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Effects and Dosing Info for Spironolactone-HCTZ

How Does Spironolactone-HCTZ Work?

Spironolactone-HCTZ is a diuretic, which is commonly referred to as a "water pill." It contains two diuretics that work together to keep electrolytes in balance. Hydrochlorothiazide, while effective, often causes low potassium levels in the blood. On the other hand, spironolactone is a "potassium-sparing" diuretic, meaning that it can actually increase potassium levels in the blood. When taken together, these medications balance each other out.
The spironolactone component of spironolactone-HCTZ is known as an "aldosterone antagonist," which means it blocks aldosterone receptors. Aldosterone is a hormone in the body that causes water retention. By blocking aldosterone (and through the actions of hydrochlorothiazide, the other component), spironolactone-HCTZ increases the amount of salt and water that the kidneys remove from the blood. This extra salt and water is then passed out through the urine. By increasing the amount of water removed from the blood, spironolactone-HCTZ causes a decrease in blood volume. Because of this effect, the medication can lower blood pressure and also help with water retention.

When and How to Take Spironolactone-HCTZ

General considerations for when and how to take spironolactone-HCTZ include the following:
  • The medication comes in tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth once or twice a day.
  • You can take spironolactone-HCTZ with or without food.
  • Spironolactone-HCTZ should be taken at the same time(s) each day to maintain an even level in your blood. However, some people do not need to take the medication every day, especially people taking it for fluid retention.
  • Because spironolactone-HCTZ increases urination, it is best to take it the morning (to avoid needing to get up to use the bathroom throughout the night). If you take the medication twice a day, try to take the last dose before 6 p.m., unless your healthcare provider instructs you otherwise.
  • For spironolactone-HCTZ to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. The medication will not work if you stop taking it.
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