Scottish Daily Mail - - Good Health -

DR HE­LEN COWAN, a nurse with a PhD in car­diac phar­ma­col­ogy, de­scribes com­mon med­i­ca­tion mis­takes. This week: Dou­ble­dos­ing di­uret­ics

ONE hard-work­ing patient whose job it was to take care of oth­ers of­ten wouldn’t take her di­uret­ics on busy days be­cause she didn’t want to keep leav­ing her pa­tients to go to the bath­room.

Di­uret­ics — or wa­ter tablets — are pre­scribed for high blood pres­sure and help to flush salt from the body by mak­ing you uri­nate (ex­cess salt raises blood pres­sure).

She was on furosemide, a com­mon di­uretic. But to make up for miss­ing a tablet, she was dou­ble­dos­ing on other days.

That can cause tor­ren­tial urine flow with the risk of a mas­sive loss of potas­sium, and in turn dam­age to the heart, mus­cles and brain.

It may cause a loss of mag­ne­sium, key for a reg­u­lar heart­beat and nor­mal blood pres­sure.

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