Thiazide diuretics: Hydrochlorothiazide, bendroflumethiazide and metolazone
What Is Metolazone (Zaroxolyn)?
Metolazone is the generic form of the brand-name drug Zaroxolyn, which is used to treat high blood pressure and fluid retention.
Metolazone is in a class of drugs called diuretics, or "water pills," which work by causing the kidneys to reduce the amount of water and salt in the body by increasing the amount of urine.
The medication comes in an oral tablet form. Metolazone was developed in the 1970s by an Indian-born chemist named Dr. Bola Vithal Shetty. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1973.
If you have liver or kidney failure, your doctor will probably tell you not to take metolazone. You should tell your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
Also, tell your physician if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding while taking metolazone. Metolazone should not be used during pregnancy, unless absolutely necessary.
Metolazone treats high blood pressure, but it does not cure it. You should continue to take this drug even if you feel well. Do not stop taking metolazone without first consulting with your physician. Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose of metolazone and gradually increase the dose.
This medication may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting if you get up too quickly from a lying position. This symptom is more common when you first start metolazone.
Metolazone Side Effects
Common Side Effects of Metolazone
Tell your doctor if any of the following side effects are severe or don't go away:
Serious Side Effects of Metolazone
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care:
- Chest pain
- Signs of dehydration, including dry mouth, dark urine, decreased sweating, or dry skin
- Rapid, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
- Blistering or peeling skin
- Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Sore throat with fever
- Loss of appetite
- Upset stomach
- Extreme fatigue
- Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- Flu-like symptoms
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
Metolazone and Other Drug Interactions
Tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal and nutritional, or dietary drugs you are taking, especially:
Metolazone and Other Interactions
Alcohol may worsen the side effects metolazone. Your doctor may put you on a low-sodium diet or may prescribe potassium supplements or an increase in potassium-rich foods while taking metolazone.
You should avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to the sun while taking this drug because it can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. You should also avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how metolazone affects you.
Your dose of metolazone will depend on your doctor's orders. The following is an average dosing schedule:
For fluid retention (edema):
- Adults: Start with 5 to 20 milligrams (mg), once daily. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed.
- Children: Usage and dose will be determined by doctor.
For high blood pressure:
- Adults: Start with 2.5 to 5 mg, once daily. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed.
- Children: Usage and dose will be determined by doctor.
If you suspect an overdose, call 911 or contact your doctor immediately. You can get in touch with a poison control center at 800-222-1222.
Missed Dose of Metolazone
If you miss a dose of metolazone, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular dosing schedule. Do not double up on doses to make up for a missed one.
By Julie Marks | Medically Reviewed by Ruthan White, PharmD
Latest Update: 2014-09-16
Copyright © 2014 Everyday Health Media, LLC
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