Diuretics promote Na+ and water excretion. Excretion of Na+ in the urine is called natriuresis, whereas diuresis refers to increased urine flow rate. In clinical medicine, two types of diuresis are recognized: solute diuresis and water diuresis. Solute diuresis results from a decrease in the renal tubular reabsorption of solute. Since water reabsorption follows solute reabsorption, inhibition of solute reabsorption generally diminishes water transport. However, water diuresis can be promoted without solute diuresis by drugs, which impair the action of antidiuretic hormone (ADH). Examples include ADH receptor blockers (vaptans) and lithium. This chapter reviews briefly the various groups of diuretics, their physiologic action, clinical use, and complications.
KeywordsDiuretics Natriuresis Diuresis
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