Commonly known as “water pills,” these drugs help your kidneys get rid of extra water and salt from your body through your pee.
Because you have less total fluid in your blood vessels, like a garden hose that’s not turned on all the way, the pressure inside will be lower. This also makes it easier for your heart to pump.
They’re usually the first type of medication that your doctor will try to control your blood pressure.
You’ll often start with a thiazide diuretic:
Chlorthalidone (Hygroton) Chlorothiazide (Diuril) Hydrochlorothiazide or HCTZ (Esidrix, Hydrodiuril, Microzide) Indapamide (Lozol) Metolazone (Mykrox, Zaroxolyn)
Let your doctor know what medications (prescription and over-the-counter), supplements, and herbal remedies you use. Also, tell her about other medical problems you have.
She may want to regularly check your blood pressure as well as test your blood and pee for levels of specific minerals and to see how well your kidneys are working. She’ll probably tell you to follow a low-sodium diet and limit how much salt you eat.
Because some diuretics also pull potassium out of your body, you might need to eat more foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, and lentils, or take a potassium supplement. On the other hand, if you’re taking a “potassium-sparing” diuretic, such as amiloride (Midamar), spironolactone (Aldactone), or triamterene (Dyrenium), she may want you to avoid potassium-rich foods, salt substitutes, low-sodium milk, and other sources of potassium.