Dytac capsules contain the active ingredient triamterene, which is a type of medicine called a potassium-sparing diuretic. Triamterene is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.
Diuretics act in the kidneys. They work by causing the kidneys to increase the amount of salts, such as potassium and sodium, that are filtered out of the blood and into the urine. When these salts are filtered out of the blood by the kidneys, they draw water alongside them. As diuretics increase the removal of salts from the blood, they also cause more water to be drawn out of the blood and into the urine.
Diuretics are used to treat conditions where excess fluid has been retained in the body (oedema). For example, in heart failure, the pumping mechanism of the heart is less effective. This can cause fluid to build up in the ankles and the lungs (pulmonary oedema), which makes it difficult to breathe. Diuretics help the body to remove this excess fluid. Removing fluid from the blood vessels also decreases the pressure within the blood vessels. This makes it easier for a weak heart to pump blood around the body.
This medicine can also be used to remove excess fluid that accumulates in the body in people taking corticosteroid medicines and in people with kidney disease or cirrhosis of the liver. In liver cirrhosis this fluid may accumulate in the abdomen (ascites) or in the legs (oedema).
Triamterene has a weak diuretic effect when used on its own, hence it is usually used in combination with other diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide. Most other diuretics cause the amount of potassium in the blood to drop. Triamterene doesn't have this effect, as it is a 'potassium-sparing' diuretic. It is usually added to diuretic treatment to prevent excessive amounts of potassium from being lost.
Triamterene is used to remove excess fluid (oedema) from the body in the conditions listed below.
Triamterene can also be used in combination with other diuretics that cause potassium loss, for example bendroflumethiazide or furosemide. Triamterene enhances the diuretic effect of these medicines, while also preventing too much potassium being lost from the body.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.
This medicine is likely to have an additive effect with other medicines that decrease blood pressure, particularly medicines that are used to treat high blood pressure (antihypertensives). This may cause dizziness, which can usually be relieved by lying down until the symptoms pass. If you feel dizzy while taking this medicine in combination with other medicines that can lower blood pressure you should let your doctor know, as your doses may need adjusting. Other medicines that decrease blood pressure include the following:
Since triamterene can raise the level of potassium in the blood it should not be used in combination with other potassium-sparing diuretics, eg spironolactone, eplerenone, amiloride, or with potassium supplements, as this can cause the level of potassium in the blood to rise too high. The following medicines can also raise the level of potassium in the blood and if you take any of these with triamterene the level of potassium in your blood should be regularly monitored:
This medicine may reduce the ability of the body to remove the medicine lithium, which can cause the level of lithium in the blood to rise too high. If you are taking lithium your lithium level should be checked after you start and stop treatment with this medicine, as well as after any dose changes. Your lithium dose may need adjusting.
The following medicines may reduce the diuretic effect of this medicine:
There may be an increased risk of side effects on the kidneys if triamterene is taken with NSAIDs such as indometacin. Triamterene should not be taken with indometacin.
There may be an increased chance of the level of sodium in the blood falling too low if diuretics such as this one are used in combination with carbamazepine.
Triamterene capsules are also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.
Frusene contains triamterene in combination with furosemide.
Dyazide contains triamterene in combination with hydrochlorothiazide.
Kalspare contains triamterene in combination with chlortalidone.