080698 diuretic therapy

50 percent is conjugated to glucuronic acid in thekidneys.9 Thus, in patients with renal insufficiency,the plasma half-life of furosemide is prolonged be- A L A S T A I R J . J . W O O D , M . D. , Editor cause not only urinary excretion but also renal con-jugation is decreased7,8,10-14 (Table 1). The other twoloop diuretics available in the United States, bumet- DIURETIC THERAPY
anide and torsemide, are largely metabolized by theliver (50 and 80 percent, respectively)4,15-17; there- fore, their half-lives are not prolonged in patientswith renal insufficiency, although renal disease im- pairs their delivery to the tubular fluid. In contrast, in patients with liver disease, the plasma half-lives of these drugs, loop diuretics such as furose- these drugs are prolonged, and more drug reaches mide are perhaps the most frequently prescribed, and their clinical pharmacology is better understood Although the pharmacologic characteristics of eth- than is that of other diuretics. This review will there- acrynic acid have been characterized as typical of fore focus on this class of diuretics, but others will those of loop diuretics, there are no data on its phar- macokinetics. The drug’s ototoxic potential is greaterthan that of other loop diuretics, and it is therefore CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
now given only to patients who have allergic reac- OF DIURETICS
The pharmacokinetics of thiazide diuretics (Table 1) have been studied less extensively than those of The pharmacologic characteristics of all loop di- loop diuretics. Some thiazide diuretics are metabo- uretics are similar. Therefore, a lack of response to lized primarily by the liver (e.g., bendroflumethia- adequate doses of one loop diuretic militates against zide, polythiazide, and indapamide); others are pri- the administration of another loop diuretic; instead, marily excreted in unchanged form in the urine (e.g., combinations of diuretics with different mechanisms chlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, hydrochlorothiazide, hydroflumethiazide, and trichlormethiazide). There Loop diuretics block the sodium–potassium–chlo- is little information about the influence of disease on ride transporter, thiazide diuretics block the electro- the pharmacokinetics of these drugs.
neutral sodium–chloride transporter, and amiloride Since amiloride is excreted by the kidneys, renal and triamterene block apical sodium channels.1-6 All disease prolongs its plasma half-life,19,20 whereas liver diuretics except spironolactone reach these luminal disease has little effect on the drug.20 The pharma- transport sites through the tubular fluid; all but os- cokinetics of triamterene are complicated, because it motic diuretics are actively secreted into the urine by is converted to an active metabolite by the liver, and proximal tubule cells. A high degree of protein bind- the metabolite is then secreted into the tubular flu- ing (>95 percent) limits glomerular filtration,1-6 even id.7,21,22 Renal disease impairs the secretion of this in patients with hypoalbuminemia. In effect, bind- metabolite into the tubular fluid.21 The amount of ing to serum proteins traps the diuretic in the vas- metabolite that reaches the tubular fluid is also re- cular space so that it can be delivered to secretory duced in patients with liver disease, because of di- sites of proximal tubule cells. Loop and thiazide di- minished formation of the metabolite in the liver.22 uretics and acetazolamide are secreted through the The pharmacokinetics of spironolactone are even organic-acid pathway,1-4 and amiloride and triamter- more complex, because it is converted to numerous About 50 percent of a dose of furosemide is ex- In addition to the routes of metabolism, the phar- creted in unchanged form into the urine7,8; the other macokinetic features of diuretics that are clinicallyimportant are bioavailability and half-life. On aver-age, the amount of an oral dose of furosemide that is From the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, absorbed is 50 percent, but it ranges from 10 to 100 Indiana University School of Medicine, Emerson Hall 317, 545 Barnhill percent.7 This wide range makes it difficult to predict Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46202-5124, where reprint requests should be how much furosemide will be absorbed in an indi- 1998, Massachusetts Medical Society.
vidual patient, and different doses must be tried be- Downloaded from www.nejm.org at HOUSTON ACADEMY OF MEDICINE on January 3, 2008 . Copyright 1998 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. The Ne w E n g l a nd Jo u r n a l o f Me d ic i ne TABLE 1. PHARMACOKINETICS OF DIURETIC DRUGS.*
†Values are for the active metabolite.
