Amiloride

Brand names of amiloride

  • Apo-Amilzide
  • Midamor
  • Moduret [CD]
  • Moduretic [CD]
  • Novamilor [CD]
  • Nu-Amilzide [CD]

Amiloride is a diuretic (water pill) that is used to treat edema (fluid retention by the body) that generally happens concurrently with liver problems as well as congestive heart failure. In addition, amiloride is also employed to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It belongs to the group of drugs known as potassium-sparing diuretics. This drug may be used independently or along with any potassium-depleting diuretic, for instance hydrochlorothiazide.

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It may be noted that all diuretics (water pills) act by means of facilitating the body to eliminate surplus water and salt. In fact, amiloride is known as a potassium-sparing diuretic as this drug does not allow loss of potassium from the body.

Things you need to tell your physician before taking amiloride

Prior to starting treatment with amiloride, it is essential to tell your physician or pharmacist about a few things. First and foremost, you need tell whether you have allergic reactions on taking this drug, to any of its ingredients or any other forms of allergy. Amiloride is likely to contain a number of inactive elements that may result in allergies or different other adverse reactions. Hence, if you are not aware about the contents of this medication, ask your physician to provide you with a list for the same.

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Before you start using amiloride, you need to tell your physician or pharmacist regarding your entire medical history, particularly if you have any kidney or liver ailment, untreated salt mineral imbalance (for instance, low sodium or high potassium levels), diabetes or suffer from the loss of excessive body fluid (or enduring dehydration).

Similarly, in case you need to undergo any surgery, including any dental surgery, tell your surgeon/ dentist beforehand that you are taking amiloride. Also tell them about all the prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbal products, vitamins and dietary supplements that you may be taking.

It is worth mentioning that using amiloride may result in dizziness and, hence, it is advisable that while undergoing treatment with this medication you do not undertake any task that requires alertness and clear vision, such as operating any machine or driving, till you are certain about the action of this medication on your body and also till the time when you can accomplish these tasks safely. In addition, people taking this drug should avoid taking alcohol or, at least restrict their alcohol consumption.

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Individuals may experience considerable loss of body fluid owing to excessive perspiration, diarrhea or vomiting, which may, in turn, result in lowering the blood pressure as well as deteriorating the light-headedness. Hence, such people need to drink lots of fluids with a view to put off such adverse effects as well as dehydration caused by amiloride. In case you happen to be taking very limited amounts of fluids, you need to talk to your physician for additional instructions. Also contact your physician in case you are unable to intake fluids or if you face problem, such as unrelenting diarrhea and/ or vomiting.

In addition, amiloride also has the potential to augment the levels of potassium in your bloodstream. Hence, it is important that you restrict your intake of foods that are rich in potassium content, for instance, orange juice and bananas. Prior to using any products that contain potassium, for instance, salt substitutes and potassium supplements, it is important that you talk to your physician or pharmacist.

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Pregnant women should only be given this medication when it is absolutely necessary for their condition. It is important that pregnant women consult their physician regarding the benefits as well as the risks of taking amiloride during pregnancy.

While it is yet to be ascertained whether amiloride passes onto the breast milk, new mothers should check with their physician regarding the benefits and risks of using this medication prior to breast-feeding.

Usage

The potassium-sparing diuretic drug amiloride is employed in combination with other diuretics or 'water pills', for instance thiazide diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide, to cure heart failure, hypertension (high blood pressure), or edema (excessive fluid retention by the body). In addition, using amiloride also assists in treating as well as preventing low levels of potassium in the bloodstream primarily owing to the use of other diuretics. As amiloride lowers the hypertension, it aids in putting off heart attacks, strokes, as well as kidney diseases. This medication is known as a 'water pill', as it works to eliminate all excessive salt and water from the body and, at the same time, helps in preventing the loss of excessive potassium from the kidneys.

