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Diuretics (Thiazide-type)

Generic name Brand name
___ chlorothiazide Diuril®
___ hydrochlorothiazide Hydrodiuril®

How does this medicine work?

Thiazide diuretics (thy-ah-zyde di-yuh-reh-tiks) reduce excess water in the body by increasing the amount of urine the body makes. It is also used to lower blood pressure.

How should I give this medicine?

Thiazide diuretics come in liquid and pill forms. They are usually given twice a day, about 12 hours apart. Give it at regular times to keep a steady level in the bloodstream. Your child should be awake and alert when taking any medicine. Follow the checked instructions below:

___ If using the liquid form, shake well right before using. Draw up the correct amount in a medicine dropper or oral syringe. Give a small squirt of the medicine inside the cheek. To avoid choking, let your child swallow each squirt before giving more.

___ For babies, you may want to mix the medicine with a small amount of formula or breast milk and give it with a bottle nipple before feeding. Do not add medicine to a whole bottle because if your baby does not finish it, you will not know how much of the medicine was taken.

___ If the prescription is a pill and your child cannot swallow pills, crush it between 2 spoons or inside a plastic bag or folded paper. Mix with a very small amount (about 1 teaspoon) of soft food such as applesauce, yogurt, ice cream, jelly, or chocolate syrup.

Other instructions:




Are there any precautions about food?

This medicine can be given with or without food or milk. Avoid any alcohol-containing foods or medicines such as cough syrup.

This medicine can decrease the level of potassium in the blood, so your child may need to have potassium blood tests.

There are 2 ways to replace potassium: by taking a supplement, or by changes in the diet. Foods rich in potassium include:

  • bananas
  • oranges
  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • infant formula
  • whole milk
  • fresh meat, poultry, and fish

If your child is not taking a potassium supplement, be sure some of these foods are eaten daily. For information on other foods that contain potassium, or if you have questions, ask the doctor or nutritionist.

What should I do if a dose is missed?

If one dose is missed, give the next dose at its regular time. Never give a double dose.

If your child vomits (throws up) within 15 minutes after a dose, give it again. If your child vomits after 15 minutes, do not repeat the dose.

Call the doctor if your child misses or vomits 2 doses in a row.

What are the side effects?

  • headache
  • skin sensitive to the sun
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • weakness
  • hyperglycemia (increased blood sugar)

To prevent sunburn, use sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing when outdoors.

When should I call the doctor?

  • no urine for more than 8 hours
  • fainting
  • blurred vision
  • develops a rash
  • signs of allergic reaction:
    - rash or hives
    - wheezing
    - trouble breathing - call 911

What else do I need to know?

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child's care. Please bring the medicine container when your child comes to the clinic or emergency department.

Always make sure you have enough medicine on hand. Each time you refill your prescriptions, check to see how many refills are left. If no refills are left, give the pharmacist 2 or 3 days to contact the doctor to renew the prescription.

Check the label and expiration date before giving each dose. Ask your pharmacist what to do with outdated or unused medicines. If there is no "take-back" program empty them into the trash.

Store all medicines in their original container and away from direct sunlight or heat. Do not store in humid places such as the bathroom. Keep them out of children's reach, locked up if possible.

If too much or the wrong kind of medicine is taken, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. If your child is unconscious or has a seizure, call 911.


This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the doctor or pharmacist.

Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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