Harvard Health Letter

Adding a diuretic to your blood pressure drug

Diuretics can augment the blood pressure-lowering effects of other drugs, such as ACE inhibitors.

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It may boost the effect of your current medication.

When it comes to medications that treat high blood pressure, angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) and ACE inhibitors are among the top choices your doctor can choose from. But the first medication you try may not be enough to bring blood pressure under control. In that case, your doctor may add or completely switch you to another drug, called a diuretic. Diuretics reduce sodium and water levels in the body; lower fluid levels mean less blood volume, which lowers blood pressure. "Diuretics augment the blood pressure–lowering effects of other drugs," says Dr. Randall Zusman, a cardiologist and Harvard Medical School associate professor.

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