Chlorthalidone

Description

Chlorthalidone is a diuretic used alone or in combination with other medications in the treatment of high blood pressure. Chlorthalidone is also used to treat excess fluid build-up in your body tissues caused by various medical conditions including heart, kidney, and liver problems. This medicine works by increasing urine production which eliminates extra water and salt from your body. This helps in controlling your blood pressure as well as reducing swelling due to fluid build-up. Chlorthalidone shows side effects like headache, stomach upset, weakness, dizziness, etc. You may also experience increased urination, which is one of the ways by which this medicine reduces blood pressure. These side effects are mostly temporary and go away on their own. Seek a doctor's consultation if these side effects do not resolve with time or worsen. Chlorthalidone can be taken with or without food. For the ease of remembering, take this medicine around the same time every day. Appropriate lifestyle changes like taking a low salt and low-fat diet and regular exercise should be started to get the maximum benefits. This medicine is generally prescribed for long-term use. Avoid the discontinuation of this medicine without consulting your doctor. Chlorthalidone is not recommended for use if you are allergic to it. Use this medicine with caution if you have kidney or liver problems or diabetes. Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medications or if you have any other medical condition. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or are breastfeeding before taking Chlorthalidone.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Chlorthalidone

  • Low blood pressure
  • Photosensitivity
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Restlessness
  • Stomach discomfort

Uses of Chlorthalidone

What is it prescribed for?

  • Hypertension
  • Oedema
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    Chlorthalidone may show its action within 3 hours of taking it.
  • Duration of effect
    The effect of Chlorthalidone lasts for an average duration of 24 hours.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Consumption of alcohol is not recommended while you are taking Chlorthalidone as it may increase the risk of dizziness, low blood pressure, etc. Avoid performing activities that require high mental alertness like driving vehicles or operating machines.
  • Is it habit forming?
    Chlorthalidone has no habit-forming tendency.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    Limited data suggest that Chlorthalidone may harm your developing foetus. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor to understand all risks and benefits associated with the use of this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    Chlorthalidone may pass into the breastmilk. Hence, consult your doctor if you are breastfeeding.

Allergy

Avoid taking Chlorthalidone if you are allergic to it. A serious allergic reaction to this medicine is rare. However seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms such as skin rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, breathing difficulty, etc.

Anuria

Anuria is a condition where the kidney is unable to produce urine. Chlorthalidone is not recommended for use in anuria as it may worsen your condition.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

Limited data suggest that Chlorthalidone may harm your developing foetus. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor to understand all risks and benefits associated with the use of this medicine.

Breast-feeding

Chlorthalidone may pass into the breastmilk. Hence, consult your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
General warnings

Liver impairment

Chlorthalidone should be used with caution if you have a liver problem due to an increase in the risk of side effects. Your doctor may suggest tests to monitor the liver function while you are taking this medicine. Report any symptoms of confusion or jaundice (yellow skin discolouration due to increased level of blood pigment called bilirubin) to your doctor on priority.

Volume and electrolyte disturbances

Chlorthalidone may alter the blood volume levels and electrolyte levels in your body. Hence periodic monitoring of blood pressure and electrolyte levels may be necessary while you are taking this medicine. Report any symptoms such as weakness, lethargy, dry mouth muscle pain, drowsiness, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, etc., to your doctor immediately.

Kidney impairment

Chlorthalidone may cause azotemia (elevated levels of urea and other nitrogen compounds in the blood) if you have a history of severe renal problems. Your doctor may suggest tests to monitor your kidney function while you are taking this medicine, and recommend appropriate dose adjustments based on your clinical condition.

Driving vehicles or operating machines

Chlorthalidone may cause drowsiness or dizziness in some individuals. It is advised that you avoid performing activities that require high mental alertness, like driving vehicles or operating heavy machines, if you experience any of these symptoms during treatment with this medicine.

Missed Dose

If a dose of Chlorthalidone is missed, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed one.

Overdose

Never take more than the prescribed dose. Contact your doctor if you have accidentally consumed more than the prescribed dose of Chlorthalidone.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

N/A

Instructions

Consumption of alcohol is not recommended while you are taking Chlorthalidone as it may increase the risk of dizziness, low blood pressure, etc. Avoid performing activities that require high mental alertness like driving vehicles or operating machines.
Interaction with Medicine

Cisapride

Lithium

Amiodarone

Insulin

Disease interactions

Diabetes

Diabetes refers to high blood sugar levels. Chlorthalidone should be used with caution as it may increase the blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. Generally, these effects are reversible after stopping this medicine. Hence monitor your blood sugar levels regularly while you are taking this medicine.

Hyperuricemia

Chlorthalidone should be used with caution if you have hyperuricaemia (an excess of uric acid in the blood) as this medicine decreases uric acid excretion from the body. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take Chlorthalidone as advised by your doctor. Do not take in larger amounts than prescribed. Drink plenty of water and electrolytes to avoid dehydration. Take Chlorthalidone around the same time every day so that it is easy to remember. Try taking Chlorthalidone during the daytime to avoid frequent urination at night. Chlorthalidone is prescribed for long-term use so do not stop taking this medicine without consulting your doctor. For maximum benefits, you should adapt lifestyle changes like eating a low sodium and low-fat diet, exercising regularly, avoid smoking, etc., along with taking this medicine. Your doctor may suggest tests to monitor your kidney function and electrolytes levels while you are taking Chlorthalidone. Chlorthalidone can cause dizziness, so be careful while standing up from a sitting position.
Miscelleneous

Can be taken with or without food, as advised by your doctor

To be taken as instructed by doctor

May cause sleepiness

How it works
Chlorthalidone works by increasing the excretion of water and sodium from the kidneys. This helps in controlling the blood pressure as well as reducing swelling due to fluid build-up.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Unknown

Classification

Category

Thiazide diuretics

Schedule

N/A

Accessdata.fda.gov. 2021. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 November 2021].

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/019574s016lbl.pdf

Medicines.org.uk. 2021. Hylaton 12.5mg Tablets - Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) - (emc). [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 November 2021].

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/11981/smpc#PHARMACOKINETIC_PROPS

Drugs, H., 2021. Chlorthalidone: MedlinePlus Drug Information. [online] Medlineplus.gov. Available at: [Accessed 2 November 2021].

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682342.html#:~:text=Chlorthalidone%2C%20a%20'water%20pill%2C,the%20body%20into%20the%20urine.

Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2021. DailyMed - CHLORTHALIDONE tablet. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 November 2021].

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=193c85ba-43c2-4be2-82cf-7b394a83390e

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Information on this page was last updated on 6 Sep 2022

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