Thiazide Diuretics are medications for hypertension, by reducing the accumulation of water or edema, in the body and increase urine output or diuresis. They reduce the kidneys' ability to reabsorb water and salt from the urine. Also known as water pills, thiazide diuretics increase the water amount passed out from the kidneys or urine production. They interfere the transportation of water and salt across kidney cells, and widen the blood vessels. Thiazide diuretics are at times used to get rid of the fluid from the body caused by heart failure, though loop diuretic takes care of this job more commonly. Thiazide action on the kidneys is quite milder compared to loop diuretics. The effect of thiazide diuretics in increased urine production is less noticeable than that of loop diuretics.
Some examples of thiazide diuretics are:
Thiazide diuretics are for treating hypertension and congestive heart failure, as well as swelling and fluid accumulation, caused by kidney failure, cirrhosis, nephrotic syndrome and corticosteroid medicines. However, thiazide diuretics are not useful with severe renal impairment.
Thiazide diuretics are usually taken during the morning only as their effect is 24 hours, but their effect of increasing urine is only 12 hours so that the user need not go to the toilet often during the night.
The dosage of thiazide diuretics for hypertension is very low, hence, side effects are not very common. If there are, they can be:
Thiazide diuretics may lower the magnesium and potassium levels in the body since salt imbalance in the bloodstream can happen due to increased urine production. Blood sugar, uric acid and calcium levels may also increase.
Those, who are taking digoxin (Lanoxin) and taking thiazide diuretics, may experience abnormal rhythms of the heart. Thiazide diuretics react to Eskalith and Lithobid by increasing the toxicity of lithium as they reduce the ability of the kidneys to remove lithium from the urine. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen (Motrin), nabumetone (Relafen) and naproxen (Naprosyn) weaken the effectiveness of thiazide diuretics.
Those using dofetilide (Tikosyn), which is used for abnormal rhythms of the heart are not advised to take thiazide diuretics. The latter also weakens the response of the body to norepinephrine, making it less effective.
Those taking thiazide diuretics may need to eat more bananas to make up for the potassium loss, as well as take supplements to make up loss or reduced magnesium, vitamin D, calcium and coenzyme. Patients taking thiazide diuretics are warned not to take licorice root as the interaction could possibly be risky since the latter could worsen depletion of potassium. These supplements to make up for the various deficiencies caused by the thiazide diuretics must be taken with recommendation, advice or prescription from their physicians.
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