What Is Hydrochlorothiazide?
A thiazide diuretic, Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) is a commonly prescribed water pill that helps the kidneys eliminate excess water and salt from the body. Unlike some diuretics, HCTZ is calcium sparing so individuals can alleviate water retention without reducing their calcium levels. HCTZ is marketed under a number of brand names, including Microzide, HydroSaluric, and Aquazide, and is also available as a generic. This medication should only be taken as prescribed by your doctor and is usually taken orally once or twice per day. The recommended dosage of Hydrochlorothiazide varies depending on the condition it is treating.
As a diuretic, Hydrochlorothiazide is a beneficial part of treatment for many different conditions. It is often prescribed as a blood pressure medication and can be an effective way of controlling hypertension. HCTZ also helps to alleviate fluid retention caused by congestive heart failure, diabetes insipidus, and symptomatic edema. The calcium sparing properties of Hydrochlorothiazide make it an effective treatment choice for osteoporosis and the prevention of kidney stones as well. This medication may be used as a diuretic in the treatment of kidney and liver disorders and could be prescribed for additional reasons not mentioned here.
Your doctor may suggest a special diet as part of your treatment plan. Dietary requirements differ for each patient, depending on their individual conditions, but a low-sodium diet is recommended for most people taking HCTZ. Adequate exercise may also improve your health and make your treatment more effective, but you should discuss a proper fitness plan with your physician first. A potassium supplement or adding more potassium rich foods to your diet can minimize the risk of some serious side effects.