Diuretics are non-habit-forming medications that stimulate the kidneys to produce more urine, flushing excess fluids and minerals e.
They may be prescribed in conjunction with low-sodium diets and other lifestyle changes. The most common diuretic medications fall into four major categories: Diuretics are generally taken orally in tablet, capsule or liquid form.
They can also be administered through intravenous injection. Urine flow usually increases within hours of the first dose, but diuretics may take several weeks to treat conditions such as high blood pressure. The increased urine flow flushes the following dissolved substances solutes from the body:. Stimulating the body to remove more of these solutes also rids the body of the water in which they are suspended, potassium for all patients on diuretics.
Some specific types of diuretics include:. Thiazide diuretics are considered to be the front-line treatment for high blood pressure hypertension. A recently potassium for all patients on diuretics large-scale study recommended they be used before other blood-pressure-lowering medications.
Diuretics are generally well tolerated and not very expensive. Another finding of the study was that, potassium for all patients on diuretics, overall, most individuals need more than one drug to treat high blood pressure, and one of those drugs should be a diuretic. The study has, however, generated great controversy within the medical community, partly because of the finding that patients in the diuretic group are more likely to develop diabetes.
The long-term consequences of this were not addressed in the study. In addition to high blood pressure, diuretics are used to treat the following conditions:. Patients should use diuretics with caution if they have been potassium for all patients on diuretics with any of the following conditions:. In potassium for all patients on diuretics, diuretics may make some disorders worse. Patients with the following conditions should discuss the risks with their physicians:. However, this risk may be lessened by using low-dose diuretics.
The most common side effect associated with diuretics is potassium loss. With the exception of potassium-sparing versions, all diuretics may cause a loss of potassium. Rarely, potassium-sparing diuretics can cause a build-up of potassium in the body. Symptoms of potassium loss include:. Patients should contact their physicians if they have any of the following side effects from diuretics, most of which are related to diuresis urinating too much and dehydration:.
Rarely, potassium-sparing diuretics may produce breast enlargement in males and females, causes breast tenderness, deepening of the voice, increased hair potassium for all patients on diuretics, irregular menstrual periods and unusual sweating. Patients on diuretics should inform their physicians if they become sick, especially with severe or continuing vomiting or diarrhea.
These conditions can cause the body to lose too much water and potassium. Patients should consult their physicians before taking any additional prescriptions, over-the-counter medications or nutritional supplements.
Other substances that can influence the effects of diuretics include:. Alcohol use, potassium for all patients on diuretics, exposure to heat and prolonged standing may also intensify the adverse effects of diuretics. When first taking a diuretic, patients should avoid operating heavy machinery e. Some patients may experience fatigue when first taking this medication, but this usually passes after the patient has been on the medication for some time.
Urine flow will increase and some patients may need to wake during the night to urinate. To minimize this, patients with a single daily dose should take their medication in the morning after breakfast. Patients taking more than one dose a day are advised to take their last dose before 6 p, potassium for all patients on diuretics.
Patients are advised to use sunscreen and avoid tanning booths. Furthermore, patients being treated for heart failure may need to weigh themselves frequently and report any loss or gain of more than 5 pounds in a week. Physicians may instruct patients to add foods high in potassium to their diets or prescribe a potassium supplement, but patients should not attempt to change their diets without direction from their physician.
Extra potassium is not necessary for every patient on diuretics and too much potassium can be harmful. In addition, patients taking loop diuretics may be advised to take magnesium supplements in addition to potassium supplements, because the reabsorption of this solute is limited by the medication. Most patients taking diuretics to treat high blood pressure hypertension will be using the medication for the rest of their lives, provided no serious side effects occur.
Patients should remember that diuretics can help to control high blood pressure, but cannot cure it. Even if all their symptoms cease, patients should continue to take their medication exactly as directed and to keep all scheduled follow-up appointments with their physician.
Use of diuretics during pregnancy is not recommended. The effects of diuretics during pregnancy have not been studied extensively. However, it has been noted that diuretics given after the first trimester of pregnancy to treat hypertension may interfere with the normal expansion of fluid seen during pregnancy.
The depletion of this fluid volume could, in turn, disrupt neurodevelopment of the fetus and increase the risk of conditions such as schizophrenia in the offspring. There is also a risk of jaundice, blood problems and potassium depletion in the newborn. Potassium for all patients on diuretics lactating women, most diuretics will pass into breast milk and can cause dehydration in nursing infants.