fore the drug is judged to be ineffective. In contrast, Pharmacodynamics
absorption of bumetanide and torsemide is nearly The relation between the arrival of a diuretic at its complete, ranging from 80 to 100 percent (Table site of action (determined on the basis of the rate of 1).18,25,26 There is therefore probably less need for ti- urinary excretion) and the natriuretic response de- tration of these drugs when one is switching from termines the pharmacodynamics of the drug (Fig.
an intravenous to an oral dose. The variation in the 1).1,17 This relation holds for all loop diuretics, al- absorption of furosemide may be clinically impor- though the curve may be shifted to the right or the tant; patients with heart failure treated with a com- left.7 This means that in any one patient, the maxi- pletely absorbed loop diuretic (torsemide) may re- mal response to each loop diuretic is the same. The quire hospitalization less often and have a better same is true for thiazide diuretics. The choice of an quality of life than patients treated with furosemide.27 agent within either class of diuretics is governed by The amount of loop diuretic that is absorbed is nor- factors such as pharmacokinetic differences and cost.
mal in patients with edema,18,25,26,28-32 although ab- Several pharmacodynamic features of diuretics are sorption is slower than normal, particularly in those clinically important. There is a threshold quantity of drug that must be achieved at the site of action in The plasma half-life of a diuretic determines the fre- order to elicit a response. The diuretic must there- quency of administration. Thiazide and distal diuretics fore be titrated in each patient in order to determine have sufficiently long half-lives that they can be admin- the dose that will deliver enough drug to the site of istered once or twice a day. The plasma half-lives of action to reach the steep portion of the curve shown loop diuretics range from about one hour for bumet- in Figure 1 (effective dose). In addition, one can de- anide to three to four hours for torsemide; the half-life termine the lowest dose that elicits a maximal re- of furosemide is one and a half to two hours.7 A truly sponse and that should therefore not be exceeded long acting loop diuretic is not available. Once a dose (maximal dose). In normal subjects, an intravenous of a loop diuretic has been administered, its effect dis- dose of 40 mg of furosemide or an equivalent dose sipates before the next dose is given. During this time, of other loop diuretics results in a maximal response, the nephron avidly reabsorbs sodium, resulting in so- which is the excretion of 200 to 250 mmol of sodium called rebound sodium retention,33,34 which may be in 3 to 4 liters of urine over a period of three to four sufficient to nullify the prior natriuresis.
Downloaded from www.nejm.org at HOUSTON ACADEMY OF MEDICINE on January 3, 2008 . Copyright 1998 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. D R U G T H E R A P Y
thiazide will cause diuresis in patients with mild re- nal insufficiency, the response in patients with a cre-atinine clearance of less than about 50 ml per min-ute is poor.
In patients with a creatinine clearance of 15 ml per minute, 1⁄5 to 1⁄10 as much loop diuretic is secret-ed into the tubular fluid as in normal subjects.7,8 Thus, a large dose must be given to attain an effec-tive amount of diuretic in the tubular fluid (Table2). The relation between the rate at which the di-uretic is excreted and the response to it is the samein patients with renal insufficiency as it is in normalsubjects.50,51 Thus, the remaining nephrons in pa- tients with renal insufficiency retain their responsive- ness to the diuretic; the problem is getting enough Figure 1. Pharmacodynamics of a Loop Diuretic.
A frequent question is, What is the largest single The relation between the natriuretic response and the amount dose of a loop diuretic that can be given to a patient of diuretic reaching the site of action is represented by a sig- with severe renal insufficiency? The maximal natriu- retic response occurs with intravenous bolus dosesof 160 to 200 mg of furosemide or the equivalentdoses of bumetanide and torsemide,50,52 and nothingis gained by using larger doses. Some patients may re- Diuretic Tolerance
quire these large doses several times a day. The maxi- There are two forms of diuretic tolerance. Short- mal response is the excretion of about 20 percent of term tolerance, so-called braking, refers to a decrease filtered sodium. In a patient with a creatinine clear- in the response to a diuretic after the first dose has ance of 15 ml per minute, this means that about 25 been administered. This can be prevented by restor- mmol of sodium will be excreted. If the patient in- ing diuretic-induced loss of volume.35-37 Teleologically, gests 75 mmol of sodium per day, then the single dose this response appropriately protects intravascular vol- causing 25 mmol to be excreted must be administered ume. The mechanism by which short-term tolerance three times per day, and sodium will be retained if the occurs is unclear. It may be mediated by activation of intake is higher. Single intravenous bolus doses of 160 angiotensin II or the sympathetic nervous system, but to 200 mg can occasionally cause transient tinni- neither the inhibition of angiotensin-converting en- tus,53,54 but this effect can be minimized by adminis- zyme nor adrenergic blockade, separately or together, tering the dose over a period of 20 to 30 minutes.
