Adverse effects of diuretics.

Drug safety : an international journal of medical toxicology and drug experience

PubMedID: 1418693

Freis ED. Adverse effects of diuretics. Drug Saf. 1992;7(5):364-73.
Analysis of the available evidence indicates that diuretics do not increase coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality. The multiclinic trials supporting the cardiotoxicity hypothesis are few in number and flawed in design. The majority of the trials, including the well designed trials, indicate no excess of coronary heart disease (CHD) events in diuretic-treated patients compared with those given other drugs or placebo. Recent studies indicate no increase in cardiac arrhythmias after diuretic treatment. Also, although depletion of intracellular potassium and magnesium occurs in patients with congestive heart failure even without diuretics, intracellular concentration of these ions is not significantly reduced by diuretics in patients with uncomplicated hypertension. Modest elevations of serum cholesterol may occur during the first 6 to 12 months of treatment with thiazide diuretics. However, after this time these elevations fall to or below the pretreatment level. The fall may be greater in patients receiving other drugs but the differences are small and their clinical significance is questionable. The incidences of hyperglycaemia and diabetes were only minimally increased in long term clinical trials while the importance of hyperinsulinism and insulin resistance in causing CHD remains unproven in patients. Thiazides remain, therefore, a safe and effective treatment for patients with hypertension.