Commonly Used Brand Names in the United States
Chlorthalidone tablets (chlorthalidone)
Edecrin (ethacrynic acid)
Lopressor HCT (hydrochlorothiazide)
Therapeutic Uses of Diuretics
Diuretics are sometimes called "water" pills. They cause the body to eliminate excess fluid and sodium through urination and are prescribed for some types of kidney or liver disease. They are used to treat:
• Congestive heart failure (CHF)
• High blood pressure (hypertension)
• Edema (water retention)
• Some congenital birth defects
How Diuretics Work
There are three types of diuretic medicines. Each type works a little differently, but they all lower the amount of salt and water in the body, which helps lower blood pressure. Excess fluid causes high blood pressure and it causes fluid to accumulate in the lungs and the lower extremities.
Thiazide diuretics are used to treat high blood pressure by reducing the amount of sodium and water in the body. Thiazides are the only type of diuretic that dilates (widens) the blood vessels, which also helps lower blood pressure.
Potassium-sparing diuretics are used to reduce the amount of water in the body. Unlike the other diuretic medicines, these medicines do not cause the body to lose potassium.
Loop-acting diuretics cause the kidneys to increase the flow of urine, reducing the amount of water in the body and lowering blood pressure.
The information in this section is meant to provide a brief description of this medicine. It does not cover all of the possible uses, warnings, dosages, side effects, or interactions with other medicines and vitamin or herbal supplements. This information should not be used as medical advice for individual problems.
Texas Heart Institute www.texasheartinstitute.com/HIC/Topics/Meds/diurmeds.cfm
American Heart Association www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3057015