Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Select An Article

Heart Disease and Diuretics

Font Size

Sometimes diuretics are used as heart disease treatment. Diuretics, commonly known as "water pills," help your body get rid of unneeded water and salt through the urine. Getting rid of excess fluid makes it easier for your heart to pump and controls blood pressure. Examples of diuretics include:

Diuretics are categorized as thiazide-like (Zaroxolyn and Esidrix), loop (Lasix, Bumex, Demadex) or potassium sparing (Aldactone). Thiazide diuretics cause moderate increases in water excretion and are appropriate for long-term use. Loop diuretics are more powerful and are especially useful in emergencies. Potassium-sparing diuretics help your body retain the mineral potassium and are often prescribed in conjunction with the other two types of diuretics.

Recommended Related to Heart Disease

The Facts About Cardioversion

If you have an irregular heartbeat (called an arrhythmia), your doctor might suggest a treatment called cardioversion to help get your heart back into a normal rhythm. If your heart beats too fast or unevenly, it can be dangerous. Your heart may not be pumping enough blood to meet your body's needs. An irregular heartbeat also can lead to a stroke or a heart attack.

Read the The Facts About Cardioversion article > >

Who Should Take Diuretics?

If you have any of the following conditions, your doctor may recommend you take a diuretic.

  • Edema. Diuretics decrease swelling (edema) that usually occurs in the legs.
  • High blood pressure. Thiazide diuretics lower blood pressure, which reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.
  • Heart failure. Diuretics reduce the swelling (edema) and water build up in the lungs (congestion) caused by heart failure. Normally, loop diuretics are used for heart failure.
  • Kidney problems. Diuretics reduce water retention.
  • Liver problems. Diuretics reduce the amount of fluid build up associated with cirrhosis (disease of the liver).
  • Glaucoma. Diuretics reduce the pressure in the eye associated with this disease.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure