Cardiac Medications

















Diuretics

Diuretics are medications, which help your kidneys to clear your body of excess fluid. They are used in conditions such as congestive heart failure and high blood pressure.

When taking a diuretic, you should avoid drinking unusually large amounts of liquids as this can counter the effect of the diuretic and lead to dilution of the body’s natural salts.

Diuretics may also result in a loss of potassium, which should be replaced by including potassium containing foods in your diet. Bananas and citrus fruits are rich in potassium, as are raisins, dates and green leafy vegetables. Your doctor may also prescribe a potassium supplement in form of liquid or tablet.

Examples of diuretic medications include hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide (Lasix). Take a missed dose of these drugs as soon as possible or within eight hours if on a single daily dose, within four hours if on twice daily. Otherwise, skip the missed dose. Take your second dose of the day in late afternoon to minimize having to get up during the night to pass urine.

Reactions to these medications may occur and those which should be reported to your physician include: excessive thirst, fever, irregular heart rate, lethargy, mouth dryness, muscle cramps, skin rash, urgent or burning on urination, weakness or weak pulse.

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  Version 2.0, July 2004
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