chlorthalidone, Thalitone (Hygroton discontinued brand in USA)

  • Medical Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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What brand names are available for chlorthalidone?

Hygroton, Thalitone (both discontinued in U.S.A.)

Is chlorthalidone available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for chlorthalidone?

Yes

What are the uses for chlorthalidone?

Chlorthalidone is used in the treatment of high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and edema (fluid retention).

What are the side effects of chlorthalidone?

Chlorthalidone generally is well tolerated.

Side effects include:

More serious side effects include:

  • Low blood levels of potassium, sodium, and magnesium due to increased excretion via urine.
  • High blood calcium levels also can occur, especially in persons who are taking calcium supplements.
  • Thiazide diuretics such as chlorthalidone increase the levels of uric acid in the blood, but gout (which is caused by high levels of uric acid) rarely occurs.
  • Chlorthalidone can cause high blood sugars in patients with diabetes.

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How to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips

What is the dosage for chlorthalidone?

The optimal dose of chlorthalidone varies greatly from patient to patient.

For high blood pressure the recommended dose range is 25 to 100 mg daily. Most patients receive 12.5 to 25 mg daily.

Edema is treated with 50 to 100 mg daily or 100 mg every other day and the maximum dose is 200 mg daily.

Heart failure is treated with 12.5 to 100 mg daily.

Which drugs or supplements interact with chlorthalidone?

Chlorthalidone can lower blood potassium and magnesium levels because both potassium and magnesium are lost in the urine. This is especially true in patients who are also taking another class of diuretics, called loop diuretics which includes furosemide (Lasix), bumetanide (Bumex), and torsemide (Demadex). Low potassium and magnesium levels can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, especially in patients taking digoxin (Lanoxin).

Chlorthalidone reduces the kidney's ability to eliminate lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) in the urine. As a result, patients taking chlorthalidone at the same time as drugs containing lithium may develop high levels of lithium and lithium toxicity.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn), and nabumetone (Relafen) can reduce the effectiveness of chlorthalidone though the reason for this is not clear. Blood sugar levels can be elevated by thiazide diuretics. Patients with diabetes may need to adjust the doses of of medications they are taking for treating diabetes.

Is chlorthalidone safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Thiazide diuretics including chlorthalidone cross the placenta and can cause jaundice in the fetus or newborn. Therefore, chlorthalidone should not be used during pregnancy unless absolutely necessary.

Large doses of thiazide diuretics may suppress milk production, but the American Academy of Pediatrics considers thiazides to be compatible with breastfeeding.

What else should I know about chlorthalidone?

What preparations of chlorthalidone are available?

Tablets: 15, 25, 50, and 100 mg.

How should I keep chlorthalidone stored?

Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Quick GuideHow to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips

How to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips

Summary

Chlorthalidone (Thalitone [Hygroton discontinued brand in USA]) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and edema. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing information, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.

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Reviewed on 9/15/2016
References
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

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