Dyrenium (Triamterene) - Oral

What Is Dyrenium?

Dyrenium (triamterene) is a medication used to get rid of extra fluid in the body (edema) caused by certain health conditions. It also lowers blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.

Triamterene belongs to a class of medications called potassium-sparing diuretics. It works by helping your kidneys drain excess salt and fluid from your body, reducing swelling.

This drug is only available as a capsule and with a prescription.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Triamterene

Brand Name(s): Dyrenium

Drug Availability: Prescription

Administration Route: Oral

Therapeutic Classification: Diuretic

Available Generically: Yes

Controlled Substance: N/A

Active Ingredient: Triamterene

Dosage Form(s): Capsule

What Is Dyrenium Used For?

Dyrenium is used to get rid of extra fluid (edema) caused by:

How to Take Dyrenium

Take it daily by mouth as one dose or divided doses. Take it with food (after meals) to prevent stomach upset or as directed by your healthcare provider. If you're taking this drug once a day, take it in the morning.

Dyrenium can increase urination. It may cause you to wake up frequently at night to go to the bathroom. Hence, do not take it close to your bedtime.

Continue taking triamterene even if you feel better. Do not stop taking it all of a sudden. Your healthcare provider has to taper you off this drug. If you stop this medication abruptly, your body can begin to remove potassium excessively during urination.

Storage

Store at room temperature (between 68 F and 77 F) away from light. For short periods, you may store it between cool and mildly hot temperatures (59 F to 86 F). Keep this medicine in a dry place, and do not store it in your bathroom.

Keep all medications out of reach of children and pets.

Discard all expired or unused drugs. Ask your pharmacist about the best ways to get rid of your medicine. There may be local drug take-back programs in your area.

Off-Label Uses

Triamterene is used off-label to treat high blood pressure. However, it does not lower blood pressure effectively if used alone. It is usually used in addition to other blood pressure drugs to achieve a blood pressure-lowering effect.

How Long Does Dyrenium Take to Work?

Dyrenium is absorbed in the body within two to four hours and lasts 12 to 16 hours. Therefore, you may begin to see the effects of this drug after several days of taking it.

What Are the Side Effects of Dyrenium?

This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Dyrenium include but are not limited to:

Severe Side Effects

Call your healthcare provider immediately if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects can include the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Kidney stones 
  • Bruising
  • Severe loss of energy
  • An allergic reaction with hives, trouble speaking or swallowing, swollen face, mouth, lips, or tongue
  • Liver problems with signs including dark urine, light-colored stools, and yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice). Liver problems may occur after four to 12 weeks of therapy.
  • Kidney problems with symptoms such as blood in the urine, inability to pass urine, and changes in how much urine is passed
  • Fluid and electrolyte problems with signs such as mood changes, confusion, seizures, irregular heartbeat, and muscle pain or weakness

Be especially cautious if you have pre-diabetes, diabetes, gout, or kidney stones. Triamterene may increase blood sugar and uric acid levels.

Dyrenium may cause potassium levels in your blood to rise. If left untreated, this can be fatal. People with severe illness, kidney problems, diabetes, and older adults are at the greatest risk.

Report Side Effects

Dyrenium may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much of Dyrenium Should I Take?

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (capsules):
    • For hypertension or edema:
      • Adults—100 milligrams (mg) two times a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor .

Modifications

Treatment or dosage changes may be required for the following cases under the discretion of the healthcare provider. Special caution may need to be used in:

  • People with gout, hyperuricemia (high uric acid levels), or those at risk for kidney stones
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Adults 65 years and older due to triamterene's effects on potassium levels and sodium (salt) levels. Diuretics can also cause fluid or electrolyte imbalances and worsen urinary incontinence issues.
  • Preexisting hyponatremia (low sodium levels)

Missed Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If your next dose is too close, skip the missed dose. Instead, return to your usual dosing schedule. Do not duplicate the amount or take extra doses.

Overdose: What Happens If I Use Too Much Dyrenium?

Dyrenium overdose is very rare. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, confusion, vomiting, or increased heart rate.

What Happens If I Overdose on Dyrenium?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Dyrenium, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Dyrenium, call 911 immediately

Precautions

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects .

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium .

This medicine may increase the amount of potassium in your blood. Check with your doctor right away if you are having abdominal pain; confusion; difficulty breathing; irregular heartbeats; nausea or vomiting; nervousness; numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips; shortness of breath; or weakness or heaviness of the legs .

What Are Reasons I Shouldn't Take Dyrenium?

Avoid taking triamterene if you have:

The risk of having severe side effects while on this drug is higher in older adults. Avoid this drug in people 65 years and older.

What Other Medications Interact With Dyrenium?

Taking some drugs with this drug may lessen how well it lowers blood pressure. They may increase the risk of a condition called hyperkalemia (too much potassium in your blood). These medications include:

You should also avoid potassium supplements and potassium-containing salt substitutes.

What Medications Are Similar?

Other diuretics that are similar to Dyrenium include:

This is a list of drugs that are similar to Dyrenium. It is not necessarily a list of medications recommended to take with it. In fact, do not take these drugs together unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Talk to your pharmacist or a healthcare provider if you have questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Dyrenium used to treat?

    Dyrenium is used to get rid of excess fluid in your body. It may also be used in combination with other medications to lower blood pressure.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Dyrenium?

    Take the missed dose once you think of it. Skip the missed dose if it is too close to the next dose. Return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take extra doses or double the amount.

  • What are the common side effects of Dyrenium?

    The common side effects of Dyrenium are:

    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Dry mouth
    • Nausea
    • Headache
    • Fatigue
    • Dizziness
    • Skin sensitivity to sunlight
  • How soon does Dyrenium begin to work?

    Dyrenium takes two to four hours to start working and lasts 12 to 16 hours. After a few days of using this drug, you may begin to see its effects.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Dyrenium?

Dyrenium is effective when you take it correctly. Before starting this treatment, tell your healthcare provider about your medical history and prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements that you take. Although this drug is effective, it may worsen some health conditions like gout and diabetes.

Remember to regularly monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar. Tell your healthcare provider if your condition worsens or if you have any bothersome side effects.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  3. Prescribers' Digital Reference. Triamterene- drug summary.

  4. Tu W, Decker BS, He Z, et al. Triamterene enhances the blood pressure lowering effect of hydrochlorothiazide in patients with hypertension. J Gen Intern Med. 2016;31(1):30-36. doi:10.1007/s11606-015-3469-1

  5. National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Livertox: clinical and research information on drug-induced liver injury [Internet]. Triamterene.

  6. Amery A, Berthaux P, Bulpitt C, et al. Glucose intolerance during diuretic therapy. Results of trial by the European Working Party on hypertension in the elderly. Lancet. 1978;1(8066):681-683. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(78)90797-3

By Queen Buyalos, PharmD
Queen Buyalos is a pharmacist and freelance medical writer. She takes pride in advocating for cancer prevention, overall health, and mental health education. Queen enjoys counseling and educating patients about drug therapy and translating complex ideas into simple language.