Water and electrolyte balance: Plasma sodium: This must be measured before starting treatment, then at regular intervals subsequently. The fall in plasma sodium may be asymptomatic initially and regular monitoring is therefore essential, and should be even more frequent in the elderly and cirrhotic patients (see Adverse Reactions and Overdosage). Any diuretic treatment may cause hyponatraemia, sometimes with very serious consequences. Hyponatraemia with hypovolaemia may be responsible of dehydration and orthostatic hypotension. Concomitant loss of chloride ions may lead to secondary compensatory metabolic alkalosis: the incidence and degree of this effect are slight.
Plasma potassium: Potassium depletion with hypokalaemia is the major risk of thiazide and related diuretics. The risk of onset of hypokalaemia (< 3.4 mmol/l) must be prevented in certain high risk populations, i.e. the elderly, malnourished and/or polymedicated, cirrhotic patients with oedema and ascites, coronary artery disease and cardiac failure patients. In this situation, hypokalaemia increases the cardiac toxicity of digitalis preparations and the risks of arrhythmias.
Individuals with a long QT interval are also at risk, whether the origin is congenital or iatrogenic. Hypokalaemia, as well as bradycardia, is then a predisposing factor to the onset of severe arrhythmias, in particular, potentially fatal torsades de pointes.
More frequent monitoring of plasma potassium is required in all the situations indicated previously. The first measurement of plasma potassium should be obtained during the first week following the start of treatment.
Detection of hypokalaemia requires its correction.
Plasma calcium: Thiazide and related diuretics may decrease urinary calcium excretion and cause a slight and transitory rise in plasma calcium. Frank hypercalcaemia may be due to previously unrecognised hyperparathyroidism.
Treatment should be withdrawn before the investigation of parathyroid function.
Blood glucose: Monitoring of blood glucose is important in diabetics, in particular in the presence of hypokalaemia.
Uric acid: Tendency to gout attacks may be increased in hyperuricaemic patients.
Renal function and diuretics: Thiazide and related diuretics are fully effective only when renal function is normal or only minimally impaired (plasma creatinine below levels of the order of 25 mg/l, i.e. 220 μmol/l in an adult). In the elderly, this plasma creatinine must be adjusted in relation to age, weight and gender.
Hypovolaemia, secondary to the loss of water and sodium induced by the diuretic at the start of treatment causes a reduction in glomerular filtration. This may lead to an increase in blood urea and plasma creatinine. This transitory functional renal insufficiency is of no consequence in individuals with normal renal function but may worsen preexisting renal insufficiency.
Athletes: The attention of athletes is drawn to the fact that this medicinal product contains a drug substance, which may give a positive reaction in doping tests.
Effects on ability to drive and use machines: Indapamide does not affect vigilance but different reactions in relation with the decrease in blood pressure may occur in individual cases, especially at the start of the treatment or when another antihypertensive agent is added.
As a result the ability to drive vehicles or to operate machinery may be impaired.