Triamterene is a medication that is prescribed for treating fluid retention. As a diuretic, it works to decrease blood volume by increasing the amount of water removed from the blood. Triamterene capsules, which are available in two strengths, are generally taken twice a day after meals. Side effects that have been reported with the drug include weakness, dry mouth, and headache.
What Is Triamterene?
Triamterene (Dyrenium®) is a prescription medicine that is used as a diuretic for treating fluid retention. It is known as a "potassium-sparing" diuretic and is used to treat water retention (edema) due to various causes. Usually, triamterene is used in combination with hydrochlorothiazide, another diuretic (see Triamterene-HCTZ for more information). It is much less common to use triamterene alone.
It is made by Wellspring Pharmaceutical Corporation.
How Does It Work?
Triamterene is a diuretic, which is commonly referred to as a "water pill." While most diuretics can cause low levels of potassium in the blood, triamterene is a "potassium-sparing" diuretic, meaning that it can actually increase potassium levels in the blood.
The medication works by increasing 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, it causes a decrease in blood volume. As a result, the drug can help with water retention.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed March 14, 2007.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
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