Patient's Guide to Heart Transplant Surgery
Diuretics, also called water pills by many patients, help the body get rid of extra fluid that tends to build up. The tendency of the body to hold extra fluid is often a side effect of Prednisone. There are a few types of diuretics that work in slightly different ways. All of the diuretics, however, act to get rid of the extra fluid in your body by decreasing the amount of urine made by the kidneys. As a result, if you are taking a diuretic, you will urinate more often and in larger amounts than usual.
- Furosemide (Lasix)
- Metolazone (Zaroxylin)
- Baby Aspirin or Ecotrin
- The action of the drug may last 2-12 hours after you take it. Plan your activities so that a bathroom is nearby during the drug’s peak hours of action.
- If you are scheduled to take an evening dose of your diuretic, take it early in the evening to prevent the inconvenience of getting up often to urinate during sleeping hours.
- Weigh yourself once every morning before breakfast and after emptying your bladder. Keep a record of your weight. In general, changes in body weight reflect the holding of fluid as well as fluid loss. Thus, weighing yourself is one way to see how well the diuretic is working.
Possible side effects
- Many diuretics can cause a decrease of potassium in your blood. This happens because the diuretics cause the kidneys to filter the potassium out of the blood and into your urine. Having a low potassium level can cause muscle cramping, muscle weakness, and an irregular pulse rate.
- If the diuretic causes the kidneys to make too much urine, you may become dehydrated, have low blood pressure and dizziness, or have fainting and dry mouth as a result of losing too much fluid.
- With high doses of a diuretic, you may have ringing in your ears or deafness may even occur.
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