What should I know about amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide?

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You should know that amiloride-hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) can increase potassium levels to dangerous amounts in those with severe illnesses, diabetes, kidney problems and elderly people. High potassium levels are potentially fatal and should be monitored carefully. You should not take amiloride-HCTZ if you are taking dofetilide, already have high potassium levels or are taking potassium supplements, salt substitutes that contain potassium or other diuretics that increase potassium levels. You should not take this medication if you have impaired kidney function or difficulty urinating. Prior to taking amiloride-HCTZ, tell your doctor if you have a history of heart, liver or kidney problems, diabetes, gout, asthma or systematic lupus erythematosus. Your doctor should also determine if you are dehydrated or have electrolyte problems, if you have low folic acid levels or if your blood acid levels are elevated. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications, as they may interact with amiloride-HCTZ: cholestyramine; colestipol; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); barbiturates; cancer chemotherapy drugs; corticosteroids; digoxin; ketanserin; narcotic pain relievers; other medicines for high blood pressure; lithium; and diabetes medicines, including insulin.