blood tests are recommended for patients who may be affected by a decrease in folate levels.
  • Metabolic and endocrine effects: Triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide can impair your body’s metabolism and endocrine system. Tell your doctor if you have diabetes or parathyroid problems.
  • Hypersensitivity reaction: An allergic reaction to triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide can occur. Call your doctor if you have one or more of the following symptoms of a hypersensitivity reaction:
    • rash or hives
    • difficulty breathing or swallowing
    • hoarseness
    • swelling

Triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide can cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how it affects you.

Do not take triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide if you:

  • have high potassium levels
  • take other potassium-sparing medications such as spironolactone (Aldactone) and amiloride (Midamor)
  • take potassium supplements
  • have a history of poorly functioning kidneys
  • are allergic to either triamterene or hydrochlorothiazide

Triamterene and HCTZ 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 triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide, salt substitutes containing potassium should be avoided.

 

Inform MD

Before taking triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • have a history of kidney, liver, heart, or parathyroid disease
  • have diabetes
  • have high potassium levels
  • have a history of kidney stones, gout, or lupus
  • are allergic to triamterene or hydrochlorothiazide
  • have a history or glaucoma
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Triamterene and HCTZ 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.

Triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide falls into category C. This medication may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that its benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to her unborn baby.

It is not known if triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide will harm your unborn baby.

Triamterene and HCTZ and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

You should not take triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide if you are breastfeeding. It may be excreted in your breast milk and may harm your nursing child.

Triamterene and HCTZ Usage

Take triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide exactly as prescribed.

This medication comes as a capsule and as a tablet. it is usually taken once daily, with or without food.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide at the same time.

 

Triamterene and HCTZ Dosage

Take triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dosage depending on your condition and response to the medication. The dosages range from 37.5 to 75 mg (triamterene) and 25 to 50 mg (hydrochlorothiazide).

Triamterene and HCTZ Overdose

If you take too much triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

 

Other Requirements

  • Store triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide at 20º to 25ºC (68º to 77ºF).
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Triamterene and HCTZ FDA Warning

Abnormal elevation of serum potassium levels (greater than or equal to 5.5 mEq/liter) can occur with all potassium-sparing diuretic combinations, including triamterene and hydrochlorothiazide capsules. Hyperkalemia is more likely to occur in patients with renal impairment and diabetes (even without evidence of renal impairment), and in the elderly or severely ill. Since uncorrected hyperkalemia may be fatal, serum potassium levels must be monitored at frequent intervals especially in patients first receiving triamterene and hydrochlorothiazide capsules, when dosages are changed or with any illness that may influence renal function.