Diuretics (water pills) help your body get rid of extra fluid. This will reduce the swelling in your feet, ankles, legs and abdomen. Diuretics also help your body get rid of extra fluid in your lungs to make breathing easier.
A diuretic may cause you to go to the bathroom more often and cause a dry mouth. These are signs it is working and not cause for concern.
Take your diuretic early in the morning so it works during the day. This reduces trips to the bathroom at night.
If you take the diuretic two times a day, take the second dose no later than 4 or 5 p.m. (Chew gum or hard candy to help your dry mouth.)
Common diuretics include:
Be sure to wear sunscreen when you are outside on sunny days. Taking a diuretic may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Some side effects include:
To keep from getting too dizzy or lightheaded, you can:
Call your health care provider if you have the following:
Call your health care provider if you have the following signs of low potassium:
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Heart Failure, fifth edition, 1-931876-20-7
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts