10 Side Effects of Diuretics

By jolene
Jun 16, 2019
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Diuretics are a class of medications that promote the production of urine. There are several types of diuretics. All diuretics increase water excretion, but different types do so in different ways.

Diuretics can be used in the treatment of hypertension, heart failure, liver cirrhosis, certain kidney diseases, influenza, and water poisoning. Loop diuretics such as furosemide, torasemide, and ethacrynic acid cause a substantial diuresis by inhibiting reabsorption of sodium, leading to excretion of water.

Thiazides such as hydrochlorothiazide inhibit the sodium-chloride symporter. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as acetazolamide inhibit the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, resulting in decreased sodium absorption. Spironolactone and eplerenone are potassium sparing diuretics that are competitive antagonists of aldosterone. Other types of diuretics include calcium sparing diuretics and osmotic diuretics (mannitol). Below are 10 side effects of diuretics to look out for.

Side Effect #1: Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when there is total body water deficit along with disruption of metabolic processes. This is when free water intake is less than free water loss due to high environmental pressure, disease, or exercise. Most individuals easily tolerate about 3 to 4 percent of total body water deficit without experiencing much effect. However, a 5 to 8 percent deficit can lead to dizziness and fatigue. More than 10 percent loss can cause mental and physical deterioration. Once deficit is between 15 to 25 percent, death can occur.

Some causes of dehydration include vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive sweating. It can also occur as a side effect of diuretics as the medication causes excretion of fluid through the urinary tract.


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