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What Supplements & Herbs Interact With Hydrochlorothiazide?

Hydrochlorothiazide is a water pill that’s most often used to treat edema, or fluid retention, and high blood pressure 1. Your doctor may prescribe it if you have a kidney disorder, liver cirrhosis, congestive heart failure or edema due to taking estrogen or steroids. Numerous supplements and herbs can interact with hydrochlorothiazide 1. Always inform your doctor of all herbal supplements you are taking.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Diuretic Effects

Hydrochlorothiazide is classified as a thiazide diuretic 1. It helps your body avoid absorbing too much salt; salt promotes fluid retention. When you take this medicine it’s important to avoid becoming dehydrated. Using dandelion, stinging nettle or mate with this drug can increase its diuretic effects.

Skin Sensitivity

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Taking hydrochlorothiazide with the herb agrimony can cause increased skin sensitivity to sunlight 1. Other herbs that have this interaction with this drug include fennel, motherwort and St. John’s wort.

Hypokalemia

Using hydrochlorothiazide with aloe raises your risk of hypokalemia, or low levels of potassium in your blood 1. Numerous other herbs have the same interaction. Symptoms of hypokalemia may include:

  • fatigue
  • muscle weakness
  • constipation
  • abnormal heart rhythms
  • muscle fiber breakdown
  • paralysis

A large drop in blood-potassium levels can be life threatening.

Hypotension

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Taking asa foetida and hydrochlorothiazide can raise your risk for hypotension, or excessively low blood pressure 1. Other herbs that share this interaction include:

  • bishop’s weed
  • black cohosh
  • cat’s claw
  • catechu
  • devil’s claw
  • European mistletoe
  • garlic
  • kelp
  • rue
  • stevia
  • yarrow

Symptoms of hypotension may include

  • blurry vision
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • fainting
  • weakness
  • sleepiness
  • light-headedness

This condition may lead to shock and also increases your risk for injury from falling. Severe hypotension can be life threatening; it can cause damage to your brain, heart and other organs because it starves your body for oxygen.

Cardiac Glycoside Toxicity

Taking hydrochlorothiazide with digitalis, wallflower or lilly of the valley raises your risk for cardiac glycoside toxicity 13. Call 911 if you suspect this interaction.

Other Effects

Certain herbs can interfere with the action of hydrochlorothiazide 1. These include:

  • arnica
  • birch
  • bladderwrack
  • blue cohosh
  • ginkgo biloba
  • sorrel
  • uva ursi

The herb calotropis can increase the toxic effects of hydrochlorothiazide 1. Certain herbs magnify the drug’s general effects. These include carrageen, cowslip and dong quai. Taking this drug with ma-huang raises your risk for high blood pressure. Taking it with yohimbe can interfere with blood pressure control.

The Wrap Up
  • Hydrochlorothiazide is a water pill that’s most often used to treat edema, or fluid retention, and high blood pressure.
  • Taking hydrochlorothiazide with the herb agrimony can cause increased skin sensitivity to sunlight.
  • Other herbs that have this interaction with this drug include fennel, motherwort and St. John’s wort.
  • Severe hypotension can be life threatening; it can cause damage to your brain, heart and other organs because it starves your body for oxygen.
  • These include: arnica, birch, bladderwrack, blue cohosh, ginkgo biloba, sorrel, uva ursi.
  • Taking this drug with ma-huang raises your risk for high blood pressure.
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