Why is this medication prescribed?
Triamterene is used alone or with other medications to treat oedema (fluid retention; excess fluid held in body tissues) caused by various conditions, including liver and heart disease. Triamterene is in a class of medications called diuretics ('water pills'). It causes the kidneys to eliminate unneeded water and sodium from the body into the urine but reduces the loss of potassium.
How should this medicine be used?
Triamterene comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It usually is taken once a day in the morning after breakfast or twice a day after breakfast and lunch. It is best to take triamterene earlier in the day so that frequent trips to the bathroom do not interfere with nighttime sleep. Take triamterene at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take triamterene exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
Triamterene is used in combination with other diuretics to treat high blood pressure.
This medicine may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking triamterene:
• tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to triamterene or any other medications (Dyazide, Maxzide).
• do not take triamterene if you are taking amiloride (Midamor), spironolactone (Aldactone), or other medications containing triamterene.
• tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril (Monopril), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril, (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), and trandolapril (Mavik); lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid); nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); medications for diabetes, or high blood pressure; other diuretics; and potassium supplements. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
• tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes, gout, kidney stones, or heart, kidney, or liver disease.
• tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking triamterene, call your doctor. Do not breastfeed if you are taking triamterene.
• if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking triamterene.
• plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Triamterene may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Follow your doctor's directions for your meals, including advice for a reduced salt (sodium) diet and daily exercise program. Avoid potassium-containing salt substitutes while you are taking this medication..Talk with your doctor about the amount of potassium-rich foods (e.g., bananas, prunes, raisins, and orange juice) that you may have in your diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Triamterene may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
• muscle weakness or cramps
• slow or irregular heartbeat
• difficulty breathing or swallowing
• upset stomach
• extreme tiredness
• unusual bleeding or bruising
• lack of energy
• loss of appetite
• pain in the upper right part of the stomach
• yellowing of the skin or eyes
• flu-like symptoms
• sore throat
• severe dry mouth
• unusual bruising or bleeding