Pindolol/Hydrochlorothiazide - Oral

Pronunciation: PIN-doe-lole/HYE-droe-KLOR-oh-THYE-a-zide

Common Brand Name(s): Viskazide

Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Warning

If you have chest pain (angina) or heart disease (e.g., coronary artery disease, ischemic heart disease, high blood pressure), do not stop using this drug without first consulting your doctor. Your condition may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. If your doctor decides you should no longer use this drug, you must gradually decrease your dose according to your doctor's instructions.

When gradually stopping this medication, it is recommended that you temporarily limit physical activity to decrease strain on the heart. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop: worsening chest pain, tightness or pressure in the chest, chest pain spreading to the jaw/neck/arm, sweating, trouble breathing, or fast/irregular heartbeat.

Uses

This combination medication is used with or without other medications to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.

This product contains two medications. Pindolol is a beta blocker that works by blocking the effect of certain natural chemicals (e.g., epinephrine) on the heart and blood vessels. This slows your heartbeat, lowers blood pressure, and reduces strain on the heart. Hydrochlorothiazide is a "water pill" (diuretic) that works by increasing the amount of urine that you make. This causes your body to get rid of extra salt and water, which probably helps to relax the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily. These two drugs are used together when one medication is not controlling your blood pressure.

This medication is not recommended as the first medication for treating high blood pressure. Your doctor will usually start you on the individual medications first, and then switch you over to this combination product if this is the best dose combination for you.

How To Use

See also Warning section.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.

If you also take certain drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take this product at least 4 hours before or at least 4 to 6 hours after these medications.

It is best to avoid taking this medication within 4 hours of your bedtime to avoid having to get up to urinate. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about your dosing schedule.

Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. It may take up to several weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.

Inform your doctor if your condition worsens (e.g., your routine blood pressure readings increase).

Side Effects

See also Precautions section.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, tiredness, blurred vision and drowsiness may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. Nausea, stomach upset, diarrhea, constipation and trouble sleeping may also occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To lower your risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

This product may reduce blood flow to your hands and feet, causing them to feel cold. Smoking may worsen this effect. Dress warmly and avoid tobacco use.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

The hydrochlorothiazide in this product may cause too much body water and salts to be lost (dehydration). Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these unlikely but serious symptoms of dehydration:

  • very dry mouth
  • extreme thirst
  • muscle cramps/weakness
  • fast heartbeat
  • severe dizziness
  • fainting
  • seizures

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • very slow/irregular heartbeat
  • swelling of the ankles/feet
  • sudden/unexplained weight gain
  • loss of feeling/tingling in the fingers/toes
  • hair loss
  • mental/mood changes
  • decreased sexual ability/interest
  • muscle/joint pain
  • decrease in vision
  • eye pain
  • confusion
  • persistent nausea/vomiting
  • yellowing eyes/skin
  • severe stomach/abdominal pain
  • dark urine
  • nervousness
  • shaking
  • easy bruising/bleeding
  • signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat)
  • signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine)

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to pindolol or hydrochlorothiazide; or to other beta blockers (e.g., propranolol, atenolol); or to other thiazide diuretics (e.g., chlorothiazide); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • breathing problems (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD)
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • heart problems (such as heart failure, heart attack, slow heartbeat)
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • diabetes
  • gout
  • untreated salt imbalance (e.g., high calcium, low potassium/magnesium)
  • loss of too much body water (dehydration)
  • certain muscle diseases (e.g., myasthenia gravis)
  • blood circulation problems (e.g., peripheral vascular disease)
  • lupus
  • recent nerve surgery (e.g., sympathectomy)
  • skin cancer

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication to help prevent dizziness. Too much sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting may cause you to feel lightheaded. Avoid heavy exercise and hot weather. Report prolonged diarrhea or vomiting to your doctor.

If you have diabetes, this product may mask the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar, such as dizziness/sweating, are unaffected by this drug. This product also may make it harder to control your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.

This medication may reduce the potassium levels in your blood. Ask your doctor about adding potassium to your diet. A potassium supplement may be prescribed by your doctor.

This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. It may also increase your risk for skin cancer, especially if you take it for a long time. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned, have skin blisters/redness, or notice new or changed moles/skin lesions.

Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, elderly people may be at greater risk for side effects while using this drug.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include:

  • alpha blockers (e.g., prazosin, terazosin)
  • arbutamine
  • chlorpromazine
  • cisapride
  • diazoxide
  • digoxin
  • dofetilide
  • epinephrine
  • fenoldopam
  • fingolimod
  • lithium
  • other drugs for high blood pressure (e.g., clonidine)
  • probenecid
  • St John's wort
  • thioridazine

Some products have ingredients that could raise your blood pressure. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen).

This product can affect the results of certain lab tests (e.g., parathyroid, protein-bound iodide, tyramine and phentolamine tests). Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: very slow heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, severe weakness, trouble breathing.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Talk with your doctor about making changes to your lifestyle that may increase the effectiveness of this medication (e.g., stress reduction programs, exercise, and dietary changes).

Lab and/or medical tests (such as electrolyte levels, liver function tests, complete blood counts) should be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.

Have your blood pressure checked regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to monitor your own blood pressure at home, and share the results with your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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