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Hydrochlorothiazide blocks the reabsorption of sodium and chloride ions, and it thereby increases the quantity of sodium traversing the distal tubule and the volume of water excreted. A portion of the additional sodium presented to the distal tubule is exchanged there for potassium and hydrogen ions. With continued use of hydrochlorothiazide and depletion of sodium, compensatory mechanisms tend to increase this exchange and may produce excessive loss of potassium, hydrogen and chloride ions. Hydrochlorothiazide also decreases the excretion of calcium and uric acid, may increase the excretion of iodide and may reduce glomerular filtration rate. Metabolic toxicities associated with excessive electrolyte changes caused by hydrochlorothiazide have been shown to be dose-related.
Pharmacokinetics and Metabolism
Hydrochlorothiazide is well absorbed (65% to 75%) following oral administration. Absorption of hydrochlorothiazide is reduced in patients with congestive heart failure.
Peak plasma concentrations are observed within 1 to 5 hours of dosing, and range from 70 to 490 ng/mL following oral doses of 12.5 to 100 mg. Plasma concentrations are linearly related to the administered dose. Concentrations of hydrochlorothiazide are 1.6 to 1.8 times higher in whole blood than in plasma. Binding to serum proteins has been reported to be approximately 40% to 68%. The plasma elimination half-life has been reported to be 6 to 15 hours. Hydrochlorothiazide is eliminated primarily by renal pathways. Following oral doses of 12.5 to 100 mg, 55% to 77% of the administered dose appears in urine and greater than 95% of the absorbed dose is excreted in urine as unchanged drug. In patients with renal disease, plasma concentrations of hydrochlorothiazide are increased and the elimination half-life is prolonged.
When MICROZIDE (hydrochlorothiazide capsule) is administered with food, its bioavailability is reduced by 10%, the maximum plasma concentration is reduced by 20%, and the time to maximum concentration increases from 1.6 to 2.9 hours.
Acute antihypertensive effects of thiazides are thought to result from a reduction in blood volume and cardiac output, secondary to a natriuretic effect, although a direct vasodilatory mechanism has also been proposed. With chronic administration, plasma volume returns toward normal, but peripheral vascular resistance is decreased. The exact mechanism of the antihypertensive effect of hydrochlorothiazide is not known.
Thiazides do not affect normal blood pressure. Onset of action occurs within 2 hours of dosing, peak effect is observed at about 4 hours, and activity persists for up to 24 hours.
In an 87 patient 4-week double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel group trial, patients who received MICROZIDE (hydrochlorothiazide capsule) had reductions in seated systolic and diastolic blood pressure that were significantly greater than those seen in patients who received placebo. In published placebo-controlled trials comparing 12.5 mg of hydrochlorothiazide to 25 mg, the 12.5 mg dose preserved most of the placebo-corrected blood pressure reduction seen with 25 mg.
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/18/2016
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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