What should I know about triamterene and hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)?

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Before taking triamterene and hydrochlorothiazide (triamterene-HCTZ), you should be aware of some of the risks associated with this medication. Triamterene-HCTZ may raise your body's potassium levels, which can become life-threatening if not treated. People with diabetes, kidney disease and other serious illnesses are especially at risk. If you develop symptoms of high potassium, such as slowed heartbeat and muscle weakness, talk to your doctor right away. People with certain medical conditions shouldn't take triamterene-HCTZ. If you're allergic to any ingredients in triamterene-HCTZ, don't take this medication. If you have severe liver or kidney disease, or if you have high blood potassium, you shouldn't take triamterene-HCTZ. You should tell your doctor your medical history, especially if you have gout, lupus, asthma, liver or kidney disease or diabetes. Triamterene-HCTZ may harm a developing fetus, so pregnant women should take this medication only if absolutely necessary. Triamterene-HCTZ also passes through breast milk, so talk to your doctor before breastfeeding if you're taking this medication. Some medications may also interact with triamterene-HCTZ. This is especially true of the following medications: other blood pressure medications, corticosteroids, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), medications and other products that contain potassium, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), digoxin, amiloride, warfarin, methenamine, spironolactone and lithium. Other medications not listed here may also interact with triamterene-HCTZ, so make sure to discuss all medications and supplements with your doctor before taking triamterene-HCTZ. Don't drink alcohol while taking triamterene-HCTZ; it may increase the risk of certain side effects. Don't drive or operate machinery until you know how you respond to triamterene-HCTZ. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about any of the risks associated with triamterene-HCTZ.