Monday, April 14, 2008

A Guide to Diuretics

Sometimes in medicine we need to make our patient's pee a lot more than normal. Urine output is one of the major ways we get rid of fluid from the body. If you have too much fluid circulating in your body, one of the safer ways to reduce this excess is to increase urine output.

Enter diuretics. This is a group of medications that work in different ways to increase urine output. Not all diuretics are prescription medications... even things like coffee can acts as mild diuretics.

Here's an article I wrote for Helium that outlines some of the major prescription diuretics. The emphasis is on categories, not necessarily on specific drugs.

A diuretic is a type of medication that is used to increase the rate
of urine production by the kidneys. There are several types of
diuretics, all of which work in a slightly different fashion and have
different side effects and clinical uses. All diuretics are used to aid
in the elimination of excess fluid from the body.

People with high blood pressure, heart failure and certain types of
kidney problems are the most likely to be using a diuretic. The
specific type of diuretic is chosen by a doctor based on the individual
needs of the patient. Let's take a look at some of the major categories
of diuretics and how they function.


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