amiloride – hydrochlorothiazide
This is a combination product containing 2 medications (amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide) that belong to the class of medications called diuretics. This combination medication is used to decrease edema (fluid retention) that occurs with congestive heart failure and certain liver disorders. It is also used to lower high blood pressure.
This medication works by causing the body to lose excess water and salt. One of the diuretics, amiloride, called a potassium-sparing diuretic, does not cause potassium to be lost from the body, while the other, hydrochlorothiazide, does cause potassium to be lost from the body. When used together, the loss of potassium from the body is minimized.
Each peach-coloured, diamond-shaped, compressed tablet, engraved “5/50” on one side and “novo” on the other, contains 5 mg amiloride hydrochloride and 50 mg hydrochlorothiazide.
The dose for each individual component (i.e., amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide) should be established before the combination medication is started.
The usual dose of amiloride – hydrochlorothiazide for high blood pressure or edema caused by heart disease is one or two tablets daily in one dose or in divided doses.
The usual dose of amiloride – hydrochlorothiazide for edema caused by liver disease is one tablet taken once daily.
If one dose is taken, it should be taken early in the day to avoid the need to visit the washroom during sleeping hours. This medication may be taken with or without food. Do not take more than four tablets daily.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not use amiloride – hydrochloride if you:
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
Although most of these side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergy: Some people who are allergic to sulfa antibiotics or certain diabetes medications also experience allergic reactions to hydrochlorothiazide. Before you take amiloride – hydrochlorothiazide, inform your doctor about any previous adverse reactions you have had to medications, especially antibiotics. Contact your doctor at once if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as skin rash, itching, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face and throat.
Diabetes: Amiloride can affect kidney function, resulting in very high levels of potassium in the blood. Hydrochlorothiazide can cause a loss of blood sugar control. If you have diabetes, your doctor should closely monitor your condition while you are taking this medication, as it may affect blood sugar control. If you have diabetes or are at risk for developing diabetes, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Fluid and electrolyte balance: If you are taking amiloride – hydrochlorothiazide to treat symptoms of liver disease, it may cause the levels of electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, chloride, and calcium in the blood to change while taking this medication. Symptoms of fluid and electrolyte imbalance such as muscle pains or cramps; dry mouth; numb hands, feet, or lips; or racing heartbeat, should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will do blood tests regularly to monitor the levels of these electrolytes in your blood while you are taking this medication.
Gout and kidney stones: Hydrochlorothiazide may increase the level of uric acid in the body, resulting in symptoms of gout or kidney stone formation. If you develop painful, warm, and swollen joints or difficulty with urination, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
If you have a history of gout or kidney stones, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
High blood potassium: High blood potassium has been observed in some people who take amiloride either alone or with other diuretics (water pills). This happens mostly in seniors, in people with diabetes, and in people with liver or kidney disease. Warning signs or symptoms of high potassium include:
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: People with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE or Lupus) may find that taking taking amiloride – hydrochlorothiazide causes the symptoms of SLE to flare up. If you have a history of SLE, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known whether amiloride passes into breast milk, but hydrochlorothiazide does. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children. This medication is not recommended for children.
There may be an interaction between amiloride – hydrochlorothiazide and any of the following:
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