Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY
February 4, 2014
Health Canada has issued new restrictions concerning the use of telmisartan. To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada's web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Allergic reaction: Some people who are allergic to sulfonamide medications also experience allergic reactions to hydrochlorothiazide. Before you take this medication, inform your doctor about any previous adverse reactions you have had to medications, especially to sulfonamide antibiotics or diabetes medications. Contact your doctor at once if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as skin rash, itching, difficulty breathing or swelling of the face and throat.
Cholesterol: Cholesterol and triglyceride levels may increase when taking hydrochlorothiazide. If you have increased cholesterol or triglyceride levels, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Diabetes: Hydrochlorothiazide may make it more difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. High blood sugar may occur, glucose tolerance may change, and diabetes may worsen. A dose adjustment of diabetes medications, including insulin, may be required. If you have diabetes, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Electrolytes: The use of hydrochlorothiazide can reduce the levels of electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, and chloride and increase the levels of calcium. Your doctor will periodically check to see if these levels are in balance, and a potassium supplement may be recommended. Warning signs or symptoms of fluid and electrolyte imbalance include:
- dryness of mouth
- low blood pressure
- muscle pains or cramps
- muscular fatigue
- nausea and vomiting
- racing heartbeat
Hereditary fructose or galactose intolerance: Due to the sorbitol and lactose content in the medication, this medication is not suitable for people with hereditary fructose or galactose intolerance.
Gout: An acute gout attack may occur in some patients taking telmisartan - hydrochlorothiazide as a result of high levels of uric acid in the blood. Symptoms of an acute gout attack include sudden pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected joint, often the big toe. You may also experience a fever. If this is your first attack, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you have had gout attacks before, follow your doctor's instructions for dealing with the attack.
Kidney function: Use of this medication may affect the function of the kidneys, especially for those who already have kidney problems. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. This medication should not be taken by people with severely impaired kidney function.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced liver function or liver disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. This medication is not recommended for people with severe liver impairment.
This medication may also cause a decrease in liver function. If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.
Low blood pressure: Occasionally, a greater-than-expected drop in blood pressure occurs after taking this medication. It is more likely to occur if you are taking additional diuretics (water pills), have reduced salt intake, are on dialysis, or are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting. Blood pressure should be monitored more often in these situations. To reduce the risk of dizziness, those with low blood pressure or those just starting to take this medication should stand or sit up slowly when getting up from a lying down or sitting position.
If low blood pressure causes you to faint or feel lightheaded, contact your doctor.
Excessive sweating and lack of fluid intake may lead to an excessive fall in blood pressure because of reduced fluid in your blood vessels. Vomiting or diarrhea may also lead to a fall in blood pressure. Consult your doctor if you feel your blood pressure is too low.
Lupus: There have been reports of a worsening or activation of lupus in people taking hydrochlorothiazide. People with lupus or a history of lupus should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Pregnancy: Telmisartan can cause injury or death to the developing fetus if taken by a woman who is pregnant. This medication should not be taken by pregnant women. If you become pregnant while taking telmisartan - hydrochlorothiazide, consult your doctor immediately as the medication should be stopped as soon as possible.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if telmisartan passes into breast milk. Hydrochlorothiazide does pass into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established and is not recommended for children.
Seniors: Seniors may be more sensitive to the effects of this medication.