What they do

Diuretics help your body to get rid of excess fluid by encouraging your kidneys to make more urine. You will find that you urinate more (pass more water) when you take them - but this is nothing to worry about. You may need to plan trips out around the timings of your tablets.

Getting rid of this excess fluid should make it easier for your heart as there is less fluid to pump around your body. This should ease the congestion on your lungs, making your breathing easier. Swelling (oedema) in your legs and other parts of your body should also go down. This may result in weight loss.

Side effects

Long-term diuretic use can cause you to lose potassium, a salt which is needed for your body and heart to work properly. That's why your doctor will monitor your potassium levels with regular blood tests and may advise you to eat more foods containing potassium.

Diuretics may also make you pass water more often. If too high doses of diuretic are taken you may become dehydrated and possibly feel dizzy.

Top tips

It is a good idea to weigh yourself daily and keep a note of your weight to discuss with your doctor or nurse - this will help you to monitor if you are losing too much or too little fluid, so they can adjust your diuretic dose if necessary.

Some people find it best to take diuretics in the morning so that the need to pass water occurs mainly during the day - taking them in the evening can interrupt your sleep.

Also known as:

  • Amiloride
    (Amilamont®, Midamor®)
  • Bendroflumethazide / bendrofluazide
    (Aprinox®, Neo-NaClex®)
  • Bumetanide
  • Chlorothiazide
  • Chlortalidone
  • Cyclopenthiazide
  • Eplerenone
  • Furosemide / frusemide
    (Froop®, Frusid®, Rusyde®, Frusol®, Lasix®)
  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Indapamide
    (Natrilix®, Apo-Indapamide®, Arifon®, Bajaten®, Cormil®, Damide®, Fludex®, Gen-Indapamide®, Idapamide®, Indaflex®, Indamol®, Indapamida®, Indapamidum®, Ipamix®, Lozide®, Lozol®, Natrilix®, Natrix®, Noranat®, Novo-Indapamide®, Nu-Indapamide®, Pressurai®, Tandix®, Tertensif®, Veroxil®)
  • Metolazone
    (Metenix®, Zaroxolyn®)
  • Polythiazide
    (Renese®, Minizide®, Nindaxa®, Natrilix SR®, Nephril®)
  • Spironolactone
  • Torsemide / torasemide
    (Demadex®, Torem®)
  • Triamterene
    (Dytac®, Dyrenium®)
  • Xipamide
  • Combination agents
    (Moduret®, Amil-Co®, Moduretic®, Navispare®, Frumil LS®, Froop-Co®, Fru-Co®, Aridil®, Burinex A®, Triam-Co®, Dytide®, Kalspare®, Frusene®, Aldactide®, Lasilactone®, Burinex K®, Centyl K®, Diumide-K®, Lasikal®, Neo0NaClex-K®, Dyazide®)


How she manages her diuretic medicine Explains how she manages her diuretic medicine


How diuretics work in heart failure Animation explaining how diuretics
work in heart failure

Return to Heart failure medicines