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Hydrochlorothiazide Side Effects

Hydrochlorothiazide Side Effects

More commonly known as a "water pill," hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) is a type of diuretic that reduces the kidney's ability to hold water while having no effect on the blood's calcium concentration. In other words, it causes excess water and salt to release from the body via urine. This drug has a wide range of uses, including the treatment of heart disease and hypertension, and relatively few side effects when consumed properly.

Unbalanced blood concentration levels

Like most drugs, hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) may cause headaches, nausea and vomiting. Because of calcium's antagonistic relationship with potassium, hypokalemia, a condition in which potassium concentrations in the blood are too low, is a rare side effect, but is easily prevented or reversed by simply supplementing one's diet with potassium. Other side effects that are related to the blood's concentration levels are high blood sugar, hypermagnesemia, hyperuricemia, hypercalcemia and hyperlipidemia: an excess of sugar, magnesium, uric acid, calcium and lipids in the blood, respectively. These conditions can lead to other problems and, themselves, have dire effects if not treated properly.

Weight gain, gout and allergies

Weight gain and gout are two other side effects of hydrochlorothiazide. They are directly related to the conditions mentioned above in which blood levels are unbalanced. For instance, hyperuricemia, or gout as it is more commonly referred, is the result of excess uric acid in the blood. People who are allergic to sulfa drugs often report allergies as a side effect of hydrochlorothiazide as well.

When consumed properly, the use of hydrochlorothiazide can have profound effects on a wide variety of conditions. Though negative side effects are known, they are relatively easy to prevent and treat.

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