Also Known As: HCTZ, Hydrochlorothiazide, Hydrodiuril, Microzide, Uniretic, Ziac
Hydrochlorothiazide, abbreviated HCTZ, HCT, or HZT, is a first-line diuretic drug of the thiazide class that acts by inhibiting the kidneys' ability to retain water. This reduces the volume of the blood, decreasing blood return to the heart and thus cardiac output and, by other mechanisms, is believed to lower peripheral vascular resistance. Hydrochlorothiazide is a calcium-sparing diuretic, meaning it can help the body get rid of excess water while still keeping calcium.
Hydrochlorothiazide is frequently used for the treatment of hypertension, congestive heart failure, symptomatic edema, diabetes insipidus, renal tubular acidosis, and the prevention of kidney stones.
It is also sometimes used for hypercalciuria, Dent's disease and Ménière's disease. For diabetes insipidus, the effect of thiazide diuretics is presumably mediated by a hypovolemia-induced increase in proximal sodium and water reabsorption, thereby diminishing water delivery to the ADH-sensitive sites in the collecting tubules and reducing the urine output.
Thiazides are also used in the treatment of osteoporosis. Thiazides decrease mineral bone loss by promoting calcium retention in the kidney, and by directly stimulating osteoblast differentiation and bone mineral formation.