Thiazide Diuretics

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What are thiazide diuretics, and how do they work?

Thiazide diuretics (water pills) are medications that are used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and reduce fluid accumulation in the body. They work by reducing the ability of the kidneys to reabsorb salt and water from the urine and into the body thereby increasing the production and output of urine (diuresis).

What are some examples thiazide diuretics?

For what conditions are thiazide diuretics used?

Thiazide diuretics are used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure as well as the accumulation of fluid and swelling (edema) of the body caused by conditions such as heart failure, cirrhosis, chronic kidney failure, corticosteroid medications, and nephrotic syndrome.

What are the side effects of thiazide diuretics?

Side effects of thiazide diuretics are dose related and include:

Other side effects and adverse reactions are:

  • An increased sensitivity to sunlight (prolonged sun exposure should be avoided)
  • Owing to their ability to increase the production of urine, these drugs may lower levels in the body of potassium and magnesium which also are present in urine.
  • Thiazide diuretics may increase uric acid levels in blood.
  • Like other antihypertensive medications, thiazides cause sexual dysfunction.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/19/2015

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