What are hydrochlorothiazide capsules?

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Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) is a thiazide diuretic, or "water pill", that is used to help the kidneys excrete salt and fluids from the body. Hydrochlorothiazide may be prescribed for a variety of reasons. Most commonly HCTZ is prescribed to control high blood pressure, but it also may be given to treat people with fluid retention caused by diseases, such as heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver, or by medications, such as corticosteroids and estrogen.