hydrochlorothiazide, (Hydrodiuril, Ezide, Hydro-Par [discontinued]), Microzide, and many others (cont.)

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of hydrochlorothiazide in pregnant women. Thiazides may increase the risk of fetal or neonatal jaundice, low platelet levels, and possibly other adverse reactions that have occurred in adults.

NURSING MOTHERS: Hydrochlorothiazide is excreted in breast milk. Intense diuresis using hydrochlorothiazide may reduce the production of breast milk. Otherwise hydrochlorothiazide is considered safe to use during nursing if required by the mother.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of hydrochlorothiazide include weakness, low blood pressure, light sensitivity (rash caused by sunlight), impotence, nausea, abdominal pain, electrolyte disturbances, pancreatitis, jaundice, anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction), and rashes, both mild and severe. Patients allergic to sulfa may also be allergic to hydrochlorothiazide because of the similarity in the chemical structure of the medications.

Hydrochlorothiazide can aggravate kidney dysfunction and is used with caution in patients with kidney disease. Hydrochlorothiazide can lower blood potassium, sodium, and magnesium levels. Low potassium and magnesium levels can lead to abnormalities in heart rhythm, especially in patients already taking digoxin (Lanoxin). During hydrochlorothiazide treatment, supplementation with potassium is common to prevent low potassium levels.

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