Diuretics

Hydrochlorothiazide, Frusemide, Amiloride, Triamterene and Spironolactone belong to a group of medicine which are used to treat high blood pressure or heart conditions known as diuretics.

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What is this medication used for?

These medicines work on the kidneys to get rid of the extra water and salts in the body. This will decrease the pressure on the blood vessels and allow the heart to work less hard. It is also used to reduce the amount of liquid in the lungs which is present when the heart fails.

Related: High Blood Pressure: Medication

Dosage and How to Use

  • Do not stop taking your medicines without checking with your doctors.

  • If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only the usual dose. Do not double your dose or use extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.

  • Your doctor will decide on the amount of medicine you should take based on your condition. Take this medicine as prescribed by your doctor.

  • Take your medicine after meals unless your doctor or pharmacist gives you different instructions. If you are taking one dose a day, take it in the morning.

  • If you are taking the medicine 2 times a day, take the second dose before 6pm so that you do not need to wake up often at night to urinate.

Related: Know Your Medication

Side Effects, Precautions, Contraindication

What are the possible side effects of the medi cines?

  • As diuretics increase water and salt loss through the kidneys, you may urinate more often and in larger amounts.

  • You may experience giddiness or lightheadedness, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position. This is more likely to happen in the morning or when you first get out of bed. Getting up slowly may help but if the problem continues, check with your doctor.

  • Some diuretics can cause loss of potassium. If you are losing too much potassium, you may become weak, tired, more thirsty than usual, have muscle cramps or have loss of appetite. Do consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

  • You may develop a skin rash or your skin may become more sensitive to sunlight.

How do I know if I am allergic to these medicines?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips

  • Difficulty in breathing

  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medicine immediately and see your doctor.

What precautions should I follow when taking the medicines?

  • Your doctor may need to check your electrolyte levels regularly when you are on this medicine.

  • If you are asked to go on a low salt diet, you should follow the doctor’s or dietician’s recommendations closely.

  • Inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or likely to become pregnant when you use this medicine.

  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are already taking any other medicines, herbal preparations, nutritional products or supplements.

  • You must tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medicines or if you develop an allergy while taking this medicine.

Related: Guidelines on Taking Medicine

Handling and Storage

  • Keep your medicines in the original container or packaging, tightly closed or sealed in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight.

  • Keep the medicine out of reach of children.

  • Throw away all expired medicines.

This article answers some common questions about this medicine. It does not contain all the available information. It also does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Diuretics

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