What is Indapamide?

Jacquelyn Gilchrist

Indapamide is a diuretic medication, also called a “water pill.” It is usually prescribed to treat hypertension, which is high blood pressure, as well as reduce fluid retention and swelling from heart disease. Water pills increase the ability of the kidneys to get rid of excess salt and water from the body. When a person's blood pressure is controlled, he is less likely to suffer from damage to the heart, kidneys, and blood vessels, which can help prevent problems like heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

Untreated high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks.
Untreated high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks.

This medication is available in a tablet that is swallowed once or twice daily. Patients who take it once daily should take it after breakfast. Those who are prescribed two doses should take the first dose after breakfast and the second before 6:00 at night, or as directed by their physicians. Adults will typically take 2.5 milligrams (mg) to 5 mg daily.

Medications like indapamide may cause upset stomach or cramps.
Medications like indapamide may cause upset stomach or cramps.

Indapamide can help control high blood pressure, but it cannot cure it. Patients will likely be advised to follow a diet that is low in sodium and to lose excess weight, if necessary. They may also consume potassium-rich foods or take a potassium supplement. Since most patients will not notice any signs of high blood pressure, it is important that they continue to take their medication, even if they feel well.

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Side effects of this medication will often result in unusual tiredness and an increase in the amount and frequency of urination. Patients may notice these symptoms for up to six hours following a dose. These side effects should subside as the body acclimates to the drug.

Water pills like indapamide can cause other side effects, as well, which may include upset stomach or stomach cramps. Patients may notice dizziness, drowsiness, or confusion. Muscle cramps, vomiting, and blurred vision are possible. Decreased sexual activity, thirst, and confusion may also occur. The doctor should be notified if any of these side effects become severe.

Serious side effects from the use of indapamide require immediate medical help. These may include problems breathing or swallowing, a weak pulse, and an irregular heartbeat. A skin rash or hives can occur, as well as rapid, excessive weight loss, loss of appetite, and insomnia.

It is considered relatively safe for a pregnant woman to use indapamide, however they should discuss risks with their physicians. Indapamide should not be used while breastfeeding, as safety studies are inadequate, as of 2011. Patients should discuss all other medical conditions they have with their doctors. Possible drug interactions should also be evaluated.

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