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Hydrochlorothiazide Side Effects, How it Works, Upsides & Downsides

HCTZ (hydrochlorothiazide) is a thiazide diuretic (water pill) that helps prevent your body from absorbing too much salt, which can cause fluid retention.

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HCTZ treats fluid retention (edema) in people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, or kidney disorders, or edema caused by taking steroids or estrogen. This medication is also used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).