What Are the Most Common Chlorthalidone Side Effects?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 26 January 2019
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Chlorthalidone is a prescription medication that is commonly prescribed as a diuretic, more commonly referred to as a water pill. Some of the more common chlorthalidone side effects include gastrointestinal disturbances, abnormal skin sensations, and dizziness. Some patients may experience headaches, vision changes, or an increased sensitivity to the sun, and some men have reported impotence as a result of taking this medication. Any questions or concerns about potential side effects should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Gastrointestinal disturbances are common chlorthalidone side effects and may include nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. In many cases, these disturbances lessen after the body adjusts to the medication. In the meantime, it may help to take the medication with food or milk. If the gastrointestinal problems persist or become severe, a doctor should be consulted for further evaluation. These symptoms may become so debilitating that the doctor will have to switch the patient to a different type of medication.

Abnormal skin sensations are possible chlorthalidone side effects and may involve numbness, tingling, or what is often described as a pins and needles feeling on the skin. These particular sensations are generally mild and tend to come and go. Occasionally, they may become severe enough to require a change in dosage or a discontinuation of the medication altogether.


Visual changes or headaches are among the more frequently reported side effects of chlorthalidone. The treating physician should be made aware of these issues if they persist or become particularly bothersome. Frequent eye exams may be recommended for those who are taking this medication. Increased sun sensitivity is common, so precautions should be taken when spending prolonged amounts of time outside. Impotence, or erectile dysfunction, is a commonly reported issue among men who take this medication.

Although severe allergic reactions are rare chlorthalidone side effects, they can be potentially fatal. Symptoms such as itching, swelling of the face, or difficulty breathing should be treated as a medical emergency. Seizures or a loss of consciousness is also possible when an allergic reaction occurs. Immediate medical attention is required in order to preserve the life of the patient. After the medical crisis is over, those who have suffered a severe allergic reaction to any medication or substance are often prescribed an injectible medication that must be carried at all times in case another such reaction occurs in the future.


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