Use of Diuretics

  • Christopher J. Lote


Strictly, diuresis is increased urine flow and diuretics are substances which elicit diuresis. By this definition, water is a diuretic. In medicine, however, “diuretic” has come to have a more specific meaning. In the kidney, water reabsorption is dependent primarily on Na+ reabsorption and the term diuretic is generally used to mean an agent which inhibits tubular Na+ reabsorption. With the exception of osmotic diuretics (see below), most diuretics are organic acids and hence are secreted by the proximal tubule organic acid secretory mechanism and exert their effects from within the tubule.


Proximal Tubule Loop Diuretic Thiazide Diuretic Distal Tubule Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitor 
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Further Reading

  1. Agarwal R (1997) Use of diuretics in renal disease. In: Jamison RL, Wilkinson R (eds) Nephrology. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 883–892Google Scholar
  2. Jeck N, Schlingmann KP, Reinalter SC, Komhoff M, Peter M, Waldegger S, Seyberth HW (2004) Salt handling in the distal nephron: lessons learned from inherited human disorders. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 288:R782–R795CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Nijenhuis T, Vallon V, van der Kemp AWCM, Loffing J, Hoenderop JGJ, Bindels RJM (2005) Enhanced passive Ca2+ reabsorption and reduced Mg2+ channel abundance explains thiazide-induced hypocalciuria and hypomagnesemia. J Clin Invest 115:1651–1658PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher J. Lote
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Medical and Dental SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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