The bioavailability of loop diuretics is the same in With long-term administration of a loop diuretic, patients with renal insufficiency as it is in normal the solute that escapes from the loop of Henle floods subjects.25,26,28-32 Therefore, the intravenous and oral more distal regions of the nephron. By unknown doses of bumetanide and torsemide are similar. For fu- mechanisms, increased exposure to solute causes hy- rosemide, the usual maximal oral dose is twice the pertrophy of distal nephron segments, with concom- intravenous dose (160 to 320 mg in patients with itant increases in the reabsorption of sodium.41-45 moderate renal insufficiency and 320 to 400 mg in Sodium that escapes from the loop of Henle is there- those with severe renal insufficiency). However, the fore reabsorbed at more distal sites, decreasing over- absorption of furosemide varies from one patient to all diuresis. The result is long-term tolerance of the another. Occasionally, a very small fraction of the dose loop diuretic. Thiazide diuretics block the nephron is absorbed, and very large oral doses are therefore sites at which hypertrophy occurs, accounting for the required. Before concluding that a patient has not had synergistic response to the combination of a thiazide a response to furosemide and contemplating the use and a loop diuretic.46-49 This phenomenon reinforces of dialysis to control volume, the physician should the logic of using combinations of loop and thiazide administer larger oral doses of furosemide or a maxi- diuretics in patients who do not have adequate re- mal oral dose of either bumetanide or torsemide.
sponses to optimal doses of a loop diuretic.
In patients who have poor responses to intermit- DIURETIC THERAPY IN PATIENTS
tent doses of a loop diuretic, a continuous intrave- WITH EDEMA
nous infusion can be tried. If an effective amount ofthe diuretic is maintained at the site of action at all Renal Insufficiency
times, a small but clinically important increase in the A loop diuretic is the diuretic of choice in patients response may occur.55 There are other reasons to con- with renal insufficiency. Although a large dose of a sider giving a continuous infusion of a loop diuretic.
Downloaded from www.nejm.org at HOUSTON ACADEMY OF MEDICINE on January 3, 2008 . Copyright 1998 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. The Ne w E n g l a nd Jo u r n a l o f Me d ic i ne TABLE 2. THERAPEUTIC REGIMENS FOR LOOP DIURETICS IN PATIENTS WITH DIMINISHED RESPONSES TO INITIAL THERAPY.
Mechanism of diminished Impaired delivery to site of action more frequent administration of effective dose *Preserved renal function is defined as a creatinine clearance of more than 75 ml per minute.
†If the maximal dose is reached without an adequate response, a thiazide diuretic should be administered as adjunctive therapy, with the dose determined according to renal function, and alternative treatment of the primary disease should be considered.
It may be easier for nursing staff to give a continu- loop diuretic is to add an oral thiazide diuretic.56-58 ous infusion than intermittent bolus intravenous dos- Metolazone is frequently given in the United States, es. In addition, with a continuous infusion, decisions whereas other thiazides are given elsewhere. The phar- about the timing of doses of an additional diuretic macologic characteristics of metolazone are similar are simplified. Finally, by closely monitoring urinary to those of other thiazides. Some formulations of output, one can unambiguously determine whether the drug are absorbed poorly and slowly, and it has a long elimination half-life (about two days).7 Thus, Before administering a continuous infusion of a metolazone accumulates over a period of about 10 loop diuretic, the physician should give a loading days. Other thiazides have the same synergistic effects dose in order to decrease the time needed to achieve when combined with a loop diuretic.46-49 Since the therapeutic drug concentrations (Table 3); other- absorption of other thiazides, such as hydrochloro- wise, 6 to 20 hours is required to achieve a steady thiazide, is more rapid and predictable, they may be state, depending on the diuretic used. The rate of the continuous infusion is governed by the patient’s Because thiazide diuretics must reach the lumen renal function. If an adequate response has not oc- of the nephron to be effective, higher doses are re- curred after the drug has been given for an hour, the quired in patients with renal insufficiency than in loading dose should be repeated, and then the infu- other patients.56-58 Patients with mild-to-moderate sion rate can be increased, as shown in Table 3.
renal insufficiency require 50 to 100 mg of hydro- Another strategy to enhance the response to a chlorothiazide per day; those with more severe dis-ease require 100 to 200 mg per day. Thiazides canbe administered once or twice a day.
