1. Why Water Pills Are Prescribed

    Diuretics are a type of medication used to treat multiple medical problems including high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and fluid retention. As a matter of fact, diuretics are probably the most effective means of providing symptomatic relief for people who are in symptomatic congestive heart failure. These medications act on various locations within the kidneys causing increased loss of body water through urination. Commonly prescribed pills include hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), furosemide (lasix), triamterene, and spironolactone.

    Diuretics, are a type of medication used to treat multiple medical problems including high blood pressurecongestive heart failure, and fluid retention.

  2. How These Medications Work?

    The main mechanism by which these pills work is by stimulating the kidney to secrete sodium, or salt, and water resulting in increased urination. There are several classes that act upon the kidneys in different ways to achieve their beneficial effects:

    • Thiazide diuretics (HCTZ, metalazone) – work by inhibiting sodium reabsorption in the kidneys
    • Loop diuretics (Lasix, bumetanide) – work by inhibiting sodium and chloride reabsorption
    • Potassium sparing diuretics (triamterene, amiloride) – work by inhibiting sodium reabsorption and promoting potassium retention
    • Aldosterone inhibitors (spironolactone) – work by decreasing sodium and water reabsorption and increasing potassium retention
  3. Side Effects

    Most people who are prescribed these medications are able to enjoy their beneficial effects without experiencing bothersome side effects. Unfortunately, a small percentage of people taking diuretics may experience electrolyte imbalances, kidney stones, dehydration, kidney failure, and low blood pressure. Ensure that you discuss any potential side effects with your healthcare provider immediately who may need to choose an alternative medicine to treat your condition.

  4. The Importance of Compliance

    Seeing your healthcare provider on a routine basis is not enough if you do not follow the instructions that have been given once a health and wellness concern is identified. One of the most important steps that you can take to prevent worsening of your health is to take any medications that are prescribed. Most people will require lifetime treatment with medications for certain chronic diseases, but some will be able to eventually stop taking their medicines if strict compliance with diet and lifestyle changes can be maintained.