Therapeutic: diuretics, potassium-sparing diuretics
Counteracts potassium loss caused by other diuretics. Used with other agents to treat edema or hypertension.
Inhibition of sodium resorption in the kidney, saving potassium and hydrogen ions. Therapeutic Effects: Weak diuretic and antihypertensive response when compared with other diuretics. Conservation of potassium.
Adverse Reactions/Side Effects
CNS: dizziness, headache. CV: arrhythmias. GI: constipation, nausea, vomiting. F and E: hyperkalemia, hyponatremia. MS: muscle cramps. Misc: allergic reactions.
PHYSICAL THERAPY IMPLICATIONS
Examination and Evaluation
Monitor signs of fluid or electrolyte imbalances (hyperkalemia, hyponatremia), including dizziness, drowsiness, headache, blurred vision, confusion, hypotension, or muscle cramps and weakness. Report excessive or prolonged symptoms to the physician.
Assess dizziness that might affect gait, balance, and other functional activities (See Appendix C). Report balance problems and functional limitations to the physician, and caution the patient and family/caregivers to guard against falls and trauma.
Assess heart rate, ECG, and heart sounds, especially during exercise (See Appendixes G, H). Report any rhythm disturbances or symptoms of increased arrhythmias, including palpitations, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, fainting, and fatigue/weakness.
Assess blood pressure periodically and compare to normal values (See Appendix F) to help document antihypertensive effects.
When used to treat edema, help determine drug effects by assessing peripheral edema using girth measurements, volume displacement, and measurement of pitting edema (See Appendix N). Also monitor signs of pulmonary edema such as dyspnea and rales/crackles (See Appendix K). Document whether peripheral and pulmonary symptoms are controlled adequately by diuretic therapy.
Monitor signs of allergic reactions, including pulmonary symptoms (tightness in the throat and chest, wheezing, cough, dyspnea) or skin reactions (rash, pruritus, urticaria). Notify physician immediately if these reactions occur.
Implement fall prevention strategies, especially in older adults or if patient exhibits sedation, dizziness, blurred vision, or other impairments that affect gait and balance (See Appendix E).
Use caution during aerobic exercise, especially in hot environments. Increased sweating will cause fluid and electrolyte loss, and may exaggerate arrhythmias and diuretic side effects (dizziness, muscle cramps, and so forth).
To minimize orthostatic hypotension, patient should move slowly when assuming a more upright position.
Remind patients to take medication as directed to control hypertension and other cardiac conditions even if they are asymptomatic.
Counsel patients about additional interventions to help control blood pressure and cardiac dysfunction, including regular exercise, weight loss, sodium restriction, stress reduction, moderation of alcohol consumption, and smoking cessation.
Instruct patient or family and caregivers to report troublesome GI problems such as severe or prolonged nausea, vomiting, or constipation.
Absorption: 30–90% absorbed.