You must use care with some activities when taking hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ). When you first start HCTZ, use care or avoid:

  • Actions needing physical coordination, such as exercises
  • Activities needing mental alertness, such as driving
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Overheating and sweating too much

HCTZ is a diuretic. This makes you urinate more. HCTZ also lowers blood pressure. These effects can make you dizzy, dehydrated, or have blurry vision. These symptoms can get worse with heavy exercise or in the heat.

You are most likely to notice symptoms when you first start taking HCTZ. They often go away once you get used to HCTZ.

Take steps to prevent dizziness and dehydration. Get up slowly from sitting or lying down to lessen dizziness. Always drink plenty of water when exercising, especially when it’s hot. Avoid drinking alcohol, too.

You may not have to avoid normal activities once you are used to HCTZ. Just take it easy and be aware if you try something new. Let your doctor know if you continue to have symptoms that limit your daily life.

Starting HCTZ? ––  Until you know, take it slow!