Types, Use, Side Effects, and More


Diuretics, additionally referred to as water drugs, are medicines designed to extend the quantity of water and salt expelled from the physique as urine. There are three kinds of prescription diuretics. They’re typically prescribed to assist deal with hypertension, however they’re used for different situations as properly.

The commonest situation handled with diuretics is hypertension. The medicine scale back the quantity of fluid in your blood vessels, and this helps decrease your blood strain.

Different situations are additionally handled with diuretics. Congestive coronary heart failure, as an illustration, retains your coronary heart from pumping blood successfully all through your physique. This results in a buildup of fluids in your physique, which is known as edema. Diuretics can assist scale back this fluid buildup.

The three kinds of diuretic medicines are referred to as thiazide, loop, and potassium-sparing diuretics. All of them make your physique excrete extra fluids as urine.

Thiazide diuretics

Thiazides are probably the most generally prescribed diuretics. They’re most frequently used to deal with hypertension. These medicine not solely lower fluids, in addition they trigger your blood vessels to loosen up.

Thiazides are typically taken with different medicines used to decrease blood strain. Examples of thiazides embody:

  • chlorthalidone
  • hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide)
  • metolazone
  • indapamide

Loop diuretics

Loop diuretics are sometimes used to deal with coronary heart failure. Examples of those medicine embody:

  • torsemide (Demadex)
  • furosemide (Lasix)
  • bumetanide

Potassium-sparing diuretics

Potassium-sparing diuretics scale back fluid ranges in your physique with out inflicting you to lose potassium, an essential nutrient.

The opposite kinds of diuretics trigger you to lose potassium, which may result in well being issues akin to arrhythmia. Potassium-sparing diuretics could also be prescribed for folks liable to low potassium ranges, akin to those that take different medicines that deplete potassium.

Potassium-sparing diuretics don’t scale back blood strain in addition to the opposite kinds of diuretics do. Due to this fact, your physician could prescribe a potassium-sparing diuretic with one other treatment that additionally lowers blood strain.

Examples of potassium-sparing diuretics embody:

  • amiloride
  • triamterene (Dyrenium)
  • spironolactone (Aldactone)
  • eplerenone (Inspra)

When taken as prescribed, diuretics are usually properly tolerated. Nevertheless, they’ll nonetheless trigger some unintended effects.

Extra widespread unintended effects

The extra widespread unintended effects of diuretics embody:

Critical unintended effects

In uncommon circumstances, diuretics could trigger critical unintended effects. These can embody:

What you are able to do

When you have unintended effects that trouble you whereas taking diuretics, discuss to your physician. They might prescribe a distinct treatment or mixture of medicines to assist scale back your unintended effects.

Whether or not or not you’ve got unintended effects, don’t cease taking your diuretic with out first speaking to your physician.

Diuretics are usually protected, however there are some dangers if in case you have different medical situations or take sure medicines.

Circumstances of concern

Earlier than you are taking a prescribed diuretic, remember to inform your physician if in case you have any of the next situations or points:

Drug interactions

If you start a brand new treatment, ensure to inform your physician about some other medicines, dietary supplements, or herbs you’re taking. Some medicines which may work together with a diuretic embody:

  • cyclosporine (Restasis)
  • antidepressants akin to fluoxetine (Prozac) and venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
  • lithium
  • digoxin (Digox)
  • different medicine for hypertension

Some herbs and vegetation are thought of “pure diuretics,” together with:

  • hawthorn
  • inexperienced and black tea
  • parsley

These substances aren’t meant for use to interchange a prescription diuretic. When you have questions on diuretics and different therapy choices, discuss to your physician.

Prescription diuretics may be useful in treating critical situations, akin to coronary heart failure, to less-pressing situations, akin to delicate hypertension.

In case your physician prescribes a diuretic, be at liberty to ask them any questions you could have. Take into account discussing these questions:

  • How will I do know my diuretic is working the best way it’s purported to work?
  • Am I taking any medicines which may work together with a diuretic?
  • Ought to I comply with a low-salt weight loss program whereas taking a diuretic?
  • Ought to I’ve my blood strain and kidney perform examined whereas taking this drug?
  • Ought to I take a potassium complement or keep away from meals that comprise potassium?

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