Dithiazide tablets – Information, specialists, frequent questions.
Usage of Dithiazide tablets
This leaflet answers some common questions about Dithiazide. It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Dithiazide against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
Dithiazide is used to treat:
- high blood pressure which is also called hypertension
- the build up of fluid in the body which may cause swelling. This is called oedema and can occur as the result of some heart, lung or kidney conditions
- fluid build-up caused by pre-menstrual tension (PMT) or certain medications.
This medicine may be taken alone or in combination with other medicines to treat your condition.
This medicine belongs to a group of medicines called diuretics.
It helps reduce the amount of excess fluid in the body by increasing the amount of urine produced. This helps reduce some forms of swelling and fluid accumulation and reduce high blood pressure.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you.
Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
When you must not take it
Do not take Dithiazide if you have an allergy to:
- any medicine containing hydrochlorothiazide
- any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
- medicines which contain sulfur, such as sulfur antibiotics or some medicines used to treat diabetes.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
- shortness of breath
- wheezing or difficulty breathing
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
- rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Do not take this medicine if you are unable to produce or pass urine.
Do not take this medicine if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. The active ingredient in Dithiazide passes into breast milk and there is a possibility that your baby may be affected.
Do not take this medicine after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering. If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking this medicine talk to your doctor.
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
- liver problems or chronic liver disease
- kidney problems
- unusual amount of salt in the body
- high cholesterol levels
- difficulty passing urine
- systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a disease affecting the skin, joints and kidneys.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and benefits involved.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you start taking Dithiazide.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket, health food shop, naturopath or herbalist. Some medicines and Dithiazide may interfere with each other. These include:
- medicines used to treat high blood pressure and some other heart conditions
- other thiazide diuretics used to reduce swelling and increase fluid loss
- pressor amines such as adrenaline
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), medicines used to relieve pain, swelling and other symptoms of inflammation, including arthritis
- medicines used to relax muscles before or during surgery
- steroid medicines such as cortisone, prednisone and dexamethasone
- lithium, a medicine used to treat mood swings and some types of depression
- barbiturates, medicines used to treat epilepsy, to produce calmness or to help you sleep
- narcotic/strong pain killers, such as codeine, morphine and dextropropoxyphene
- insulin and tablets used to treat diabetes
- cholestyramine and colestipol resins, medicines used to treat high blood cholesterol levels
These medicines may be affected by Dithiazide or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different medicines.
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking this medicine.
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the bottle, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How much to take
Your doctor will tell you how many tablets you will need to take each day. This depends on your condition and whether or not you are taking any other medicines.
Adults: For high blood pressure, the usual adult starting dose is 25mg or 50 mg a day, taken as a single dose or in divided doses. Some patients may be started on a lower dose. Depending on how you respond, the dose may need to be increased. Most patients take between 12.5 mg to 100 mg each day.
For oedema, the usual adult dose is 25 mg to 100 mg, once or twice a day.
Infants and children: Your doctor will tell you the dose. This is based on age and body weight.
How to take it
Swallow the tablet/s whole with a full glass of water.
When to take it
Take Dithiazide at about the same time each day unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Taking your tablets at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you remember when to take it.
If you are taking Dithiazide once a day, this is best in the morning, for example, at breakfast time.
If you are taking Dithiazide more than once a day, take your first dose immediately after breakfast and take your last dose no later than 6pm, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Dithiazide may increase the amount of urine you pass and also the number of times you need to go to the toilet. By taking your last dose no later than 6pm, there may be less chance that your sleep is disturbed.
How long to take it
Oedema: Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you. This medicine helps control your condition and lower the fluid build-up in your body.
PMT related oedema: This medicine helps lower the build-up of fluid in your body, which can occur before the start of your menstrual period. Therefore you should take Dithiazide from the start of your symptoms until the onset of your period.
Hypertension: Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you. This medicine helps control your blood pressure, but does not cure it.
