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Do thiazide diuretics have any side effects?

Brad Adkins
Administration Specialist

Thiazides are a class of medications which work in the kidneys to increase the amout of salt and water you put out in our urine. There are several medications in this category, most of which are very inexpensive and often combined with other blood pressure lowering agents. Thiazides are recommended for mild high blood pressure and reducing tissue swelling (edema).

Thiazides are well tolerated, but like all medications, you can have an allergic reaction such as rash, itching, or swelling—particularly if you have a sulfa allergy. Other side effects include lowering of potassium in your blood which can lead to muscle cramps and weakness. Your doctor can test your potassium level if needed. Also, sun sensitiviity, nausea, light-headedness from low blood pressure and gout can occur.

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Side effects may include low blood potassium, sodium, and magnesium, and high blood calcium and cholesterol. Other side effects may include gouty arthritis, insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, and worsening of diabetic control. Thiazide diuretics are more likely than other blood pressure drugs to cause sexual problems in men. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.