What is chlorthalidone?

Chlorthalidone is a thiazide diuretic (water pill) that helps prevent your body from absorbing too much salt, which can cause fluid retention.

Chlorthalidone treats fluid retention (edema) in people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, or kidney disorders, or edema caused by taking steroids or estrogen. This medication is also used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

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

Precautions

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to chlorthalidone, or if you are unable to urinate.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication. Before using chlorthalidone, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • asthma or allergies;
  • gout;
  • lupus;
  • diabetes; or
  • if you have an allergy to sulfa drugs.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Chlorthalidone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of chlorthalidone.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Chlorthalidone can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. Follow your doctor’s instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink. In some cases, drinking too much liquid can be as unsafe as not drinking enough.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, weakness, dizziness, dry mouth, thirst, and muscle pain or weakness.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

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

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • dry mouth, thirst, nausea, vomiting;
  • feeling weak, drowsy, restless, or light-headed;
  • fast or uneven heartbeat;
  • muscle pain or weakness;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • red or purple spots on your skin;
  • numbness or tingly feeling; or
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • diarrhea;
  • constipation;
  • loss of appetite;
  • dizziness;
  • headache; or
  • muscle spasm.

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. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

Before using chlorthalidone, tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by chlorthalidone.

  • lithium;
  • digoxin (Lanoxin);
  • steroids (prednisone and others);
  • other blood pressure medications; or
  • insulin or diabetes medicine taken by mouth.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with chlorthalidone. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Hygroton, Thalitone, and chlorthalidone

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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 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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