What Are the Side Effects of Diuretic Pills?


Quick Answer

According to Mayo Clinic, diuretics are generally safe to use, but they have some side effects, the most common being increased urination. Other side effects include headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness, weakness, increased thirst, menstrual irregularities and impotence. Those who take diuretics might also develop potassium levels that are higher than normal.

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What Are the Side Effects of Diuretic Pills?
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Full Answer

Diuretics are commonly called "water pills," and they help eliminate unneeded water and salt from the kidneys, tissues and bloodstream. According to Mayo Clinic, they work by causing the kidneys to put more sodium into the urine, and the sodium draws water from the blood, which minimizes the amount of fluid flowing through the blood vessels and reduces the amount of pressure on the artery walls. Diuretics are often used to treat heart-related conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart failure, because they facilitate the heart's pumping abilities. However, they are also used to treat a host of other ailments, including liver complications, kidney problems and glaucoma, notes WebMD.

It is important to follow a doctor's instructions regarding how often a diuretic should be taken. WebMD suggests taking a diuretic in the morning, if possible, to minimize frequent overnight trips to the bathroom. A person should also take diuretics under a doctor's care since those who take these pills need to have their blood pressure and kidney function tested regularly.

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