, although previously widely used, have largely been superseded by safer diuretics
such as thiazides
, and are hardly used anymore.
compounds, such as mercury(I)chloride (calomel
), were found to have diuretic properties several centuries ago, when they were used to treat syphilis
. However, inorganic mercury compounds are very toxic and also have a strong laxative
effect. Organic mercurials were found later, which were much more potent as diuretics and safer to use than inorganic ones.
Mercurial diuretics cause diuresis by reducing the reabsorption sodium
in the ascending loop of Henle
, thus causing more water being delivered to the distal convoluted tubule
. In the long run, mercurial diuretics tend to accumulate in the liver
and the kidneys
, causing damage.
Some common organic mercurials: