Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ or HCT) is a diuretic medication often used to treat high blood pressure and swelling due to fluid build up. Other uses include diabetes insipidus, renal tubular acidosis, and to decrease the risk of kidney stones in those with high calcium level in the urine. For high blood pressure it is often recommended as a first line treatment. HCTZ is taken by mouth and may be combined with other blood pressure medications as a single pill to increase the effectiveness.
1. Hydrochlorothiazide is frequently used for the treatment of hypertension, congestive heart failure, symptomatic edema, diabetes insipidus, renal tubular acidosis. It is also used for the prevention of kidney stones in those who have high levels of calcium in their urine.
2. Most of the research supporting the use of thiazide diuretics in hypertension was done using chlorthalidone, a different medication in the same class. Some more recent studies have suggested that chlorthalidone might be the more effective thiazide diuretic.
3. It is also sometimes used for treatment of hypoparathyroidism, hypercalciuria, Dent's disease, and Ménière's disease. For diabetes insipidus, the effect of thiazide diuretics is presumably mediated by a hypovolemia-induced increase in proximal sodium and water reabsorption, thereby diminishing water delivery to the ADH-sensitive sites in the collecting tubules and increasing the urine osmolality.
4. Thiazides are also used in the treatment of osteoporosis. Thiazides decrease mineral bone loss by promoting calcium retention in the kidney, and by directly stimulating osteoblast differentiation and bone mineral formation.
5. It may be given together with other antihypertensive agents in fixed-dose combination preparations, such as in losartan/hydrochlorothiazide (see below).
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