Sounds like 'ben·dro·flu·me·thi·a·zide'

Key points about bendroflumethiazide

  • Bendroflumethiazide is a diuretic, which means it helps your body get rid of extra salt (sodium) and water.
  • It is also called bendrofluazide.
  • Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects.
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Bendroflumethiazide is a diuretic, which means it helps your body get rid of extra salt (sodium) and water. It works by increasing the amount of urine (pee) you make. This can reduce symptoms such as swelling in your ankles or feet, or shortness of breath.

It is also called a 'water' tablet or 'water pill'.

Bendroflumethiazide is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), and is used to lessen extra fluid in the body (called oedema) caused by conditions such as heart failure, liver disease, or kidney disease

In New Zealand, bendroflumethiazide is available as tablets (2.5 mg and 5 mg). 

  • High blood pressure: the usual dose is 2.5 milligrams once a day.
  • Oedema (excess fluid): the usual dose is 5 milligrams taken once a day. Some people may need higher doses.
  • Your doctor will advise you how long to take bendroflumethiazide for. 
  • Always take your bendroflumethiazide exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much bendroflumethiazide to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.
  • Missed dose: If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the usual time. Do not take double the dose. 

  • Timing: Take bendroflumethiazide once a day. It is best taken in the morning so it works during the day and your sleep is not disturbed by you needing to get up to go to the toilet during the night. Read more about tips for taking diuretics. You can take bendroflumethiazide with or without food.
  • Missed dose: If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. But, if it is late in the afternoon, skip the missed dose and continue as usual the next day. Do not take double the dose.

Here are some things to know when you're taking bendroflumethiazide. Other things may be important as well, so ask your healthcare provider what you should know about.

  • Limit or avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking bendroflumethiazide. Alcohol may increase your chances of getting side effects such as dizziness.
  • Protect yourself from too much sunlight while being treated with bendroflumethiazide. Always cover up and apply a thick layer of broad spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 30) when outside. Do not use sunbeds.
  • You may need blood tests while taking bendroflumethiazide to check the amount of potassium and sodium in your blood, and to see how well your kidneys are working.
  • Other medicines: bendroflumethiazide interacts with some medications, including calcium supplements and NSAIDs, e.g. diclofenac, and ibuprofen. NSAIDs can also be found in some cold and flu medicines. 
    Be careful when taking some pain relief medicines
    Taking diuretics together with pain relief medicines called ‘non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs’ (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and diclofenac and medicines called ACE inhibitors or ARBs can be harmful to your kidneys. Read more about NSAIDs and blood pressure medicines.
  • Bendroflumethiazide may interact with herbal supplements and rongoā Māori, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting bendroflumethiazide and before starting any new products.

Like all medicines bendroflumethiazide can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Stomach upset
  • These are quite common when you first start taking bendroflumethiazide and usually go away after the first few days
  • Try taking your bendroflumethazide with food
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling light headed
  • Feeling faint when you stand up
  • Be careful when getting up from either lying down or sitting to avoid falls. These effects put you at risk of falls and injuries, especially if you are elderly
  • Be careful when driving or using tools until you know how this medicine affects you
  • Signs and symptoms of gout
  • Bendroflumethiazide may raise serum uric acid levels and cause an acute attack of gout in some people
  • Tell your doctor
  • Signs of dehydration (loosing too much salt and water) such as muscle cramps, weakness, dry mouth, thirst or passing unusually reduced amounts of urine 
  • Tell your doctor
  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as skin rashes, itching, blisters, peeling skin, swelling of the face, lips, mouth or have problems breathing
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116
Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product(external link)

The following links have more information on bendroflumethiazide.


  1. Bendroflumethiazide(external link) New Zealand Formulary

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Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist, Healthify He Puna Waiora. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

Reviewed by: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland

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