Also Known As: Metolazone, Zytanix, Zaroxolyn, Mykrox
Metolazone is a thiazide-like diuretic marketed under the brand names Zytanix from Zydus Cadila, Zaroxolyn, and Mykrox. It is primarily used to treat congestive heart failure and high blood pressure. Metolazone indirectly decreases the amount of water reabsorbed into the bloodstream by the kidney, so that blood volume decreases and urine volume increases. This lowers blood pressure and prevents excess fluid accumulation in heart failure. Metolazone is sometimes used together with loop diuretics such as furosemide or bumetanide, but these highly effective combinations can lead to dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities.
One of the primary uses of metolazone is for treating oedema (fluid retention) associated with congestive heart failure (CHF). In mild heart failure, metolazone or another diuretic may be used alone, or combined with other diuretics for moderate or severe heart failure. In addition to preventing fluid buildup, the use of metolazone may allow the patient to relax the amount of sodium restriction that is required. Although most thiazide diuretics lose their effectiveness in renal failure, metolazone remains active even when the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is below 30–40 mL/min (moderate renal failure). This gives it a considerable advantage over other thiazide diuretics, since renal and heart failure often coexist and contribute to fluid retention.
Metolazone may also be used in renal (kidney) disease, such as chronic renal failure or the nephrotic syndrome. Chronic renal failure causes excess fluid retention that is often treated with diet adjustments and diuretics Metolazone may be combined with other diuretics (typically loop diuretics) to treat diuretic resistance in CHF, chronic renal failure, and nephrotic syndrome. Metolazone and a loop diuretic will synergistically enhance diuresis over the use of either agent alone. Using this combination, diuretic effects will occur at two different segments of the nephron; namely, the loop diuretic will act at the loop of Henle, and metolazone will act at the distal convoluted tubule. Metolazone is frequently prescribed in addition to the loop diuretic. Metolazone may be used for edema caused by liver cirrhosis as well.
The other major use of metolazone is in treating hypertension (high blood pressure). Thiazide diuretics, though usually not metolazone, are very often used alone as first-line treatment for mild hypertension. They are also used in combination with other drugs for difficult-to-treat or more severe hypertension. "The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure" (JNC 7) recommends thiazide diuretics as the initial medication for treatment of hypertension. Hydrochlorothiazide is by far the most commonly used, as it is both better-studied and cheaper (about four times) than metolazone, although as mentioned above metolazone is used in patients with moderate renal failure.