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
What are some examples thiazide diuretics?
For what conditions are thiazide diuretics used?
Thiazide diuretics are used to treat high blood pressure and
failure as well as the accumulation of fluid and swelling (edema) of the body
caused by conditions such as
corticosteroid medications, and nephrotic syndrome.
What are the side effects of thiazide diuretics?
Side effects of thiazide diuretics are dose related and include:
- dizziness and lightheadedness,
- blurred vision,
- loss of appetite,
- stomach upset,
- headache, and
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.
Salt and sodium are the same.
Are there any differences among the thiazide diuretics?
Thiazide diuretics are similar in effectiveness and usually are not effective in people with severe renal impairment.
With which drugs do thiazide diuretics interact?
Thiazide diuretics can lower potassium and magnesium blood levels since they
are both eliminated in urine.
Low levels of potassium and magnesium in the blood
can result in abnormal
heart rhythms, particularly in those who are also taking
in addition to a thiazide. Thiazide diuretics can increase the risk of lithium
toxicity by reducing the kidney's ability to eliminate lithium in the urine.
Drugs known as
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as
and nabumetone (Relafen)
can reduce the effectiveness of thiazide diuretics in lowering blood pressure
because they may reduce the ability of the kidneys to make urine, particularly
in patients who have reduced kidney function.
It is not
recommended to use thiazide diuretics with dofetilide (Tikosyn), a drug used for
treating abnormal heart rhythms, as this may increase the blood levels of
dofetilide (Tikosyn) and cause abnormal heart rhythms. Thiazide diuretics can
reduce how the body responds to norepinephrine and render norepinephrine less