Hydrochlorothiazide Water Pill
A diuretic ("water pill"), hydrochlorothiazide is a drug that is used for several different conditions. The specific effects of this medication include:
- Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension).
- Treating water retention (edema) due to several causes, including congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, kidney failure (renal failure), and certain medications.
As a water pill, hydrochlorothiazide works by increasing the amount of salt and water that the kidneys remove from the blood. This extra salt and water is passed out through the urine. This action causes a decrease in blood volume. Because of this effect, hydrochlorothiazide can lower blood pressure and help with water retention.
Because hydrochlorothiazide increases urination (a common side effect of water pills), it is best to take it in the morning to avoid needing to get up to use the bathroom throughout the night. If you take it multiple times per day, it is best to take the last dose of the day before 6 p.m.
(Click Hydrochlorothiazide for more information about the specific effects of water pills, for recommendations on when and how to take this drug, and to find out what side effects may occur with hydrochlorothiazide.)