What are Thiazide Diuretics

Diuretics are medications that help in reducing the water content in the body by increasing its flow through the kidneys. It results in an increase of urine passage. This makes it known by the name “water pills” or “water tablets”. There are majorly three types of diuretics, among which the Thiazide is the most common one.

Thiazide is basically a molecule that also belongs to the group of diuretics used for the treatment of hypertension or high blood pressure. At times it is also used for curing edema (which results from kidney failure, liver failure, or heart failure). Thiazide diuretics may include xipamide, metolazone, indapamide, cyclopenthiazide, chlortalidone, bendroflumethiazide etc. All of them come with separate brand names as well.

How Do They Work?

Their main work is to let more passage of fluid through the kidneys. This is done by interfering with the transportation of water and salt in certain cells that lead to the kidneys. Thiazide diuretics do not have a major impact on the kidneys, and therefore the increased amount of urine usually goes unnoticed unlike in the case of loop diuretics. They also dilate or loosen the blood vessels in the body. These two effects, when combined together, result in a blood pressure drop.

Side effects of Thiazide Diuretics

The occurrence of side effects is usually uncommon because the dosage is mostly low in nature. Read the leaflet in which the medication comes as it has all the possible side effects mentioned in it. Some of them are mentioned below:

1) Increase in the level of blood sugar in the body. This will require a more intensive treatment to keep the level normal.

2) The uric acid level in the body may increase. Having gout may cause frequent gout attacks. The first attack is usually triggered by the consumption of a diuretic.

3) The bloodstream may have an uneven balance of salt because of the lower levels of magnesium, sodium, potassium, and higher amount of calcium. These can result in symptoms like abnormal heart rhythms, confusion, and weakness. To check if you have any of these issues, your doctor may ask for a blood test.

4) Some other problems may include:

  • Increased sensitivity to the sunlight
  • Problems related to erection
  • Dizziness as a result of low blood pressure
  • Upset stomach
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Tingling or numbness in the lips, feet, or hands
  • Increased thirst or dry mouth
  • Trouble experienced while breathing
  • Swelled or inflamed throat, tongue, lips, or face

When the side effects are unbearable, the doctor must be called right away for immediate assistance.

Certain Considerations

Most of these drugs are consumed one daily early morning. The reduction of the blood pressure caused by this one-day dose stays for about 24 hours. But, the passage of an extra amount of urine will wear off in about 12 hours. This ensures that you will not have to wake up in the middle of the night to visit the washroom. The dose used for treating high blood pressure is extremely low and the increase in urine goes barely noticed.