Diurex Side Effects on the Heart

Written by daniel annear | 13/05/2017
Diurex Side Effects on the Heart
Diurex treats mild symptoms associated with water weight gain and bloating. (blue pills 5 image by Darko Draskovic from Fotolia.com)

Alva-Amco manufactures Diurex as a non-prescription medication intended for use as a diuretic and pain reliever. People with non-emergent symptoms such as those associated with premenstrual syndrome or trouble urinating may elect to try Diurex before seeking more potent therapies. Although the two main components have only mild effects on the body, both may pose consequences for the cardiovascular system and caution should therefore be used when taking Diurex.


Diurex Side Effects on the Heart
Caffeine in excess of 200 mg poses a risk of causing tachycardia. (ecg image by JASON WINTER from Fotolia.com)

Caffeine serves as the primary active diuretic ingredient in Diurex. One pill contains 50 mg, which does not harm the heart. Taking multiple pills that provide caffeine in excess of 100 to 200 mg may cause tachycardia (a heart rate in excess of 100 beats per minute) or irregular heartbeat. The risk increases with the number of times that you take this amount. Consult your doctor before using Diurex if you already have a high resting heart rate or an arrhythmia.

Blood Thinning

Diurex Side Effects on the Heart
Inhibiting the action of platelets in the blood can cause coronary arteries to haemorrhage. (blood melt image by Nicemonkey from Fotolia.com)

Diurex contains the pain reliever magnesium salicylate, which as a side effect reduces the formation of clots. This benefits people at risk of stroke or thrombosis; however, those patients likely already take other medications to treat for those conditions. If you currently take pills to reduce blood clotting--such as Plavix or a daily aspirin--ask a doctor whether the addition of Diurex will thin your blood too much.


Diurex Side Effects on the Heart
Keep an eye on your blood pressure when using Diurex for an extended period. (blood pressure monitor image by Shirley Hirst from Fotolia.com)

All diuretics can lower blood pressure to varying degrees. Depleting some of the liquid content from the blood slows blood flow and eases the passage of red cells and plasma through the vessels. This effect is typically desired. However, Diurex is not indicated for hypertension because the caffeine in it raises blood pressure by its action on the heart. Consult your doctor concerning any other medications you take and your risks for hypertension. Be sure to monitor your blood pressure if you take Diurex for an extended period.

Reye's Syndrome

Diurex Side Effects on the Heart
Diurex is not indicated for paediatric use and can harm young children. (Teddy bear as a doctor image by Monika 3 Steps Ahead from Fotolia.com)

Diurex should not be given to children. In addition to the negative effects caffeine can cause on young hearts, salicylates such as those found in Diurex have been associated with Reye's Syndrome. This disease attacks every organ in the body, including the heart, by depositing fat in places where it doesn't belong. Even if the syndrome is diagnosed early and treated successfully, there can be lasting damage to the heart muscle and arteries.


Diurex Side Effects on the Heart
Overdose of Diurex must be treated with potassium to prevent fatal heart arrhythmias. (potassium pharmaceutic image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com)

The most significant cardiac danger associated with prolonged diuretic use or overdose stems from lowered potassium levels. Potassium plays a central role in muscle action, and the heart works harder than any muscle in the body. Hypokalemia (low potassium) interferes with regulation of the heartbeat and results in fatal arrhythmias if left untreated. Never take more pills than the Diurex instructions recommend.

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