What Is Amiloride Used For?
Why Is Amiloride Used 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 that include:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Rapid weight gain (see Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure).
Amiloride can help with water retention by helping the body to get rid of the extra fluid. However, it does not cure congestive heart failure.
How Does Amiloride Work?Amiloride is a diuretic, which is commonly referred to as a "water pill." While most diuretics can cause low potassium levels in the blood (hypokalemia), amiloride is a "potassium-sparing" diuretic, meaning that it can actually increase potassium levels in the blood. It is especially helpful when used in combination with certain other diuretics, as it can help correct the electrolyte imbalances they often cause.
Amiloride works by increasing the amount of salt and water 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, amiloride causes a decrease in blood volume. Because of this effect, it can lower blood pressure and can also help with water retention.
When used alone, amiloride is a weak diuretic and is not very effective for treating high blood pressure. Therefore, it is usually used in combination with other diuretic medications, especially those that are prone to causing low potassium levels.