What is Chlorthalidone?

Chlorthalidone, also known as Thalitone, is a diuretic drug that is prescribed to increase the production of urine. Like other diuretic drugs, Chlorthalidone increase the production of urine by reducing water reduction in the body.

The medication is prescribed to patients with high blood pressure, fluid retention, heart diseases, diabetes insipidus, and kidney problems such as oedema that is caused by taking estrogen or steroids. Thalitone is also used to prevent bone fractions that are caused by the inability of the kidney to retain calcium. Calcium is the largest contributor to bone strength.

Kidney diseases may cause the kidney to dysfunction in retaining calcium, producing concentrated urine. This medication increases the excretion of sodium in urine by preventing its reabsorption in the kidney. Chlorthalidone helps in treating thicken the muscles in the left ventricle of the heart, otherwise known as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). Although LVH is not a disease in itself but it is a major cause of heart diseases. Chlorthalidone is also used to cause a relaxation to the blood vessels, improving blood circulation.

Chlorthalidone is a diuretic drug which works by reducing the amount of water in the body. Water retention is reduced by increased urine production. When fluids are reduced in the blood vessels, the pressure on the blood vessel is also reduced. Consequently, when the pressure in the blood vessel reduces, blood circulation is improved and in turn lowers blood pressure.

Chlorthalidone causes kidneys to increase the amount of sodium and potassium in the urine. Salts draw water out when they are filtered out of the body.  Chlorthalidone also removes excess fluid that accumulates in the body such as in the legs or abdomen due to liver cirrhosis.

Chlorthalidone significantly helps patients with heart and kidney disease. The usage of this medication guarantees improved blood circulation and calcium retention. Completing the prescribed dosage will result in improved health. Patients have been reported to have better kidney and heart functions after taking this medication.

However, there are risks of male sexual dysfunction. More so, Chlorthalidone can lead to very low levels of salt in the body. People with magnesium deficiency may experience hyperglycemia, which is increased blood sugar.  Chlorthalidone may cause thrombocytopenia, which is a low platelet count. Thrombocytopenia occurs when there is a reduced production of platelets in the bone marrow, common to patients with low calcium.

Whilst doctors may prescribe Chlorthalidone during pregnancy, it is not recommended to take the drug when pregnant or breastfeeding. Chlorthalidone causes adverse effects to the breastfeeding baby. Also, there are potential risks to the fetus that are caused by Chlorthalidone.  Patients are advised to avoid taking alcohol while taking   Chlorthalidone.   Since Chlorthalidone may cause dizziness, patients taking the drug should be cautious while operating machinery, driving or when performing hazardous activities.

Patients who suffer from liver, kidney diseases, diabetes, and arteriosclerosis or are allergic to sulphonamide drugs should inform the doctors about their health conditions while receiving Chlorthalidone prescriptions. Caution should be taken when prescribing Chlorthalidone to patients with advanced age.

The dosage of this medication is determined by the intended use. Like every diuretic, Chlorthalidone can be used to prevent and treat various ailments and diseases.  When prescribed to treat oedema, Chlorthalidone may be prescribed at the dosage of 50mg to 100mg.

Typically, high blood pressure patients get a dosage of 25 mg to 100mg of Chlorthalidone whereas, for patients with heart failures, the medication is prescribed at the dosage of 12.5 to 100mg. Patients should seek medical advice on the dosage since every patient may have a different prescription depending on other medical factors. Thus dosages for children must be determined by a pediatrician to avoid the potential risks related to Chlorthalidone.

Overdose or excessive use of Chlorthalidone may cause electrolyte disturbance. Patients who have Chlorthalidone as a prescription should go for regular kidney evaluations.

Side effects of Chlorthalidone include loss of appetite, dizziness, constipation, increased blood sugar, dry mouth, skin rashes, little or no urination. When the following side effects are experienced, the patient should consult a doctor: difficulty in breathing, visual disturbance, weakness, palpitations and yellow tinge in the eyes or the skin.  One should only consult a doctor if experiencing severe muscle pain. Patients tend to quit the medication after experiencing side effects. It is recommended to continue with the medication since doctors prescribe such medication knowing the side effects.  Side effects such as dizziness and lightheadedness can be controlled by rising slowly from a lying or sitting position.

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