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Diuretics are key elements of the pharmacotherapy of diseases in internal medicine. Currently, they are particularly used in the treatment of edema and hypertension. For the treatment with diuretics some rules exist that help to improve the effectiveness and success. The article explains these rules, especially regarding combination treatment and meaningful dose escalation. Additionally, the side effects of treatment are critically discussed. There is little evidence for the influence of diuretics in the treatment of edema on prognostic factors, such as mortality and comorbidities. For an improvement of the prognosis other substances are more important, e.g. angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers; however, diuretics in the treatment of hypertension show clear positive effects on the endpoints. In recent years a problem of side effects was demonstrated (skin cancer). Comparing the benefits regarding prognosis in the treatment of hypertension with the side effects, the administration but with appropriate protective measures seems to be warranted.


Mark Dominik Alscher. Diuretics as a problem-Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, use in edema or hypertension]. Der Internist. 2021 Feb;62(2):215-220

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PMID: 33492424

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