In summary, a patient with edema caused by renal insufficiency should be given increasing doses of a TABLE 3. DOSES FOR CONTINUOUS INTRAVENOUS INFUSION
loop diuretic until an effective dose is identified (Fig.
2 and Table 2). The effective dose should be given asoften as needed to maintain the response, according INTRAVENOUS
to the patient’s ability to restrict sodium intake and DIURETIC
the duration of action of the drug. If the response is inadequate after the maximal dose has been reached, a thiazide should be added (Fig. 2). If diuresis remainsinadequate, the only recourse is dialysis.
The Nephrotic Syndrome
It is often difficult to achieve a satisfactory diuresis in patients with the nephrotic syndrome. In suchpatients, serum albumin concentrations are frequently *Before the infusion rate is increased, the loading dose should be admin- low, and the diffusion of diuretics into the extracel- Downloaded from www.nejm.org at HOUSTON ACADEMY OF MEDICINE on January 3, 2008 . Copyright 1998 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. D R U G T H E R A P Y
Administer as frequently asmnecessary to maintain response For added natriuresis, if urinary excretion of sodium decreasedmand urinary excretion of potassium increased Figure 2. Algorithm for Diuretic Therapy in Patients with Edema Caused by Renal, Hepatic, or Cardiac Disease.
Cl denotes creatinine clearance, HCTZ hydrochlorothiazide, and bid twice a day.
lular fluid is therefore increased. This may reduce the fore unnecessary. This conclusion may not be appli- amount of drug delivered to renal secretory sites.59 If cable to patients with serum albumin concentrations so, the efficacy of diuretic therapy may be increased of less than 2 g per deciliter. In such patients, it may by administering a mixture of albumin and a loop di- be reasonable to try combined infusions.
uretic; in several patients with severe hypoalbumine- The diuretic response is subnormal in patients with mia, an infusion of 30 mg of furosemide mixed with the nephrotic syndrome, despite an adequate rate of 25 g of albumin enhanced diuresis.59 However, in excretion of drug into the tubular fluid. In animals, most patients with the nephrotic syndrome60,61 (and and presumably also in humans, diuretics become in those with cirrhosis10-14), renal tubular secretion of bound to albumin in tubular fluid, resulting in a di- furosemide is normal (unless the patient also has re- minished amount of unbound, active drug and a de- nal insufficiency), and combined infusions are there- creased diuretic response.62-65 When urinary albumin Downloaded from www.nejm.org at HOUSTON ACADEMY OF MEDICINE on January 3, 2008 . Copyright 1998 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. The Ne w E n g l a nd Jo u r n a l o f Me d ic i ne concentrations exceed 4 g per liter, one half to two with cirrhosis. In patients with normal renal func- thirds of the diuretic that reaches the tubular fluid is tion, the diuretic concentration in the tubular fluid bound to albumin in the fluid. Consequently, doses is normal.10-14,18 Thus, a decreased response to a loop two to three times the normal dose are needed to diuretic in a patient with cirrhosis is not due to de- deliver adequate amounts of unbound, active drug creased delivery of the drug to its site of action, and to the site of action (Table 2). In addition, patients there is no need to administer large doses, unless the with the nephrotic syndrome may have a diminished patient has concomitant renal dysfunction.
response because of a decrease in the drug’s action Responses to loop diuretics are decreased in pa- on cells within the loop of Henle66 and because of tients with cirrhosis because the relation between increased proximal or distal reabsorption of sodi- the excretion rate and the natriuretic response (Fig.
