Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Hygroton.
It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
The information in this leaflet was last updated on the date listed on the final page. Some more recent information on the medicine may be available.
You should ensure that you speak to your pharmacist or doctor to obtain the most up to date information on the medicine. You can also download the most up to date leaflet from www.novartis.com.au. Those updates may contain important information about the medicine and its use of which you should be aware.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking this medicine against the benefits they expect it will provide.
If you have any concerns about this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
What Hygroton is used for
Hygroton is used to treat high blood pressure (also called hypertension) and fluid build-up.
Everyone has blood pressure. This pressure helps to move your blood around your body. Your blood pressure may be different at various times of the day, depending on how busy you are.
You have high blood pressure (hypertension) when your blood pressure stays higher than is needed, even when you are calm and relaxed. There are usually no symptoms of high blood pressure. The only way of knowing that you have it is to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. You may feel fine and have no symptoms but, if high blood pressure is not treated, it can lead to serious health problems. Hygroton helps to lower your blood pressure.
Hygroton is also used to treat fluid build-up caused by heart or liver problems. Hygroton belongs to a group of medicines called diuretics (commonly called fluid or water pills). These medicines help to reduce the amount of salt and water in the body by acting on the kidneys to increase the flow of urine.
It can be used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat your condition.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
Hygroton is only available with a doctor's prescription. It is not addictive.
Before you take Hygroton
When you must not take it
Do not take Hygroton if you have an allergy to:
chlorthalidone (the active ingredient in this medicine)
any of the other ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
any other medicines with a similar structure (for example: thiazide diuretics or sulpha drugs)
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
shortness of breath
wheezing or difficulty breathing
swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to other medicines and you are not sure if they have a similar structure to Hygroton.
Do not take Hygroton if you have any of the following health conditions:
severe kidney or liver failure
too little potassium or sodium in your blood
too much calcium in your blood
gout or if you have had gout in the past
high blood pressure during pregnancy.
If you are not sure whether any of the above medical conditions apply to you, ask your doctor.
Do not take Hygroton after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
In that case, return it to your pharmacist.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if you have any of the following medical conditions:
milder forms of kidney or liver trouble
a problem with your heart or blood circulation
Your doctor may want to take special precautions if you have any of the above conditions.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Hygroton may affect your baby during pregnancy and at birth. Your doctor can discuss the risks and benefits of taking this medicine during pregnancy.
Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding or intend to breast-feed. The active ingredient in Hygroton passes into breast milk and there is a possibility that your baby could be affected.
Tell your doctor if you are lactose intolerant. This medicine contains lactose.
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives. Your doctor will want to know if you are prone to allergies.
If you have not told your doctor about any of these things, tell him/her before you have Hygroton.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. Other medicines and Hygroton may interfere with each other. These include:
some medicines used to treat high blood pressure or heart problems (e.g. digoxin, ACE inhibitors)
insulin or other medicines for diabetes
medicines for arthritis, pain or inflammation such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (called NSAIDs)
steroid medicines such as cortisone or prednisone
lithium, a medicine used for some mental conditions
cholestyramine, a medicine used to lower high cholesterol
allopurinol, a medicine for gout
vitamin D or calcium supplements
cyclosporin, a medicine used to suppress the immune system
amantadine, a medicine for Parkinson's disease
anticholinergic medicines (e.g. atropine, biperiden)
cytotoxic medicines (e.g. cyclophosphamide, methotrexate)
These medicines may be affected by Hygroton or they may affect how well it works. You may need to take different amounts of your medicines or to take different medicines while you are taking Hygroton. Your doctor and pharmacist have more information. If you have not told your doctor about any of these things, tell him/her before you start taking this medicine.
How to take Hygroton
Follow the directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully. These directions may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the label, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How much to take
You will usually be started on a low dose of Hygroton and, if necessary, your doctor will increase the dose gradually.
For an adult, the usual dose ranges from 12.5 mg to 50 mg (half a tablet to two tablets), taken each day or sometimes every other day. For a child, the dose needed will depend on how much the child weighs.
How to take it
Take the tablets during a meal with a full glass of water.
If you take only one dose of Hygroton each day, take it in the morning unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
If you take more than one dose each day, take the last dose no later than 6 PM if possible. Diuretic medicines tend to increase the amount of urine you pass. It is best to take the last dose of medicine no later than 6 p.m. so that you will not have to get up during the night to urinate.
How long to take it
Continue taking Hygroton for as long as your doctor tells you to. This medicine helps to control your symptoms but it does not cure your condition. Your doctor will check your progress to make sure the medicine is working and will discuss with you how long your treatment should continue.
If you forget to take it
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take the dose as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking it as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the one that you missed. This may increase the chance of you getting an unwanted side effect.
If you have trouble remembering when to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Hygroton. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. Keep the telephone numbers for these places handy.
Some of the symptoms of an overdose may include nausea (feeling sick), dizziness, sleepiness, muscle spasms, low blood pressure and irregular heart beat.
