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Loop diuretics against high blood pressure

High blood pressure and loop diuretics

Regulation of blood pressure with loop diuretics - mechanism of action and side effects

Diuretics are a group of drugs that produce an increased urine output.

The part of the name "loop" refers to the exact scope of this group of diuretics (Henle's loop - a kidney section).

Diuretics and blood pressure - Mechanism of action:

The urine is produced based on blood filtration, which goes on in the renal capillaries. The blood plasma, which is the liquid portion of the blood, is directed into the renal tubules, while blood cells remain in blood vessels.

This blood filtrate is the primary urine, again absorbing the water into the vessels.

Loop diuretics inhibit a specific protein that is absolutely necessary for the absorption, and thus block the sodium-potassium pump.

So less water returns to the blood and lowers the blood pressure.

Side effects of loop diuretics

Loop diuretics are prescribed for hypertension

Loop diuretics are often used for high blood pressure patients

Side effects of diuretics in the treatment of hypertension:

As a result of water loss, the blood consistency increases which again stresses the heart more. In addition, the risk of a heart attacks and blood clots are increased.

Therefore, loop diuretics can be applied only if the patient is generally in good health and there is no increased risk for the diseases mentioned above. A high blood pressure is unfortunately relatively rare without other circulatory diseases (or at least their increased risk).

Other side effects include hypokalaemia, hyponatremia, caused due to increased electrolyte delivery.

However, they are easily treatable and do not represent a big problem. Diuretics may, however, in patients with hypokalaemia and hyponatremia, not be used to avoid a deepening of the disease.

Moreover, the treatment must not be used in patients with liver disease.

In addition, side-effects may include frequent headaches.

Diuretics as a treatment for high blood pressure

A weakness of this treatment of hypertension is that diuretics do not liquidate the real reason for high blood pressure.

The reason for hypertension is not the large volume of blood, but a faulty regulatory mechanism. Therefore, diuretics are rarely used as a single agent for long-term treatment of high blood pressure.

Besides hypertension, diuretics are also used for:

- Cardiac, or renal induced edema

- pulmonary edema

- Nephrotic syndrome

Loop diuretics are sold as:

- torasemide

- bumetanide

- Piretanid

- Azetanid


The effect of loop diuretics depends on the dose. Either we block the protein and accelerate absorption or not.

An advantage of this is that small doses to lower blood pressure can work effectively. A disadvantage is that their scope is limited and they can only regulate the blood pressure to a certain degree.

Our advice: When having therapy with diuretics, you must not forget to drink plenty of fluids to compensate for the loss of water and electrolytes.

Read further information about the diuretics amiloride and its use in hypertension.

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