Drugs That Eliminate Excess Body Water (Diuretics)

Examples

Bumetanide - Bumetanide is a highly effective drug for patients with acute pulmonary edema and congestive heart failure. Usually used in combination with other drugs for treatment of high blood pressure.

Chlorothiazide - Chlorothiazide is also available in a wide variety of fixed combination drugs. Usually combined with other drugs in treatment of congestive heart failure.

Furosemide - Furosemide is a highly effective drug for patients with acute pulmonary edema and congestive heart failure. Usually used in combination with other drugs for treatment of high blood pressure.

What are diuretic drugs?

These drugs help remove excess water from the body. They work by forcing the kidneys to make more urine. While on these drugs, patients have to urinate more often (unless they have a catheter in the bladder that continuously drains urine).

Why are they given?

The doctor determines that there is too much fluid in the patient's body. This excess fluid can make it hard for the heart and lungs to work properly. There may be swelling of the body, especially in the hands and feet. There might also be difficulty breathing. Excess fluid may also be associated with high blood pressure.

How long are they used?

Sometimes, these medications are only used once. Under other circumstances, they may be required indefinitely. Ask the doctor or nurse how long the patient will receive this drug.

Do they have side effects?

Side effects do occur. They may be minor or potentially serious. Most diuretics eliminate certain important chemicals, such as potassium and magnesium, from the body.