Harvard Health Letter

What you need to know about: Diuretics

Diuretics are usually prescribed as a first-line treatment for high blood pressure, though many people require additional drugs for blood pressure management, such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs). Diuretics help lower blood pressure by reducing the amount of sodium and water in the body—the lower the volume of fluid in the bloodstream, the less pressure there is on the walls of the arteries. They're also prescribed for kidney disorders, liver disease, and fluid retention caused by heart failure.

There are three main types of diuretics

Kidneys consist of millions of tiny winding tubes (tubules).

1. Loop diuretics act on a particular "loop" in these tubules.

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