diuretic (dI-yu-ret´ik)

1. Promoting the excretion of urine. 2. An agent that increases the amount of urine excreted.
cardiac d. a d. which acts by increasing function of the heart, and thereby improves renal perfusion.
direct d. a d. whose primary effect is on renal tubular function.
indirect d. a d. that acts by increasing cardiac function or by increasing the state of hydration.
loop d. a class of d. agents (e.g., furosemide, ethacrynic acid) that act by inhibiting reabsorption of sodium and chloride, not only in the proximal and distal tubules but also in Henle's loop.
mercurial d.'s d. drugs containing organic mercury (e.g., Mercuhydrin) which promote substantial salt and water loss through the kidney. Among the first potent d. agents used in congestive heart failure, but now obsolescent.
osmotic d.'s drugs, such as mannitol, which by their osmotic effects retain water during urine formation and thus dilute electrolytes in the urine, making resorption less efficient; they promote the elimination of water and electrolytes in the urine.
potassium sparing d.'s d. agents that, unlike most d.'s, retain potassium; examples are triamterene and amiloride. Often used together with d.'s that promote the loss of both sodium and potassium. Used in hypertension and in congestive heart failure.


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