hydralazine/hydrochlorothiazide - oral, Apresazide (cont.)
USES: This medication contains 2 drugs (hydralazine and hydrochlorothiazide) and is used to treat high blood pressure. Hydralazine is called a vasodilator. It works by relaxing blood vessels so blood can flow through the body more easily. Hydrochlorothiazide is a "water pill" (diuretic). It works by increasing the amount of urine that you make. This effect causes your body to get rid of extra salt and water, which probably also helps relax the blood vessels. These 2 drugs are used together when 1 medication is not controlling your blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually twice daily or as directed by your doctor. 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.Cholestyramine and colestipol can decrease the absorption of this medication. If you are taking either of these drugs, take them at least 4 hours apart from this medication.The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Your doctor may start you at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. It may take up to several weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.Tell your doctor if your condition worsens (for example, your routine blood pressure readings increase).
SIDE EFFECTS: Headache, pounding/fast heartbeat, dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. You may also experience decreased sexual ability or increased sensitivity to the sun. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.To reduce the risk of dizziness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she 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 infrequently cause nerve problems. Tell your doctor promptly if you experience numbness or tingling. Your doctor may recommend a vitamin B6 supplement (pyridoxine).Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: severe tiredness, aching/swollen joints, rash on nose and cheeks, swollen glands, change in the amount of urine, bloody/pink urine, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, signs of infection (such as fever, chills, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding.The hydrochlorothiazide in this product may cause a loss of too much body water (dehydration) or salt/minerals. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of these unlikely but serious symptoms of dehydration or salt/mineral loss: very dry mouth, thirst, muscle cramps/weakness, irregular heartbeat, unusual drowsiness, unusual decrease in the amount of urine, fainting, confusion, seizures.Seek immediate medical attention if this rare but serious side effect occurs: chest/jaw/left arm pain.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: 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.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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