Diuretics, such as spironolactone and furosemide, are a key treatment for ascites. They help the kidneys eliminate salt and water from the body. When diuretic medicines are combined with a low-salt diet, 90 out of 100 people are able to control their ascites.1
Higher doses can cause excess fluid loss from the body (dehydration), decreased kidney function (renal insufficiency), and fainting, especially in older adults. People who are taking diuretics to treat ascites caused by cirrhosis need to have their body weight, electrolytes, and kidney function carefully monitored while taking the medicines.
People who continue to have ascites despite the standard treatment with diuretics and a low-sodium diet may need additional treatments, such as repeated paracentesis.
Runyon BA (2009). Management of adult patients with ascites due to cirrhosis: An update. Hepatology, 49(6): 2087-2107.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerW. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
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