What is triamterene and hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)?

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Triamterene-hydrochlorothiazide (also called triamterene-HCTZ) is a prescription diuretic that's used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and swelling due to fluid retention (edema). It increases the amount of water and sodium removed by the kidneys. This helps decrease the blood volume, which treats edema and lowers high blood pressure. HCTZ alone may cause excessive potassium excretion by the kidneys; triamterene alone can decrease the excretion of potassium by the kidneys; together they create a balanced affect on the potassium blood level. Triamterene-HCTZ comes as a capsule and a tablet. It should be taken at the same time every day, usually in the morning, to prevent waking during the night to urinate. For triamterene-HCTZ to be effective you must use it regularly, so keep taking it even if you feel better. It is available in generic and brand versions. Common brand names include Maxzide and Dyazide.