Diuretics (often called “water pills”) are drugs that cause the body to rid itself of excess fluids and sodium through urination. This helps to relieve the heart’s workload and also decreases the buildup of fluid in the lungs and other parts of the body, such as the ankles and legs. Different diuretics remove fluid at varied rates and through different methods. They are used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and some congenital heart defects.

Some types of diuretics that are available are (not brand names): Thiazide Diuretics (methyclothiazide, hydroflumethiazide, metolazone, chlorothiazide, quinethazone, chlorthalidon, trichlormethiazide, polythiazide, chlorthalidone, Potassium-Sparing Diuretics (such as spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride, bendroflumethiazide) and Loop Acting Diuretics (such as bumetanide, torsemide, ethacrynic acid, furosemide).

Figure 1: Diuretics
Figure 2: Parts of the urinary tract
Figure 3: Diuretics affect the kidneys causing them reduce water and salt through increased urine production.
Figure 4: Diuretics reduce blood pressure and the workload on the heart.


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