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Product Overview

Hydrochlorothiazide (generic Esidrix)

  • What is hydrochlorothiazide?
    Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure (sometimes called hypertension), edema (fluid retention), and other conditions as determined by your doctor. Hydrochlorothiazide works by helping the kidneys to get rid of excess water and salt.

    Looking for a safe, effective way to keep your blood pressure under control? Talk to your doctor about whether hydrochlorothiazide may be right for you.

  • What are the most common side effects of hydrochlorothiazide?
    While adverse reactions to hydrochlorothiazide are uncommon, some patients who take the drug may experience mild side effects, including frequent urination, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headache, electrolyte imbalance, and hair loss.

    Rare, more serious adverse events have also been known to occur. If you are concerned that hydrochlorothiazide may be causing you to experience any number of these side effects, please contact your doctor.

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Medically Reviewed By Dr. Allison Edwards, MD

Frequently asked questions about Hydrochlorothiazide

What is hydrochlorothiazide?

Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure (sometimes called hypertension), edema (fluid retention), and other conditions as determined by your doctor. Hydrochlorothiazide works by helping the kidneys to get rid of excess water and salt.

High blood pressure is a common but serious condition that, if left untreated, can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of the body. This can lead to adverse events like heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and more.

Alongside prescribing hydrochlorothiazide, many doctors may also recommend that you make some healthy lifestyle changes to help keep your blood pressure under control. These may include following a diet that is low in salt and unhealthy fats, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and moderating your alcohol consumption.

What is hydrochlorothiazide used to treat?

Hydrochlorothiazide is used to treat high blood pressure and edema (fluid retention) that may be caused by medical problems such as congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, renal dysfunction, and kidney disease, or through use of certain medications, such as estrogen or corticosteroids.

How does hydrochlorothiazide work?

Hydrochlorothiazide belongs to a family of drugs known as thiazide diuretics, which are sometimes also known as “water pills.” These medicines work by stimulating your kidneys to get rid of your body’s excess salt and water via urine. As a thiazide diuretic, hydrochlorothiazide also works to relax your blood vessels, allowing the heart to beat more softly, alleviating pressure on the walls of your blood vessels, and lowering your blood pressure.

What are the most common side effects of hydrochlorothiazide?

While there are some common side effects associated with hydrochlorothiazide, it is important to remember that your doctor prescribed this medication because they believe that its ability to regulate your blood pressure outweighs any adverse effects it may cause.

However, some common side effects you may experience include:

Frequent urination Diarrhea Loss of appetite Headache Hair loss

Some of these side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the treatment. Talk to your doctor if any of these side effects are severe or don’t go away. Some side effects can be serious. Get immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following:

Symptoms of severe dehydration or electrolyte imbalance (such as nausea or vomiting; confusion; muscle weakness, pain or cramps; fast heartbeat; et al) Signs of an allergic reaction (blistering or peeling skin; hives; rash; itching; difficulty breathing or swallowing; fever; chills; swelling; et al) Decrease in vision or eye pain

Hydrochlorothiazide may cause you to get dizzy or lightheaded if you stand up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first begin taking it. Be sure you take your time when standing up.

It may also cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to hydrochlorothiazide. Use sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.

Before you begin taking hydrochlorothiazide, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, gout, diabetes, or an electrolyte imbalance, such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood.

This is not a complete list of hydrochlorothiazide side effects. For more information on adverse effects you may experience, please visit the National Institutes of Health’s DailyMed webpage.

How long does it take for hydrochlorothiazide to work?

The effects of taking hydrochlorothiazide begin about 2 hours after taking an oral dose. The peak effects occur at about the 4-hour mark and last for about 6 to 12 hours.

What is the typical starting dose of hydrochlorothiazide?

Your doctor will prescribe a starting dose of hydrochlorothiazide based on the severity of your condition, your medical history, and your other unique needs. For patients with edema, a common starting dose is 25 mg to 100 mg daily. Adults treating high blood pressure will often be started at 25 mg daily given as a single dose. This can be increased to 50 mg, depending on your body’s response to the initial dosage.

Can I get hydrochlorothiazide over-the-counter?

Hydrochlorothiazide is currently only available via prescription. This means the use of this drug must be authorized by a licensed health care provider.

Providers on Sesame can write a prescription – or refill an existing one – during a virtual or in-person visit. Depending on the medication, you can arrange for same-day pickup at a pharmacy near you or order the medication to be delivered to your door for just $5. Book an online consultation with a real, licensed provider on Sesame today to determine whether or not hydrochlorothiazide is right for you.

Note that all prescriptions are at the discretion of your health care provider. Providers on Sesame cannot prescribe controlled substances.

Can I get hydrochlorothiazide online?

Yes! Sesame offers a fully integrated prescription service, which means you can get the medication you need delivered right to your door, starting at just $5 a month.

Talk to a provider on Sesame and get your online doctor prescription or refill ordered right away for fast and convenient pickup from a pharmacy of your choice.

Note that all prescriptions are at the discretion of your clinician.

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