Skip to content

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center

Select An Article
Font Size

High Blood Pressure and Diuretics (Water Pills)


Food or Drug Interactions of Diuretics

Diuretics are often prescribed in combination with other blood pressure and heart medications as a single pill. This could increase the effects of these other medications or contribute to abnormalities in your electrolyte levels, such as potassium.

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 medication.

Follow your doctor's dietary advice, which may include:

  • Following a low-sodium [or salt] diet.
  • Taking a potassium supplement or including high-potassium foods (such as bananas and orange juice). Note: some types of diuretics cause your body to lose potassium.
  • If you are taking a "potassium-sparing" diuretic, such as Aldactone, your doctor may want you to avoid potassium-rich foods, salt substitutes, low-sodium milk, and other dietary sources of potassium.

Alcohol and sleep aids may increase the side effects of this medication and should be avoided.

Can Pregnant Women Take Diuretics?

Diuretic use during pregnancy is not recommended. The effects of the drug on the unborn baby are unknown.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Diuretics?

No. Many diuretics pass into breast milk and can cause dehydration in the baby.

Can Children Take Diuretics?

Children can safely take diuretics. The side effects are similar to those in adults. Children require smaller doses of the drug. Potassium-sparing diuretics like Aldactone can cause calcium deficiencies.

Can an Elderly Person Take Diuretics?

As with most medications, older people should take diuretics with caution. These medications can be very helpful and effective in older patients, but they need to carefully supervised by a physician.  Older people tend to experience more side effects such as fainting and dizziness due to dehydration.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on October 31, 2013
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

blood pressure
Symptoms, causes, and more.
Learn the causes.
Compressed heart
5 habits to change.
Mature man floating in pool, goggles on head
Exercises that help.
heart healthy living
Erectile Dysfunction Slideshow
Bernstein Hypertension Affects Cardiac Risk
Compressed heart
Heart Disease Overview Slideshow
thumbnail for lowering choloesterol slideshow
Heart Foods Slideshow
Low Blood Pressure

WebMD Special Sections