Blood Pressure Medication Side Effects You Should Look For

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Patients taking a common diuretic to help lower blood pressure may be better off with a similarly effective but safer one, a new study suggests.

Current guidelines recommend the drug chlorthalidone (Thalitone) as the first-line diuretic. But it can have serious side effects that can be avoided with another diuretic, hydrochlorothiazide (Hydrodiuril), researchers say.

“Diuretics are recognized as among the best drugs to treat hypertension, but there are no randomized studies to help decide which diuretic is best,” said lead author Dr. George Hripcsak, head of biomedical informatics at Columbia University in New York City.