Diuretics



 

A diuretic is a drug that elevates the rate of urination and thus provides a means of forced diuresis. Diuretics are non-habit-forming medications that stimulate the kidneys to produce more urine, flushing excess fluids and minerals (e.g., sodium) from the body.

There are four general types of diuretics: loop, osmotic, potassium-sparing and thiazide (or thiazide-like). None of these is recommended for pregnant women, and only potassium-sparing diuretics appear to be safe during breast-feeding.

In medicine, diuretics are used to treat heart failure, liver cirrhosis, hypertension and certain kidney diseases. Some diuretics, such as acetazolamide, help to make the urine more alkaline and are helpful in increasing excretion of substances such as aspirin in cases of overdose or poisoning.