um.7 Doses must therefore be sufficient to overcome 1) is shifted downward and to the right, so that the urinary binding and must be administered more fre- response to a maximally effective dose is substantial- quently than in other patients, and combinations of ly less than the normal response.10-14,18 The cause of this shift is unknown. The maximal response in a pa- In summary, several mechanisms result in a de- tient with severe cirrhosis may be the excretion of creased diuretic response in patients with the nephrot- only 25 or 30 mmol of sodium, as compared with ic syndrome (Table 2). Overcoming the binding of a 200 to 250 mmol in normal subjects. This response diuretic to albumin in urine requires the administra- is not increased with larger doses, but more frequent tion of a dose that is sufficiently high to result in doses, given alone or with a thiazide diuretic, may normal concentrations of unbound diuretic in the tubular fluid. Concomitant decreases in creatinine In summary, spironolactone is the mainstay of di- clearance make it necessary to increase the dose even uretic therapy for patients with cirrhosis, with the more. The diminished response in the loop of Henle addition of a thiazide, a loop diuretic, or both as mandates frequent doses and often the addition of a necessary (Fig. 2). Single high doses of a thiazide or thiazide diuretic, the dose of which is governed by loop diuretic are inappropriate; instead, moderate the level of renal function (Fig. 2). If these strategies doses should be given several times daily, and dietary fail and the patient has severe hypoalbuminemia, a sodium restriction should be encouraged.
trial of a mixture of a loop diuretic and albumin canbe tried. Other alternatives entail more aggressive Congestive Heart Failure
treatment of the nephrotic syndrome.
Patients with edema caused by mild congestive heart failure should be treated initially with a thia- Cirrhosis
zide diuretic (Fig. 2), but most will require a loop The mainstay of diuretic therapy for patients with diuretic. In patients with normal or nearly normal cirrhosis who have edema is spironolactone, because renal function, the delivery of loop diuretics to the secondary hyperaldosteronism is an important cause tubular fluid is normal.69-71 The rate of absorption of of sodium and water retention in such patients.23 loop diuretics is slowed in patients with severe heart Spironolactone causes only a moderate diuresis, which failure; therefore, the maximal response occurs four is desirable because greater diuresis may compromise hours or more after the dose has been adminis- the intravascular volume.68 Even if patients need addi- tered.32 Since the delivery of loop diuretics to the tional diuretics, spironolactone should be continued site of action is normal, patients do not need large (Fig. 2). Repeated large-volume paracentesis may be doses of these diuretics unless they have concomitant used to minimize the need for more potent diuretics.
renal insufficiency (Table 2). However, renal respon- The initial dose of spironolactone is usually 50 mg siveness to loop diuretics may be decreased.26,72 As per day. The drug and its active metabolites have compared with normal subjects, patients with New sufficiently long half-lives that once-daily adminis- York Heart Association class II or III heart failure tration is adequate.23,24 Its biologic half-life is such have one fourth to one third the natriuretic response that three to four days of treatment are needed to to maximally effective doses of loop diuretics,26,72 attain steady-state effects. The dose can be increased and the response is even smaller in patients with to as much as 400 mg per day, although doses high- more severe heart failure. The response is not in- er than 200 mg per day are often poorly tolerated.
creased by giving large doses, but it may be increased If maximal doses of spironolactone do not cause by giving moderate doses more frequently (Table 2).
an adequate diuresis, a thiazide diuretic can be add- If loop diuretics and dietary sodium restriction are ed, the dose being determined by the level of renal not adequate, a thiazide diuretic should be added in function (Fig. 2). If diuresis is still inadequate, a a dose determined according to the patient’s renal loop diuretic can be given instead of the thiazide function (Fig. 2). A synergistic response can result in a profound diuresis with cardiovascular collapse.73 The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of In addition, through sequential blocking of nephron loop diuretics have been well characterized in patients sites at which potassium is normally reabsorbed, sub- Downloaded from www.nejm.org at HOUSTON ACADEMY OF MEDICINE on January 3, 2008 . Copyright 1998 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. D R U G T H E R A P Y
stantial kaliuresis usually occurs. Patients given com- the urine to be effective. If it is unfiltered, as in pa- binations of a thiazide and a loop diuretic should tients with renal insufficiency, it increases vascular therefore be followed closely to prevent volume and volume.85,86 The risks associated with mannitol, cou- pled with the availability of other highly effective di- In some patients, the addition of a potassium- uretics, relegate its use to nondiuretic indications, sparing diuretic that acts at distal nephron sites may increase sodium excretion slightly. This response canbe predicted by measuring urinary electrolyte excre- ADVERSE REACTIONS AND DRUG
tion. If urinary sodium and potassium concentrations INTERACTIONS
are both low, then a distal diuretic will not be effec- Thiazide and loop diuretics may cause skin reac- tive because the amount of sodium delivered to the tions and interstitial nephritis. Loop diuretics may distal nephron is not sufficient for the diuretic to have cause ototoxicity, usually in patients receiving both an effect. If the urinary sodium concentration is low very high doses and other ototoxic drugs, particular- and the urinary potassium concentration is high, so- ly aminoglycoside antibiotics.87,88 Ototoxicity is usu- dium is being exchanged for potassium distally, and ally transient. Large doses of spironolactone can cause the addition of a diuretic that acts on distal tubules The most serious adverse effects of diuretics are ab- In summary, patients with congestive heart failure normalities in fluid and electrolyte homeostasis.90 have normal delivery of loop diuretics to the tubular Both loop and thiazide diuretics cause loss of potas- fluid and therefore do not require large doses, but sium and magnesium in the urine, and when admin- the doses should be given more often than in other istered in combination, they may result in substantial patients (Table 2). Loop diuretics are the mainstay depletion of these cations. Oral supplements will suf- of therapy, but the addition of a thiazide and some- fice in many patients, but some patients require the times triamterene or amiloride may be helpful.
