What should I know about hydrochlorothiazide before taking it?

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Before taking hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) it's important that you and your doctor discuss your medical history and the benefits and risks of taking a thiazide diuretic. Although HCTZ medications are prescribed to treat people with edema caused by congestive heart disease, kidney disease and liver disease, having one of these medical conditions can increase the risk for side effects. In addition to your heart, liver or kidney disease, HCTZ can affect other health conditions. If you have asthma, diabetes, allergies to sulfa drugs or gout, you may not be able to take HCTZ because of possible drug interactions and side effects. Age and severity of your medical condition will determine the dosage needed to treat your edema without worsening any other medical conditions. It's important to tell your doctor about all over-the-counter and prescription medications, supplements and vitamins you are taking, before receiving hydrochlorothiazide to treat edema or high blood pressure.