The most prevalent side effect of taking diuretics for hypertension is frequent urination, although this usually diminishes after a few weeks of taking the drug, reports Mayo Clinic. Other side effects include weakness, muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness and dehydration, adds WebMD. Less frequently, some types of diuretics can cause men's breasts to enlarge and women's menstrual cycles to become irregular, voices to deepen and hair growth to decrease.
As the body gets used to diuretics, weakness and fatigue usually decrease, explains WebMD. Taking potassium supplements sometimes helps alleviate weakness and muscle cramps, and rising slowly from prone positions helps alleviate dizziness. Patients should contact their doctors if they have symptoms of dehydration, such as dryness of the mouth, dizziness, constipation, thirst and dark-colored urine. Other infrequent and health-threatening symptoms may include rashes, nausea, vomiting, fever and rapid weight loss.
To minimize adverse side effects of diuretics, patients should tell their doctors about any other medications they are taking and carefully follow their doctors' instructions on dosage, advises WebMD. If doctors prescribe only single daily doses, patients should take the diuretic in the mornings to avoid interrupted sleep due to frequent urination. Patients should have regular doctors' appointments to monitor kidney function, blood pressure and overall response to the drug.