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Diuretics are used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. They may be referred to as 'water tablets'. That's because they help the body get rid of excess water and salt through urine.

This makes it easier for the heart to pump blood and in turn helps to lower blood pressure.

Who should take diuretics?

Diuretics may be recommended for:


Types of diuretics

Loop diuretics are often prescribed for oedema and heart failure. These include furosemide, bumetanide and torasemide.

Thiazide diuretics help manage high blood pressure and oedema due to heart failure, including bendroflumethiazide, indapamide and metolazone.

Potassium-sparing diuretics are not generally used for heart failure.

Diuretic warnings

Always make sure a doctor knows about other health conditions and all medications being taken, including herbal remedies.

Diuretics are not suitable during pregnancy or for people with gout.

Side-effects of diuretics include:

Seek medical advice if you experience side-effects or have concerns. Don't stop taking a medication without talking to a doctor first.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on September 27, 2016

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