How to use amiloride

The diuretic drug amiloride is taken orally essentially with food. Generally, this medication is taken once every day, but you may also use it according to your physician's prescription. In case you are taking amiloride sometime before sleeping at night, it is likely that you will wake up for urinating. Hence, the best time to take amiloride is no less than four hour prior to your bedtime. If you need to know anything regarding the manner and time of taking the medication, it is advisable that you talk to your physician or pharmacist.

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The dosage of amiloride is essentially dependent on the medical condition of the patient and his/ her response to the therapy. If you want to derive the utmost benefit of using amiloride you should use it on a regular basis. Generally, majority of the patients suffering from hypertension do not have a sickly feeling. More importantly, even if you start feeling better following treatment with amiloride for a while, you should continue taking this medication for the full regimen. Take this medication at the same time daily, as it will help you to remember that you need to take this medication every day. Contact your physician at once, in case you find that your condition remains the same or deteriorates even after treatment with amiloride, for instance if your blood pressure readings continue to be high or go up.

How amiloride works

The diuretic amiloride encourages the elimination of excessive water and salt from the body by means of modifying enzymes in the kidney that regulate production of urine. Dissimilar to other diuretics, amiloride is a medication belonging to the class of drugs that help to get rid of too much salt and water from the body, but does not allow the kidneys to lose too much potassium. Taken in combination with other diuretics like loop or thiazide diuretics, generally amiloride lowers the volume of fluid retained by the body and also assists in regulating the symptoms of the heart diseases, kidney problems as well as liver ailments.

Side effects

Serious:
  • heartbeat irregularities
  • light-headedness (due to high blood potassium levels)
Less common:

Possible interactions

Herbal medicines or minerals:
Specific herbal products and/ or minerals interact with amiloride and, hence, they should never be used in conjunction. For instance, ginseng has the potential to raise the blood pressure, thereby dulling the effects or benefits of this medication. In addition, herbs like hawthorn, ma huang, eleuthero root, licorice, goldenseal and saw palmetto too are likely to increase the blood pressure. On the other hand, couch grass is likely to deteriorate edema owing to problems related to the heart or kidneys. Herbs like Indian snakeroot and garlic and mineral calcium assist in bringing down the blood pressure levels. Therefore, it is important that you talk to your physician prior to including any new herbal medication to the list of medicines you are taking already.
Foods:
People taking amiloride ought to keep off intake of too much salt as well as foods that are high in potassium content. When you take this medication with food it may help you to avoid nausea as well as stomach disorders.
Alcohol:
While you are undergoing treatment with amiloride you need to be very careful regarding the amount of alcoholic beverages you consume daily. This is primarily owing to the fact that alcohol has the potential to amplify this medication's action to lower high blood pressure and, subsequently, result in orthostatic hypotension.
Exposure to heat:
It is advisable that people using amiloride should be careful not to expose themselves to heat because too much sweating may result in an imbalance of water, potassium and sodium in the body. In addition, exposure to hot surroundings can result in a drop in the blood pressure levels.
Occurrence of unrelated illness:
Contact your physician at once in case you have developed ailments that lead to diarrhea or vomiting.

Discontinuation

People who have been using amiloride for a prolonged period or taking this medication in high doses should never stop taking this medication all of a sudden, but decrease the dosage gradually prior to discontinuing with it. In case you stop taking this medication all of a sudden, you may suffer from loss of too much potassium.

Storage instructions

It is important to always store amiloride at room temperature ranging between 15°C and 30°C and in a dark and dry place. Ensure that this medication does not freeze under any circumstance. Never store amiloride in your bathroom, which is mostly damp. Keep all medications in a place that is beyond the reach of children and pets.

Unless you have been instructed otherwise, never dispose of any medication that has become outdated or is required no longer by flushing it down your toilet or pouring it into a drain. All such medications should be essentially discarded in a safe and proper manner. If required, consult your pharmacist or any neighbourhood waste disposal company regarding the safe way to discard the medications.

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