Water pills (called diuretics) get rid of extra fluid in the body, making it easier for the heart to pump, and help reduce blood pressure.
Common diuretics: hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide and others) and furosemide (Lasix).
When to take: in the morning to limit nighttime bathroom trips.
What to watch for: Some people suffer leg cramps when taking water pills. To combat the problem, consider getting extra potassium from foods such as bananas and orange juice. Before making drastic changes in your diet, however, please consult a pharmacist or doctor for specific advice. Too much potassium may cause other problems. Do not take potassium supplements when taking water pills.
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