While you are taking Hygroton
Things you must do
Be sure to keep all of your doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked. Your doctor will want to check your heart and blood pressure and do regular blood tests to make sure the treatment is working and to prevent unwanted side effects.
Follow any instructions that your doctor gives you to maintain the correct level of a salt (called potassium) in your blood. Hygroton may sometimes cause your body to lose too much potassium. To help prevent this from happening, your doctor may ask you to:
have foods that have high potassium content (such as vegetables, fruit, fresh fruit juices, nuts, legumes and wholegrain cereals)
take a potassium supplement
take another medicine to help prevent the loss of potassium
It is important not to add potassium to your diet without your doctor's advice. Extra potassium may not be needed and, in some cases, could be harmful.
If you become sick and have severe or continuing vomiting or diarrhoea, tell your doctor. Vomiting and diarrhoea may cause your body to lose too much salt and water, causing unwanted side effects.
If you become pregnant while taking Hygroton, tell your doctor. Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and benefits of taking it while you are pregnant.
If you are being treated for diabetes, monitor your blood sugar carefully and report any problems to your doctor. Hygroton may increase your blood sugar levels and affect how well your diabetes is controlled. The dose of your medicines for diabetes may have to be changed.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Hygroton. This will help to prevent unwanted side effects such as a sudden drop in blood pressure.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking Hygroton.
Tell any other doctor, dentist or pharmacist who treats you that you are taking Hygroton.
Things you must not do
Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if their condition seems similar to yours.
Do not take it to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving, operating machinery or doing jobs that require you to be alert while you are taking Hygroton until you know how it affects you. This medicine may cause dizziness, light-headedness or blurred vision in some people. If you have any of these symptoms, do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous.
If this medicine makes you feel light-headed, dizzy or faint, be careful when getting up from a sitting or lying position. These symptoms may be due to a sudden fall in your blood pressure.
If this problem doesn't go away, talk to your doctor.
To avoid symptoms of low blood pressure, here are some hints that may help:
Stand up slowly to help your body get used to the change in position and blood pressure
If you feel dizzy, sit or lie down until you feel better
If you feel faint, breathe deeply and bend forward with your head between your knees
Take extra care when exercising, driving or standing for long periods, especially in hot weather. Drink plenty of fluids, especially if you sweat a lot.
Avoid alcohol or medicines to help you sleep as they may make your blood pressure fall even more.
Be careful to stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible until you find out if your skin is more sensitive to the sun than usual. Wear protective clothing and use a sunscreen. Do not use a sunlamp. In rare cases, this medicine can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight than usual.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Hygroton. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
If you are over 65 years of age, you may have an increased chance of getting side effects.
Do not be alarmed by these lists of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects and they worry you:
dizziness or light-headedness, especially on standing up
loss of appetite, stomach upset, nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting
diarrhoea or constipation
problems with sexual function
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:
signs of allergy such as shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin
unusual tiredness, lack of energy or weakness, sometimes with nausea and a feeling of disorientation
constant "flu-like" symptoms (chills, fever, sore throat, aching joints, swollen glands)
unusual bleeding or bruising; reddish or purplish blotches under the skin
pain in the abdomen with nausea, vomiting and fever
yellowing of the skin or eyes
irregular heart beat
coldness, burning, numbness or pain in arms and legs
symptoms of gout such as pain and swelling of the joints, often in the big toe
difficulty urinating, sometimes with pain or fever
symptoms of sunburn (redness, itching, swelling, blistering) that happen much more quickly than normal
The above side effects could be serious. You may need urgent medical attention.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell. Other side effects not listed above may happen in some people.
Some side effects (e.g. raised cholesterol levels) can only be found when laboratory tests are done.
After taking Hygroton
Keep this medicine where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
Store it in a cool dry place.
Do not store Hygroton or any other medicine in the bathroom, near a sink, or on a window sill. Hygroton will keep well if it is stored cool and dry.
Do not leave them in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking Hygroton or the expiry date has passed, ask your pharmacist what to do with any medicine that is left over.
What it looks like
Hygroton tablets are orange scored tablets, marked CW on one side and CG on the other. A carton contains 50 tablets.
Hygroton 25 - each tablet contains 25 mg of chlorthalidone Inactive ingredients
Hygroton tablets also contain:
magnesium stearate (E 572)
talc - purified (E 553b)
iron oxide yellow CI77492 (E 172)
iron oxide red CI77491 (E 172)
Hygroton does not contain sucrose, gluten, preservatives, tartrazine or any other azo dyes. Sponsor
Hygroton is supplied in Australia by:
NOVARTIS Pharmaceuticals Australia Pty Limited
ABN 18 004 244 160
54 Waterloo Road
North Ryde NSW 2113
Telephone 1 800 671 203
® = Registered Trademark
This leaflet was prepared in
September 2007 Australian Registration Number. Hygroton 25 mg AUST R 11035