Aldactazide Uses for Water Retention
One common cause of water retention is congestive heart failure (CHF). This is a condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body. It does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. It means that your heart is not able to pump blood the way that it should. This can lead to symptoms of CHF that include shortness of breath; swelling of the feet, ankles, or lower legs; and rapid weight gain (see Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure for more information). Aldactazide can help with water retention by helping the body to get rid of the extra fluid. However, the drug does not cure congestive heart failure.
Water retention can be caused by other conditions, such as cirrhosis of the liver or kidney disease. Aldactazide is effective for treating water retention due to these causes. It is also approved to treat a special kind of water retention called ascites. Ascites is the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity and is usually the result of liver disease.
Aldactazide is a diuretic, which is commonly referred to as a "water pill." It contains two diuretics that work together to keep electrolytes in balance. Hydrochlorothiazide (one of the diuretics), while effective, often causes low potassium levels in the blood. On the other hand, spironolactone (the other diuretic) is a "potassium-sparing" diuretic, meaning that it can actually increase potassium levels in the blood. When taken together, these medications balance each other out.
The spironolactone component of Aldactazide is known as an "aldosterone antagonist," which means it blocks aldosterone receptors. Aldosterone is a hormone in the body that causes water retention. By blocking aldosterone (and through the actions of hydrochlorothiazide, the other component), Aldactazide increases the amount of salt and water that the kidneys remove from the blood. This extra salt and water is then passed out through the urine. By increasing the amount of water removed from the blood, Aldactazide causes a decrease in blood volume. Because of this effect, the drug can lower blood pressure and can also help with water retention.