Hypertension, one of the most common medical disorders in the United States, affects more than one quarter of all adults, and two thirds of adults 60 or older. A major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and circulation disorders, approximately three quarters of adults take medication to lower their blood pressure and reduce their hypertension.
Two of the most common treatments, hydrochlorothiazide and chlorthalidone, are equally effective in preventing complications due to hypertension, however chlorthalidone appears to cause further complications from use, resulting in hypokalemia (low blood potassium levels) and hypernatremia (low blood sodium levels). Such complications may even become severe enough to require hospitalization.
Chlorthalidone takes four to ten times as long to be eliminated by the kidneys, and researchers are finding that low blood potassium levels occur in almost three times as many patients taking chlorthalidone as hydrochlorothiazide. If you are being treated for hypertension, please consult your medical professional to understand what medications you are prescribed, and if you are being treated with chlorthalidone.