Potassium-sparing diuretics, however, have not been found to cause problems in nursing babies. The use of diuretics in children is typically seen for the treatment potassium for all patients on diuretics milder degrees of heart failure.
There is no indication that the risk of side effects from diuretics is different in children than in adults. Dosages are lower for children and the dosage interval may be longer. Children taking potassium-sparing diuretics are more prone to developing calcium deficiencies than are adults. Safety of diuretic use in children has not been scientifically established for all forms of the medication.
Parents are encouraged to discuss the potential risks and benefits with a board-certified pediatric cardiologist before their child begins taking diuretics. Older adults have a higher frequency and intensity of side effects, such as lightheadedness, dizziness and fainting syncope. They are also more susceptible to dehydration, hypovolemia decrease in circulating blood volumeand deficiencies of calcium, potassium, potassium for all patients on diuretics, sodium and magnesium.
Generally, older patients require lower doses of diuretics and require close observation but are routinely prescribed these medications. This site is for information and support only. Diuretics Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors. About About diuretics Diuretics are non-habit-forming medications that stimulate the kidneys to produce more urine, flushing excess fluids and minerals e.
Loop diuretics produce the potassium for all patients on diuretics increase in urine flow. They may be administered through an intravenous I. They are most commonly used as oral medications. Thiazide or thiazide-like diuretics increase the excretion of both sodium and chloride into the urine. They are commonly prescribed for heart patients, either alone or in conjunction with a potassium-sparing version. They are also commonly used to treat high pressure blood hypertension.
These drugs have been shown to reduce calcium excretion, meaning they are attractive options for patients with kidney stones or osteoporosis. Potassium-sparing diuretics are used to protect the body from excess potassium loss, which can occur with loop and thiazide diuretics. Far less potent, potassium-sparing diuretics are commonly used in conjunction with the other forms of diuretics.
They are also frequently used in patients with liver disease and ascites fluid build-up in the abdomen due to liver damage. In addition, they can be used to treat high blood pressure and low potassium levels. Osmotic diuretics are the least used form of diuretics. They draw fluid from the cells of the brain and eyes, as well as increase the elimination of toxins introduced into the body from legal or illegal drugs through urine. The mechanic process involves the increase of osmotic pressure ion concentration in blood and blood vessels, inhibiting the reabsorption of water and dissolved substances, and causing an increase in urine flow.
The increased urine flow flushes the following dissolved substances solutes from the body: Sodium Potassium except for potassium-sparing diuretic Calcium Magnesium Chloride Phosphorus Uric acid Stimulating the body to remove more of these solutes also rids the body of the water in which they potassium for all patients on diuretics suspended.
Some specific types of diuretics include: Generic air chemicals Osmotic Potassium-sparing bumetanide ethacrynic acid furosemide torsemide glycerin isosorbide mannitol urea amiloride hydrochloride spironolactone triamterene eplerenone Thiazide or thiazide-like bendroflumethiazide benzthiazide chlorothiazide chlorthalidone cyclothiazide hydrochlorothiazide flumethiazide indapamide methyclothiazide metolazone polythiazide quinethazone trichlormethiazide.
Conditions treated Thiazide diuretics are considered to be the front-line treatment for high blood pressure hypertension. In addition to high blood pressure, diuretics are used to treat the following conditions: By flushing excess fluids from the body, diuretics can relieve the edema swelling from excess fluids that commonly occurs with heart failure. Specifically, spironolactone and eplerenone have been independently shown to benefit patients with heart failure, thus reducing the workload on the heart.
Most patients with heart failure are treated with a loop diuretic, in addition to a low sodium diet. It is important for any patients taking diuretics for heart failure to have their electrolyte levels carefully monitored. Heart failure patients who are prescribed diuretics will often be on the medications for the rest of the lives. A condition in which the kidneys are unable to function normally. Diuretics can sometimes worsen this condition. Destruction and scarring of liver tissues, when complicated by ascites fluid build-up in the liver caused liver cirrhosis, heart failure or nephrotic syndrome.
Too much calcium in the blood. Diabetes insipidus thiazide diuretics only. A pituitary gland disorder marked by excessive thirst and the excretion of large amounts of urine. Thiazide diuretics actually decrease urine volume in these patients. Glaucoma osmotic diuretics only. An eye disease in which increased pressure within the eye causes damage and gradual loss of sight.
Cerebral edema osmotic diuretics only. A potentially fatal swelling in the brain that can be caused by hemorrhage, trauma, disease or surgery.