addition of a potassium-sparing diuretic. Loop di-uretics block solute reabsorption at nephron sites that OTHER TREATMENT REGIMENS
are important for concentrating the urine and thus Acetazolamide plus Loop Diuretics
impair urinary concentrating ability. As a result, water Acetazolamide has been used in patients with ede- is excreted in excess of sodium, an effect that can help ma, usually those with congestive heart failure refrac- correct hyponatremia. Thiazides block solute reab- tory to high doses of loop diuretics, and in patients sorption at nephron sites involved in the dilution of with metabolic alkalosis. In such patients, increased urine. Thus, the use of these agents impairs the abil- proximal tubular reabsorption of sodium results in ity to dilute urine, which entails a risk of hyponatre- decreased distal delivery, rendering loop diuretics in- mia, particularly in patients who drink large amounts effective.76-79 In a study of normal subjects with in- of hypotonic fluids. More distal nephron sites also creased proximal tubular reabsorption of sodium as contribute to urinary dilution. Although distal di- a result of severely restricted dietary sodium intake, uretics have not been associated with hyponatremia, acetazolamide had a synergistic effect with furose- the addition of distal diuretics to thiazide diuretics in- mide.80 No studies have examined the efficacy of ace- creases the risk of hyponatremia.90 Loop diuretics in- tazolamide in patients with severe heart failure. Ace- crease urinary calcium excretion and can be used to tazolamide should be given only if a thiazide and a treat hypercalcemia; thiazide diuretics cause urinary loop diuretic are ineffective. A single 500-mg intra- calcium retention and may cause hypercalcemia or venous dose can be given in addition to a continuous may be given to treat hypercalciuria.
intravenous infusion of a loop diuretic.
Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs diminish the response to loop and thiazide diuretics,91 because Dopamine
they increase solute reabsorption at the thick as- Low-dose infusions of dopamine («3 µg per kilo- cending limb of the loop of Henle.92 These agents gram of body weight per minute) may improve renal can cause hyperkalemia by decreasing the secretion hemodynamics and increase the response to loop of renin and aldosterone.90 Presumably, the use of a diuretics. However, recent reports have questioned nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug combined with these indications and have emphasized that even low a potassium-sparing diuretic would entail an in- doses of dopamine may have adverse effects.81-83 In creased risk of hyperkalemia. Other drugs that impair one study involving patients with heart failure, do- potassium excretion, such as angiotensin-converting– pamine did not increase the response to a maximally enzyme inhibitors and trimethoprim, would also increase the risk of hyperkalemia if they were com-bined with a potassium-sparing diuretic.
Organic acids such as probenecid can diminish Mannitol exerts a diuretic effect at the proximal proximal tubular secretion of thiazides and loop tubule and loop of Henle.84 It must be filtered into diuretics,1-4 and organic bases such as trimethoprim Downloaded from www.nejm.org at HOUSTON ACADEMY OF MEDICINE on January 3, 2008 . Copyright 1998 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. The Ne w E n g l a nd Jo u r n a l o f Me d ic i ne and histamine H –receptor antagonists can compete 20. Sahn H, Reuter K, Mutschler E, Gerok W, Knauf H. Pharmacokinet-
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