Does the diuretic and antihypertensive drug hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) cause cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC)?

Updated: Jul 08, 2020
  • Author: Talib Najjar, DMD, MDS, PhD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

A study by Pedersen et al indicated that hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), one of the most frequently prescribed diuretic and antihypertensive drugs in the United States and Western Europe, raises the risk for BCC and cSCC. HCTZ has a photosensitizing effect and, in an experimental model, was seen to encourage UVA-induced DNA damage. The investigators reported an association between a high amount of HCTZ use (50,000 mg or more) and odds ratios for BCC and cSCC of 1.29 and 3.98, respectively. The odds ratios rose to 1.54 and 7.38, respectively, for patients with a cumulative HCTZ dose of 200,000 mg or more. [10, 11]


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