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Treating Heart Failure with Diuretics

Should I Avoid Certain Food or Medications While on a Diuretic?

  • Diuretics are generally prescribed in combination with an ACE inhibitor, digoxin, and a beta-blocker. If you experience an increase in side effects after taking your medications together, contact your doctor. You may need to change the times you are taking each drug.
  • Potassium-sparing diuretics increase the effects of digoxin and lithium. They may increase your body's potassium level if taken with ACE inhibitors.
  • Before a diuretic is prescribed, tell your doctor if you are taking: other drugs for high blood pressure, digoxin, Indocin, lithium, probenecid, or corticosteroids (prednisone).
  • Before this drug is prescribed, tell your doctor if you have diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, or gout.
  • Follow your doctor's dietary advice, which may include: following a low-salt diet, taking a potassium supplement, or including high-potassium foods (such as bananas and orange juice) in your diet. Note: some types of diuretics cause your body to lose potassium. If you are taking a "potassium-sparing" diuretic, your doctor may want you to avoid potassium-rich foods, salt substitutes, low-salt milk, and other dietary sources of potassium. If you are not sure what type of diuretic you are taking, ask your doctor.

Other Guidelines for Taking Diuretics

  • Weigh yourself at the same time every day (on the same scale) and record your weight. Call your doctor if you gain 2 pounds in one day or 5 pounds in one week.
  • While taking this drug, have your blood pressure and kidney function tested regularly, as advised by your doctor.
  • Keep all appointments with your doctor and the lab so that your response to this drug can be monitored.
  • Alcohol and sleep aids may increase the side effects of this drug and should be avoided.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on May 16, 2014
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