Diuretic drugs, sometimes called "water pills," are commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), edema and glaucoma.

 How do diuretics work to lower blood pressure?

  • Diuretics force a person's kidneys to get rid of sodium (salt) and water from the blood;
  • This decreases the amount of fluid in a person's blood vessels;
  • The less fluid in a person's blood vessels, the lower their blood pressure becomes.

Different types of diuretics include:

 Categories Brand Name (Generic Name):Uses
 Thiazide • Lozol (Indapamide)
 • Aquatensen/Enduron   (Methylclothiazide)
• Diuril (Chlorothiazide)
• Esidrix (Hydrochlorothiazide)
• Mykrox (Metalazone)
• Naturetin (Bendroflumethiazide)
• Renese (Polythiazide)
Most useful in lowering blood pressure.


• Bumex (Bumetanide)
• Lasix (Furosemide)
• Demadex (Torsemide)
Used to treat congestive heart failure. Good in emergency situations, but do not lower your blood pressure by a great amount.
 Potassium-sparing• Midamor (Amiloride)
• Dyrenium (Triamterene)
Similar to loop diuretics. Good for people with congestive heart failure or an irregular heartbeat who need more potassium in their bodies. These types of drugs do not lower your blood pressure by a great amount.
 Aldosterone receptor antagonists• Aldactone (Spironolactone)
• Inspira (Eplernone)
 These drugs are not usually prescribed to treat high blood pressure alone. They are used to remove excess fluid in the body when a person has congestive heart failure, kidney disease, or cirrhosis of the liver. It can also be used along with other drugs to treat high blood pressure.

For information about common side effects of diuretics see chart.

Additional information about diuretics:

  • They may be used while taking other diuretics or other high blood pressure medications.
  • Sometimes a combination of two diuretics are prescribed because they can be more effective than just taking one alone.

If you take diuretics, here is some important information you should know:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions before you start, stop, or change your use of any medicine.

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