Xipamide tablets (Diurexan)

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Xipamide is a 'water tablet' (diuretic).

It is best taken in the morning.

Any side-effects are usually mild, but may include feeling sick or dizzy.

Type of medicineDiuretic
Used forHigh blood pressure and fluid retention
Also calledDiurexan®
Available asTablets

Xipamide belongs to a group of medicines called diuretics. A diuretic is a medicine which increases the amount of urine that you pass out from your kidneys. They are often referred to as 'water tablets'. Diuretics are a common treatment for high blood pressure (hypertension). They are also used to clear fluid from your body in conditions where your body is retaining too much fluid (oedema).

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking xipamide it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If you have kidney or liver problems.
  • If you have narrowing of the arteries.
  • If you have gout, diabetes, or an inflammatory condition called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). These conditions may be made worse by diuretics.
  • If you have been told by a doctor that you have low sodium or potassium levels in your blood, or high calcium levels in your blood.
  • If you have a problem with your adrenal glands, called Addison's disease.
  • If you have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.
  • If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about xipamide and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take xipamide exactly as your doctor has told you. The usual dose is one tablet daily, although occasionally up to four tablets daily may be needed for a short while in some people. Your doctor is likely to recommend that you take your dose in the morning. This is so it works during the day and your sleep is not disturbed by you needing to get up to go to the toilet.
  • Swallow the tablet with a drink of water. You can take it before or after your meals.
  • If you forget to take a tablet, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is after 6 pm in the evening, you should skip the forgotten dose and continue as usual the next day. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
  • Treatment for high blood pressure (hypertension) is usually long-term. Although many people with high blood pressure do not feel unwell, if left untreated, high blood pressure can harm your heart and damage your blood vessels. This damage may later result in a heart attack, stroke, or kidney problems, so it is important that you continue to take these tablets regularly to help reduce the risk of this.
  • Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can monitor your blood pressure and check on your progress.
  • The salt balance in your blood may be upset by xipamide and your doctor may want you to have a blood test from time to time to check for this.
  • You may be given some lifestyle or dietary advice by your doctor, such as stopping smoking, reducing the amount of salt in your diet and taking some regular exercise. Following this advice will also help to reduce the risk of damage to your heart and blood vessels.
  • If you are taking xipamide tablets to reduce fluid retention in your legs, regular movements, raising your legs and using support stockings will also help. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
  • Diuretics like xipamide help you to lose water. Occasionally you may lose too much and become lacking in fluid in the body (dehydrated). Let your doctor know if you feel constantly thirsty, your mouth is dry, or your skin looks and feels dry.
  • Speak to your doctor about how much water to drink each day whilst taking a diuretic, it may depend on your health and body weight.
  • Drinking alcohol while you are on xipamide may make you feel dizzy. Alcohol can also act as a diuretic and make you dehydrated. Ask for your doctor's advice about whether you should avoid alcohol.
  • If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take alongside xipamide.
  • If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Possible xipamide side-effectsWhat can I do if I experience this?
Feeling sick, stomach upsetStick to simple foods - avoid rich or spicy meals
Feeling a little dizzy, particularly when you stand up (due to low blood pressure)Getting up and moving more slowly should help. If you begin to feel dizzy, sit for a few minutes before you stand up again slowly

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • Manufacturer's PIL, Diurexan® 20 mg Tablets; Meda Pharmaceuticals, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2014
  • British National Formulary; 70th Edition (Sep 2015) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Helen Huins
Document ID:
3500 (v24)
Last Checked:
Next Review:
The Information Standard - certified member

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