Congestive Heart Failure Home > What Is Triamterene Used For?
Triamterene is used for treating water retention in adults only -- the medication has not been approved for children. It is a type of potassium-sparing diuretic, which works by increasing the amount of water removed from the blood. "Off-label" uses for the drug include the treatment of high blood pressure and fluid retention associated with premenstrual syndrome.
Triamterene (Dyrenium®) is a prescription medicine that is used 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, the drug is used in combination with hydrochlorothiazide, another diuretic (see Triamterene-HCTZ). It is much less common to use triamterene alone.
Why Is Triamterene 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 of CHF that include:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Rapid weight gain (see Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure).
There are many other causes of fluid retention, including medications, kidney failure (renal failure), and cirrhosis of the liver. Triamterene can be used to treat fluid retention due to these conditions as well. Triamterene treats water retention by helping the body to get rid of the extra fluid. The medication does not cure congestive heart failure or other conditions that cause the body to retain fluid.