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Amiloride is prescription medication that helps keep potassium levels from going too low by preventing the body from absorbing too much sodium. It is known as a "water pill," a potassium-sparing diuretic, and it is commonly used with other medications to treat conditions such as fluid retention, high blood pressure, low potassium levels in the bloodstream, kidney stones and an overactive adrenal gland. It essentially works by making the body get rid of extra water and sodium, but it also prevents the kidneys from eliminating too much potassium. Amiloride is prescribed in tablet form and generally is administered once a day.
Patients suffering from urination difficulties, kidney disease or high potassium should not take amiloride. Alcohol should be avoided because it can increase the side effects of this medication. While taking amiloride, patients will need to be vigilant regarding maintaining a low sodium diet plan and following the physician’s instructions on the amount of liquids consumed on a daily basis.
This medication should be taken exactly as prescribed. Amiloride should be taken with a full glass of water and with food. Recommendations are to take this medication in the morning. If it is taken at night, the patient will wake up frequently to urinate. It should be stored at room temperature and kept away from light, moisture and heat.
Amiloride can cause common side effects such as nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, headache, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Patients taking this medication should notify their physician immediately if they experience depression, fainting, jaundice or an allergic reaction. If side effects continue to worsen over time, one should discuss this with the ordering physician or pharmacist.
This medication can cause high potassium levels. Patients will need to have their potassium counts monitored on a regular basis while on this medication. If left untreated, high potassium levels could lead to a fatal condition. Signs and symptoms of high potassium levels are muscle weakness, numb or tingling skin and irregular or slow heart rate. A person's blood pressure should be monitored on a regular basis while he or she is on this medication, especially when the patient first begins taking amiloride.