Diuretics, such as spironolactone and furosemide, are
a key treatment for ascites. They help the kidneys eliminate salt and water
from the body. When diuretic medicines are combined with a low-salt diet, 90 out of 100 people are able to control their ascites.1
Side effects of diuretics may include:
Higher doses can cause excess fluid loss from the body (dehydration),
decreased kidney function (renal insufficiency), and fainting, especially in
older adults. People who are taking diuretics to treat ascites caused by
cirrhosis need to have their body weight, electrolytes, and kidney function
carefully monitored while taking the medicines.
People who continue to have ascites despite the standard treatment
with diuretics and a low-sodium diet may need additional treatments, such
as repeated paracentesis.
CitationsRunyon BA (2009). Management of adult patients with ascites due to cirrhosis: An update. Hepatology, 49(6): 2087–2107.
January 17, 2012
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
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