If you forget to take it
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to.
Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your medicine as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed. This may increase the chance of you getting an unwanted side effect.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or pharmacist or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Dithiazide. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
Symptoms of an overdose may include:
- feeling light headed, dizzy, or faint
- change in the amount of urine passed
- a fast heart beat.
Things you must do
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, tell your doctor, dentist or pharmacist that you are taking Dithiazide.
Tell any other doctors, dentists, and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking this medicine.
If you are going to have surgery tell the surgeon or anaesthetist that you are taking this medicine. It may affect other medicines used during surgery.
If you become pregnant while taking this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.
If you are about to have any blood tests, tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine. It may interfere with the results of these tests.
Keep all of your doctor’s appointments so that your progress can be checked. Your doctor may do some tests from time to time to make sure the medicine is working and to prevent unwanted side effects.
Have your blood pressure checked when your doctor says, to make sure this medicine is working properly.
Tell your doctor if you have excessive vomiting or diarrhoea or experience any of the following symptoms:
- dry mouth or thirst
- weakness, tiredness or drowsiness
- muscle pain or cramps
- fast heart beat
- passing less urine than normal.
If you experience these symptoms, you may be dehydrated because you are losing too much water.
Make sure you drink enough water during exercise and hot weather when you are taking this medicine, especially if you sweat a lot. If you do not drink enough water while taking this medicine, you may feel faint, light-headed or sick. This is because your blood pressure is dropping suddenly and you are dehydrating. If you continue to feel unwell, tell your doctor.
Things you must not do
Do not take Dithiazide to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give your medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not stop taking your medicine or lower the dosage, without checking with your doctor.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Dithiazide affects you. This medicine may cause dizziness or light-headedness in some people. If you have any of these symptoms, do not drive, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous.
Be careful when drinking alcohol or taking strong pain killers while you are taking this medicine. If you drink alcohol or take strong pain killers your dizziness or light-headedness may be worse.
If you feel light-headed, dizzy or faint when getting out of bed or standing up, get up slowly. Standing up slowly, especially when you get up from bed or chairs, will help your body get used to the change in position and blood pressure. If this problem gets worse or continues, talk to your doctor.
Keep your tablets in the bottle until it is time to take them. If you take the tablets out of the bottle they may not keep well.
Keep your tablets in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.
Do not store Dithiazide or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a window sill or in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
Adverse and side effects
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Dithiazide. This medicine helps most people with high blood pressure or oedema, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by the following list of side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- numbness or tingling in the hands and/or feet
- muscle spasm, pains or cramps
- dizziness, light-headedness or spinning sensation
- vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite
- stomach cramps, diarrhoea or constipation
- sore saliva glands.
These side effects are usually mild.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
- blurred vision or yellow vision
- yellowing of the skin and/or eyes, also called jaundice
- skin rash
- severe stomach pain, often with nausea or vomiting
- increased sensitivity to sunlight
- signs of anaemia such as tiredness, being short of breath when exercising, dizziness and looking pale
- frequent infections such as fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers
- bleeding or bruising more easily than normal, nose bleeds
- unusual bleeding or bruising under the skin, purple or red spots visible through the skin
- signs of gout such as painful, swollen joints
- fast heart beat
- changes in the amount of urine passed (too little, none at all or large amounts) or the passing of red coloured urine
- excessive thirst, dry mouth and skin.
These may be serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
- coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing, breathlessness, which may be very severe and usually worsens on lying down
- sudden signs of allergy such as rash, itching or hives on the skin, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body, shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble breathing
- severe skin reaction starting with painful red areas, then large blisters and ending with peeling of layers of skin. This may be accompanied by fever and chills, aching muscles and generally feeling unwell
- pinkish, itchy swellings on the skin, also called hives or nettle rash.
These are serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell. Other side effects not listed above may occur in some patients.
Questions about Dithiazide tablets
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