Definition and Types
Diuretic or more commonly known as ‘water pill’ is one of the most popular types of blood pressure medication. In effect, the medicine can lower a blood pressure by helping your body eliminate excess water and salt through your kidneys and enable your heart to pump better. Diuretic is also used to treat conditions like heart failure and kidney problems.
One particular diuretic, the thiazide diuretic, is used to treat blood pressure but there are also other stronger diuretics (like Bumex and Lasix) that can be used to eliminate excess fluid (or edema) in patients that have congestive heart failure. These diuretics actually work by obstructing the re-absorption of fluid that goes through your kidneys. The excess fluid is then removed from your body through urine.
There are also other kinds of diuretics—like the Aldactone—that spare potassium from being eliminated from your body; thus observing its balance. These are taken with other diuretics since they don’t lower blood pressure when used alone.
Diuretics can cause frequent peeing or urination but the effect normally lasts for a few hours. Another side effect involved is electrolyte imbalance since you are eliminating excess water through your urine. It is then important that a doctor will monitor your blood chemistry while you are under diuretic medication. Some people also experience fatigue and weakness at the early period of their use of the medication. However, this only lasts for a few weeks as the patient gets used to the medicine. Dizziness and hazy vision may also be outcomes in taking in diuretics.
There are also cases when a patient experiences muscle cramps most especially when the diuretic may cause potassium loss. With this, you may have to add a potassium supplement but before doing so, you must consult this to your doctor or physician.
When to Call your Doctor
If you are experiencing rapid weight loss, cough, bleeding, ringing in your ears, fever and unusual bruising, then you need to call your doctor immediately. Also, if you are allergic to sulfa drugs, know that diuretics have sulfa in them. You need to tell this detail right away to your doctor.
You also need to monitor if there is a decrease in your urine output or if you experience extreme feeling of thirst, mouth dryness or dark colored urine. These results should be taken to the attention of your doctor or physician immediately.