Triamterene is a potassium-sparing diuretic (colloquially referred to as a water pill) that induces urination helping the body evacuate excessive fluids caused by certain diseases and medical conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and edema (swelling). Brand names for Triamterene include Dyrenium, Dyazide and Maxzide. Triamterene is available by physician prescription.
Triamterene treats excessive fluid retention caused by conditions such as edema and hypertension (high blood pressure). Edema is swelling of tissue in response to injury or inflammation. Edema can be caused by certain diseases such as congestive heart failure, which can cause fluid buildup because the heart is weaker and pumps blood more slowly.
Liver diseases like cirrhosis can lead to fluid retention as it causes to low levels of proteins and albumin, leading to fluid leaking into the abdomen (a condition called ascites). Nephrotic syndrome, a condition of the kidneys, the organs that filters urine out of blood, can lead to edema in the leg or the entire body. Untreated edema can lead to life-threatening conditions.
Triamterene works by directly blocking the epithelial sodium channel in the kidneys, allowing urine to pass. Unlike loop diuretics, Triamterene spares potassium in the body and does not deplete it. Therefore, Triamterene is mostly prescribed to congestive heart failure patients in combination with other types of diuretics.
For high blood pressure patients, Triamterene evacuates excess fluids and helps blood flow smoother, thus relieving pressure.
Triamterene is also prescribed to treat edema caused by excessive aldosterone, a hormone produced to regulate sodium and fluid balance in the body.
Triamterene is often available for purchase in combination with hydrochlorothiazide.
Triamterene dosage will vary as per physician recommendation, age, severity of the condition and response to the treatment. The dosage prescribed by a physician should be followed exactly.
The recommended maximum dosage level for edema is 300 mg daily, and for hypertension, 100 mg daily.
Triamterene tablets should be taken orally after meals to reduce the chance of an upset stomach.
It’s highly recommended that Triamterene tablets are taken at the same time each day.
Patients taking Triamterene for hypertension should continue the prescribed dosage even when “feeling fine.” Hypertension patients do not experience symptoms. The prescribed dosage is essential for the drug to be effective.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take Triamterene if allergic any of the ingredients in the drug. Ingredients in the tablets may vary according to the brand. Refer to the patient information leaflet included in the purchase for ingredient list and allergy information for that particular brand.
Triamterene may increase the levels of potassium in the blood. Some patients may need to stop taking potassium supplements or control diet for potassium-rich foods. Consult a physician for specific information.
Triamterene may not be safe for patients with diabetes, hepatic impairment or kidney stones. Consult a physician beforehand.
Triamterene could potentially cause one or more of the following side effects:
Excessive need to urinate
Side effects are not limited to the above.
Immediately consult a physician if side effects continue to persist or worsen over time.