This is a class or type of medications with several different functions and uses. It is also known as a “water” pill and they can help the body to get rid of excess water and salt.

This can be useful in Heart issues, Hypertension, Edema, and many other medical conditions.

The most common use for these medications is High Blood Pressure. The drugs reduce the amount of fluid in your blood vessels which can help lower the blood pressure.

3 Main Types of Diuretic Medications

1.)  Thiazide
2.)  Loop
3.)  Potassium-Sparing

1.)  Thiazide

.     Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)
.     Metolazone
.     Chlorthilidone

Method of Action for Thiazide

–  Blocks the sodium resorption in the cortical diluting segment at the terminal point of the loop of Henle.
–  Becomes ineffective when GFR goes below 30-40 mL/min

2.)  Loop Diuretics

.     Furosemide  (Lasix)
.     Bumetanide  
.     Torsemide  (Demadex)

Method of Action for Loop

– Inhibit chloride reabsorption in ascending limb of the loop of Henle

3.)  Potassium-Sparing agents

.     Spironolactone
.     Triamterene
.     Eplerenone
.     Amiloride

Method of Action for Potassium-Sparing

– Can be used in combo with Loop diuretics and Thiazides
Triameterene and Amiloride work in distal tubule to limit potassium secretion
Spironolactone inhibits aldosterone – which is often elevated in CHF
Eplerenone is used for post-MI cases

Side Effects of Diuretics

1.)  Too little Potassium in Blood
2.)  Too much Potassium in Blood – (Often only see for Potassium-Sparing Diuretics)
3.)  Elevated Sodium Levels
4.)  Headache
5.)  Dizziness
6.)  Thirst
7.)  Muscle Cramps
8.)  Diarrhea
9.)  Rash
10.)  Changes in Cholesterol – typically elevation
11.)  Changes in Blood sugar – typically elevation
12.)  Kidney Failure
13.)  Changes in heartbeat