Hydralazine and hydrochlorothiazide combination is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).
High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. High blood pressure also may increase the risk of heart attacks. These problems may be less likely to occur if blood pressure is controlled.
Hydralazine works by relaxing blood vessels and increasing the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart while reducing its workload. The hydrochlorothiazide is a type of medicine known as a thiazide diuretic and helps reduce the amount of water in the body by acting on the kidneys to increase the flow of urine.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Signs and symptoms of too much potassium loss
Dryness of mouth
mood or mental changes
muscle cramps or pain
Signs and symptoms of too much sodium loss
decreased mental activity
unusual tiredness or weakness
Blisters on skin
general feeling of discomfort or illness or weakness
numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in hands or feet
skin rash or itching
sore throat and fever
swelling of the lymph glands
Lower back or side pain
severe stomach pain with nausea and vomiting
unusual bleeding or bruising
yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
fast or irregular heartbeat
loss of appetite
nausea or vomiting
decreased sexual ability
dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position
increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
redness or flushing of face
shortness of breath with exercise or work
watering or irritated eyes
Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension Initial dose: 1 capsule orally twice a day (the strength depending upon individual requirement following titration). Maintenance dose: Should be adjusted to the lowest effective level. Higher daily HCTZ doses are not recommended. Daily hydralazine doses up to 200 mg can be given and are safe for use in most patients. Hydralazine doses up to 300 mg per day (75 mg four times a day) were used in the first Veterans Heart Failure Trial demonstrating a reduction of mortality when used in combination with nitrates in patients with chronic congestive heart failure. While most patients respond to 200 mg of hydralazine per day or less, some "fast acetylators", are resistant, requiring 300 mg per day or more. Because up to 20% of patients who receive 400 mg per day or more develop a systemic lupus erythematosus syndrome, some experts recommend checking a patient's acetylator status before giving higher doses. Up to 70% of "resistant" patients are fast acetylators, in whom the dose can be relatively safely increased.