What is Chlorthalidone?
Chlorthalidone is a prescriptional drug used for the treatment of high blood pressure. It is usually given in combination with other medications for the same. Chlorthalidone belongs to the class of drug diuretics, commonly known as "water pills".
Fluid retention in the body, especially the lungs, causes difficulty in breathing. It reduces extra water and salt in the body, thus helping in the resolution of breathing problems.
What are the uses of Chlorthalidone?
Chlorthalidone is mainly used for the treatment of high blood pressure. It is usually referred to as a water pill as it removes the excess of fluid from the body (edema).
Fluid retention in the body is mainly caused by various heart, kidney, or liver disorders. This fluid retention adds volume to blood and puts extra pressure on the vessel wall, resulting in high blood pressure.
Chlorthalidone removes excess water (fluids) and salt from the body through urine by relaxing the blood vessels (vasodilation). It also helps to reduce fluid buildup and helps in the reduction of swelling.
Chlorthalidone is mainly used in the following conditions;
- High blood pressure
- Edema due to congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, corticosteroids, estrogen therapy, kidney dysfunction, and chronic renal failure.
- Diabetes insipidus
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Kidney stones with high serum calcium levels
The medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your physician or pharmacist for detailed information.
How do you use Chlorthalidone?
- Read the patient information leaflet if available from a pharmacist before you start taking Chlorthalidone and reach on time to get your refill. Ask your queries to your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand anything that is described on the patient information leaflet.
- >It is mainly available as a tablet to be taken orally with food, usually once daily or as prescribed by your physician. It is best taken with breakfast to avoid going to the bathroom at night.
- Try to take this tablet daily at the same time.
- Do not use this medication less or more than prescribed by your doctor.
- Do not stop taking this medication abruptly without consulting your doctor.
- Drink plenty of fluids unless otherwise directed by your doctor
Follow your doctor's direction once you are prescribed Chlorthalidone. You may also be advised daily exercise programs or low sodium diet, potassium supplements and/or potassium-rich food such as bananas, orange juice, prunes and raisins.
Moreover, you may be advised to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, as Chlorthalidone may make your skin photosensitive.
If You Miss the Dose.
- If you happen to miss a dose of Chlorthalidone, take the missed dose as soon as you remember.
- However, if it is almost time for the next dose, do not take the missed dose and continue with your next scheduled dose.
- Do not take a double dose to compensate for the missed dose.
What are the side-effects and risks of Chlorthalidone?
Like all other medications, Chlorthalidone can cause side effects. Although it is unlikely to happen in everyone, it is important that you are aware of what could be the possible side effects.
Common side effects (Less severity):
- Stomach cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Increased thirst
If these effects are mild, they may disappear within a couple of days or a couple of weeks; however, if they are more severe and are persistent, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Serious side effects: Please contact your physician immediately if you experience any severe side effects or if they are life-threatening, or if you think it is a medical emergency. The following are serious side effects, and symptoms may include;
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Trouble in breathing or swallowing
- Severe skin rash with skin peeling
- Sore throat and fever
- Reduction in potassium levels, with symptoms such as;
- Increased heart rate
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle pain or cramps
- Extreme thirst
This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.
Who should not take Chlorthalidone?
You should not take Chlorthalidone or consult your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- Kidney disorders
- Liver disorders
- Thyroid disorders
- Parathyroid disorders
Talk to your doctor before taking Chlorthalidone if:
- You are taking any other medication, are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
- You are allergic to Chlorthalidone or any other ingredients in the tablet
- You are allergic to any other medication.
- You are taking any other drugs, over-the-counter medicines, herbal products or nutritional supplements
Besides, certain medications may interfere with Chlorthalidone's working and thus might not be safe to take them together. Some of them are:
- Anti-hypertensive medications
- Anti-diabetic medications
- Methyl aminolevulinate
This may not be a comprehensive list, and other drugs may interact with Chlorthalidone. Please inform your doctor if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.
When should you not take Chlorthalidone?
You should not take Chlorthalidone if:
- It has passed the expiry date of the medicine printed on the pack.
- The packaging shows signs of tampering.
- Before surgery or dental surgery (at least 24 hrs prior).
This drug may make you dizzy or tired. Hence, consumption of alcohol or any sedative, marijuana (cannabis), tranquilizer, or sleep aid can cause more dizziness.
Further, Chlorthalidone may alter your ability to drive or operate machines. It may make you feel dizzy, sick, or tired, and even give a headache. If you feel any of these effects, do not drive or operate machines and immediately contact your doctor.